Sitting on the bench overlooking the pond, I smile, despite the sadness that still overwhelms me every day. This is where we met, some fifteen years ago now.
I watch in silence as a couple of girls – early twenties, maybe? – jog past me. I hear their giggles when a solitary runner makes way for them, grinning winningly at them and winking. One of the girls blushes and waves back before they go on their way again.
“Oh, excuse me! I wasn’t paying enough attention, I’m so sorry,” I apologize, grasping the shoulders of the young woman I almost knocked over as I ran along.
She smiles, bracing herself against my arms, laughing shakily. “That’s okay – no harm done. I wasn’t looking where I was going, either, so my apologies, too.”
I blush as I look into the most soulful eyes I’ve ever seen. Her smile widens, warming me from the inside out as she holds out her hand and says, “I’m Esme.”
Shaking her hand, I chuckle, “Carlisle, at your service. Are you sure you’re alright?”
Esme nods. We talk for a bit before she eyes me with a mischievous grin and asks if I’m going her way. We end up running together weekly after that.