A dull pencil is greater than the sharpest memory. - an English proverb
I step outside the room, away from mass of bodies, away from the stifling heat that makes it hurt to breathe, away from the chaos and noise and deafening music. Inhaling deeply, I turn, waiting for my eyes to adjust to the sudden darkness- and nearly choke in surprise.
Someone's already there.
She's perched on the edge of the bench, like a scared bird ready to fly away at any moment. The brief flash of light escaping from the still-closing door illuminates her painfully familiar pale blond hair that I ache to run my hands through. Bright sea-green eyes lock onto mine, and I can feel something in me shatter again.
Pain flares in my chest, hot and overwhelming. For a moment, my good judgement lapses, and I'm seized by the sudden urge to run to her, to take her in my arms, to hold her close the way I've done a thousand times.
But then I remember.
Reality crashes into me. Bile rising in my throat, I swivel to grasp the cold metal handle again, heart thundering in time to my thoughts of No, no, no…
"Wait," she whispers.