She sat there expressionlessly on her scruffy worn out couch. Her eyes consumed by something only she saw in the air. No blinking, only hazel, watery eyes abstractedly fixated on space. Unknowingly her right eye, heavy with water, blinked. Slowly she opened her eyes and a thin snaky teary rivulet made its way down her cheek. Her hands, feeble and wrinkled remained limply on her laps.

One of her younger grandchildren, Charlie ran chasing paper kites in front of her. He scampered swiftly, unworried and with the sheer charm that only possesses seven year olds.

Then she remembered. She remembered them; her youthful days when her butterfly wings were still intact. The days she flew uncaged by worry or fear. Days when the wind brought divine whispers and her days seemed like eternity. A smile curved at the corners of her mouth.

She remembered him. His silly laugh and beady twinkling eyes. Neither before nor after him had mama met such a ball of energy. There was always something fun to do, somewhere new to see and eventually someone new to meet. He was her hallmark of love, her silly boyfriend Joey. But with all her heart, she was glad that first loves are only experienced once.

First loves and soul mates, these strange breed of personalities can only be endured once in a lifetime. Soul mates, like angels, with their halos and wings hold your hand, as they feed you from theirs. They seem to intrinsically possess a power to armor you from all imaginary foes. Soul mates, like lovers show you nothing in the world is impossible with love. But soul mates, like the mere mortals they are, hold in their hands the power to break your heart in the most inconsolable ways. When their purpose in your life is done, when their halos fall and their angelic wings shrink to the size of human hands, then, only then, does a heartbreak equivalent to the damage of world war one strike home. Soul mates are impossible to bear after that. Joey was no exception. Silly-laughing beady eyed Joey was no exception.
Mama’s pale face turned fully to Charlie, a trail of dried white salt marking the right-eye tear. Charlie turned to look at grandma. She looked at him and smiled; a silent wish that he would make a nicer soul mate. Front teeth missing, Charlie smiled back.


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