A child’s purest love. That’s what she always had for him, and he for her.
Sometimes she felt like it was written on her. A note graffitied on a swing set by a school crush that everyone could see.
David and Dana went everywhere together. Did everything. Some would say they were so close they were connected at the shadows.
“I’m seven,” David told her at his twenty-fifth birthday party. He smiled over her homemade cake. “Admit it, I’m just a kid trapped in a grown-up’s body.”
He was. They blew out the candles together. She threw icing in his face. He bolted, upending the cake, and she chased him. They sprinted through the forest leaves.
It wasn’t long before she tripped over a tree root. He picked her up, laughing.
Their faces were close enough to kiss, and she leaned in.
It was her.
David tried to run away and Dana held onto his arm.
“Please, stay! She won’t find us this time,” she told him.
That smile, so mischievous and loving. “Sorry, gotta go!” He vanished through the trees.
“Dana!” Her mother came into the clearing. She had one hand on her hip, and shook the pill bottle in the other. “Honey, you have got to remember to take these. You know what happens when you forget.”
Dana stared at the last place David had stood. At the splattered cake on the ground.
“Dana, was there someone out here with you?”
She bit her trembling lip.
“No,” Dana whispered.
She loved him with a child’s purest love.
She cried a child’s tears as she wished so very badly he was still with her.
Is he a ghost? Is she crazy? Is he just in her head? Or is he something else, something real and unseen by her mother?
That, dear reader, is for you to decide!
I wrote this in answer to Trifecta’s weekly challenge. The prompt was three pictures. I hope you like it. 🙂