"Why?"

Silence.

"Why did you have to come back?" She turned towards him, the sun from the window behind her illuminating his fine features. The curtain fluttered, casting him in moving shadows for a while. Her eyes ran down the sharp nose and the almost dainty chin, taking in the warm brown eyes and the black hair that fell in gentle ringlets.

"I was doing fine without you. I missed you, I guess. Iā€¦ Okay fine, I was lying. I hated that you were not around, and I hated that you stopped speaking to me. So I moved on. I moved on fine. I fell in and out of a couple of crushes. I was thinking of leaving this wretched town and going someplace else, where I could be someone, do something. Everything was working out and then he came back."

She stared at his unmoving face.

"He came back and for a while, I was confused. I have too much history here. It's suffocating me. You don't know what it's like, do you? At every turn, someone saying something, giving some kind of snide comment; nothing much, just reminding me of the past. But he didn't really matter. He was spoken for. I didn't much like it, but there's nothing I can do about it, is there?"

She stepped out of the light, sinking into the armchair opposite him. She took her time arranging her limbs in elegance.

"And now you. Why now? Couldn't you have waited a little longer until I've left? Or couldn't you have come back sooner when I was still expecting you? But it wouldn't have made a difference, would it? No, it wouldn't."

She wished desperately that he would say something, but she kept filling the silence with the sound of her own voice.

"The kids yelled ā€“ squealed rather ā€“ when you came back. And inside, I was doing the same, but as usual, I ignored your entrance. Aren't you one for grand entrances? By the way, do you know how much it annoys me that people still ask if I know where you are and what you're intending to do when you don't even tell me yourself? And then they act all surprised that I don't know, as if I'm supposed to keep tabs on you or I can magically read your mind. Couldn't you disabuse them of that idea as much as you've disabused me of your interest?"

She sighed. "It's time to go. I can't sit here any longer, just wishing. You know, sometimes you need to take destiny in your own hands."

Striding over to where his picture stood on her side table, she laid it flat on its face and left the room.