art by Melissa Mead
Memories of Forgetting
by Kenneth S Kao
I'm in the bookstore's coffee shop--by the windows, reading--when I suddenly must look up.
She is there.
Her hair is braided and put into a bun. Her lips press firmly together. She stares directly at me.
I can't speak to her, though, even if I'm seeing our children.
Today, she's sixteen--as I am--but in our future I see two kids: a boy, and... I'm not sure of the second.
My eyes water; I don't know why.
As she strides toward me, I learn her name is Jenny. I put my head down so she won't speak to me even as my heart swells. It's true, I love her. I've no reason to feel this way except that I know that I will someday.
But what is now, is not always. I shouldn't speak to her.
She stops before me. Her wrist lifts at her waist and she gives me a single, small wave. "Hi."
My throat is dry. I can't swallow. "Hi," I mumble back, keeping my head bowed, resisting the urge to throw my arms around her, to comfort her because...