I didn’t mean to break the door, but careful wasn’t gentle enough.

The old barrier – rusted hinges, broken lock – fell into the room, sending a cloud of dust into the air. Inhale and remember, the fragrance of memories assaults every sense. The well worn desk sat in her hauntingly familar place, patiently waiting for me. I reverently approached, laid a hand to the dark wood. My old friend, still as eager and reliable as ever.

I began with a halting apology – telling of time and its corrosive effects on existence, particularly mine. I rambled my way into the present – yet more weary lives, bittersweet moments, and hidden gems. Just like the tales we used to weave.

I recalled the struggles and challenges, she lovingly reminded me of resolve and passions, the friendships and the feeling of home. I pointed out the deaths, she directed me further back, to the full and vibrant life.

An hour later, without dry eyes I stumbled through the empty doorway, silently bidding her farewell.

But not for long.

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