Her words reach me over a decade after she uttered them. I heard her voice as if she had been standing right next to me. Soft and tender, it floated into my mind amidst the noises of the busy lunchtime street. I was about to take the last sip of my espresso. Struck by the clarity, as if she was actually there. I turned, stunned to not find her standing over me. In that flash of recognition, I imagined her seeing me seated by the cafe window, knew immediately that it was me, made her way through the crowd to say hi.
In that moment, my future could have become something resembling happiness.
And yet I knew from the tone that she wasn’t clean, and then I recalled they were the last words she said to me. "Come with me," she had said as she withdrew the needle. I'd been too drunk to have also taken what she'd left for me. I lazily shook my head.
She shrugged her shoulders, as if it was my loss, before she injected the remaining brown liquid.
I woke many hours later to the sensation of her cold clammy skin. There was nothing I could do.
Why did my mind dredge up her last words? And made it seem as if she were alive and standing beside me.
Her memory has never left me, however I have never heard her voice with such clarity as if she reached across the void separating us. I shake my head. Not my time, I think.
Outside, I cross the road. Still haunted by the chill I felt buzz down my spine at hearing her again, I see out the corner of my eye the larger yellow metal grill of the bus.