Ghosts

She reminded him of love he once had.
Brown, like too much cream in his coffee, hair that she refused to tame,   even down to the gap between her two front teeth.

There was a bend in his back;  too many years hunched over his Harley caught up with him. His white hair was thinning in the center. He was young & wild, trapped in his withering body. She sat alone & he asked to join her, eager to be close to his love once more.

He still work the black gemstone in his left ear. She had dared him to get it, clicked at him mockingly as he stared at the threading needle she held. He held his breath as she numbed his ear with an ice cube & impaled him. He had never removed it, even after he sold his Harley to pay for his wedding years later.

It was a different time then, when they were in love. They weren’t allowed to be together: racial tensions were at an all-time high as legislation geared up for integration. They concealed their affections, wary of stares & whispers. Her father forbade her, his family scolded him & they continued on still.

When she left him for a spiritual plane, he was in agony. Even now, all these years later, a perfect stranger brought him to the brink of tears. He’d existed, lived, loved & created since then, yet he still pined for her.

The girl left, off to the rest of her life, pushing the old man into a memory she wouldn’t recall for years. He’d spent a lifetime for one more moment with her & given the choice, he’d do it all over.