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General


Daylight



Sometimes the daylight glare can be so penetrating, that I’m forced to shut my eyes. Maybe it is because in the basement dwelling where I live, very little light gets in. I've always hated the sun. You know on those really bright sunny days, when it feels like the sun is purposely directing its searing, white hot light directly into your pupils, and then suddenly a cloud covers it for a moment? When you can finally just let your eyes breathe a second? I like that. I like that more than anything else in the world. That moment of release. That moment of kicking off those dreadful Sunday church shoes from back when you were a child. The moment when the person you didn’t think would call, actually does. Finding that priceless family heirloom you had “lost”, buried in a pocket from a pair of pants you picked up off a pile of clothes that you wore a week or two ago. That is what a cloud does for me on a sunny day. There really isn’t anything much better, is there? Except, perhaps, oh… Maybe when it starts raining? And suddenly, all the people run from the streets? It was one of those moments that I took shelter in some tiny hole in the wall cafe just outside the square, and I saw Kira for the first time in what might’ve been eight years since the last time I had even paid any remembrance to her name.


I walked up to the register, facing an intense struggle of wether or not to even acknowledge her. Sitting in a corner by the window and buried in a book, she hadn’t suspected my presence, or at least she hadn’t, to my knowledge. I marvelled at her unchanged appearance. Those eyes! The sight of them penetrated into the dormant regions of my skull. I felt a surge of electricity that I hadn’t known still existed in me. I shuddered as she brushed her hair behind her face. She was unscathed by time. She was perfectly preserved. It was as though she had been mummified in my memory banks. She wore a green turtleneck, a light brown raincoat and a chestnut brown long skirt that draped over her dazzling long and slender legs. I ordered a cup of tea as I continued to observe her, all simultaneously while I motioned for my change purse in a robotic way. My eyes were glued. She sat as elegantly as she used to, with that same regal air about her, just as I could remember, just as she had all those evenings we went out for dinners, or for long summer evening walks along the strip, both of us drenched from the salty humidity in the air. Even as we sat together, well past midnight, eating cereal from the box, watching bad television, crunching loudly and laughing until milk spewed from our noses, she had the grace of the first spring flower. There was no lady like her! No woman so fair! How could it be, that I could ever forget her? 


Like a scene from a bad detective movie, I lurched forward for a newspaper I had seen, and then held it across my face, taking up post at a table adjacent to hers. Occasionally I peered overtop the page and my eyes widened to inhale every fragment of her presence. Every tiny shuffling in her seat, or re- crossing of her legs. Every little nibble of scone she took, and every little sip coffee. Oh Lord, watching her breathing in the scent of it all, her little sighs of appreciation, it was all too much for me, too perfect to handle! Just when I could hardly stand to look any longer, she stood up to fetch her coat and umbrella, hanging by the door. It took every ounce of my volition to keep my twitching muscles from raising me out of my seat while she dressed herself. Just a few moments after she had left, keeping a close eye on the direction she took, I sprang from my chair, grabbed my coat, umbrella, and took after her into the rainy streets. 

As I followed behind her, we neared a quiet little block that suddenly seemed all too familiar to me. Struck with an intuition, I knew exactly where she was headed, before the place was even in sight. I waited a few moments before opening the door and hearing the familiar old door chime of Finnegan’s Bookstore. It was just as I remembered from that afternoon eight years prior. The smell of incense. The worn pages of used books. The gentle pattering of rain on the windows. Through the aisles she drifted, carefully scanning the titles lined along the shelves. She would stop occasionally, and with great interest, she would reach for a book, cradling it in her hands as though beholding a treasure, and thumb through the pages. I listened carefully to hear the sound of her skin embracing the skin of the book. I attempted to hear her hearts response to the words she was reading. Perhaps it were the words of Shakespeare that caused her heart to jostle a moment? Perhaps Rimbaud had made it still, just after, sending a shiver along her spine?  

Straining my eyes, I managed to ascertain that it was a title from Beaudalaire that she hugged under her arm as she paid the shopkeeper. 


From there she flitted off again through the pattering streets, poking into different dress shops, grazing her hand against the delicate silks. How lucky those dresses must have felt to be touched with such divinity! She stopped by a fruit stand for a bag filled with peaches.  I watched enviously as she squeezed them, feeling for their ripeness. 

Occasionally she would stop and look on in admiration at some old house or building along the streets. I nearly fainted when I saw her stop by a blossoming tree alongside the park. She pressed her face in such a close brush with the Cherry Blossom, that, for a moment they amalgamated together into a thing of inexplicable beauty. As my eyes greedily feasted on the sight, I noticed the clouds parting. Little streams of light began to trickle down, and then suddenly pour out from the sky. Oh, the glare! The horror! It was blinding! It assailed my vision at the most impossibly beautiful moment that my eyes have ever, and will ever pay witness to.

By the time the glare had dulled and my eyes regained focus, alas, she was gone! 




 I was plagued with many sleepless nights, stewing over all the memories that came up to the surface. Her face was imprinted on my mind and it tormented me so much that I went and searched for her. I retraced every step along that old block; every little cafe, every little dress shop, but she did not appear again.


It wasn’t until after a week or so, strained with madness and exhaustion, I made mention of that day to someone.


I was sitting in a cafe one gloomy afternoon when I finally brought it up to an old acquaintance of mine .


“Kira Dior?” He asked, his eyes widening through his spectacles



“How strange…” He said 


He looked at me, and I noticed a change in his expression, as though he were growing uncomfortable



“Strange? “ I asked 


“Why?”


He took a deep breath. He seemed to be searching carefully for his words. 


“Kira Dior has been presumed dead since this time, eight years ago.” 

February 28, 2020 21:31

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5 comments

Kelsey Mathias
21:50 Mar 06, 2020

Hi Matt, It seems that the rainy/cloudy day allowed the protagonist's "eyes to breath" and "see" Kira. When the sun, glare of reality, intruded, the spirit of Kira was gone, having let him know she was ok in the afterlife, but had not forgotten their time together. Of course, one could argue in the dim light, it sure looked like Kira, or the love-sick hero would see Kira in any attractive female. But I like the first explanation best 😊 Thanks for writing this!

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Matt Render
16:01 Mar 13, 2020

Thank you for your kind words and encouragement :) I enjoy your interpretations very much.

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Suhi Rohin
01:25 Sep 16, 2020

What an interesting way your story makes the mind wander. The adoration, and then the shock. It makes me really wonder what would have happened if your character had decided to say something? Would they have lamented if the dreamy vision disappeared, awakening from a wishful thought? Would they have found themselves lost if "those eyes" had met theirs? What a wistful color the gray of the rain clouds and the ethereal glow of an old unforgettable love create.

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Matt Render
17:59 Sep 16, 2020

What do you think would have happened? Thank you for reading and taking interest. Your comment inspired me and made my day.

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Suhi Rohin
01:57 Sep 17, 2020

Being the hopeless romantic that I am, perhaps she would have smiled at him a little and wished him a happy life, yet disappearing all the same... And you're very welcome!

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