Story inspired by the following prompt: [WP] You’re out getting groceries and you see your old first love from high school. They don’t look like they’ve ages even a day. The problem with that is that you haven’t been in high school for over fifty years.

I fell love with Amelia my senior year of high school.

Actually, it started before then, with a crush. That was freshman year. Then, sophomore year, we’d started dating and that crush had turned to teenage fueled infatuation. By junior year, we were officially going out. And in the spring of senior year, between long days at the beach when we snuck out of school and even longer nights when we snuck into each others rooms, it became love.

Even after fifty years, I’ve never felt my love towards Amelia for anyone else. It was unique, a fire that seemed to burn right behind the heart, with fumes that floated to my brain to twist my thoughts. I wasn’t me without her. And she wasn’ther without me.

And as I walked the aisles of the grocery store fifty years after high school started, absentmindedly deciding on this week’s cereal selection, I found my thoughts slipping back to Amelia. And I remembered one day I was particularly fond of, one that occurred as high school came to an end. It was night, and we were on her family’s porch swing behind the house, and the crickets chirped as they watched us. I remember it was cool, because I was all too aware the heat of her thigh as it crossed over mine- and I remember the heat of her eyes, when they met mine.

“I love you, Henry,” Amelia said, as I held my arm about her so that her blonde hair draped over my shoulder, and we rocked together. I knew what she said wasn’t hollow, nor was it a statement. But rather it was a promise. A promise that I answered with my own.

“We’ll get married one day, Amelia.” I said, and she smiled. And walking down the aisle of the grocery store, as I turned away from the cereal selection, I saw that same smile directly ahead of me as chills raced down my spine.

Which was impossible, because Amelia had died many years before, in a car accident that had wretched my heart from my chest.

I saw her blue eyes, fiery as they had always been, looking up into mine. I saw her blond hair, curled to frame her face, and the freckles that bridged her nose only in the dead of the summer. And as the incandescent lighting of the store illuminated her, I saw every feature that I knew so well, from her ears to her slender hands.

Tears began to well up in my eyes, and I felt one escape, and splatter against the tile floor.

“What’s wrong?” Asked Amelia, the voice tugging at my memories.

“Nothing, Amelia,” I said, and turned back to the cereal aisle.

And I remembered why I had named her after her mother.

***

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