Reminder

I open the cloth duffel bag and there, lying on the top of my hastily stuffed belongings, sits a book of his I borrowed and a small stuffed wolf he gave me after the crying fit. It smells of his cologne, a present from me, and it stings my nose now, a cruel reminder of how he lingers even when he’s gone. The smell will fade and soon the wolf will smell like nothing spectacular, fitting into the collection of animals discarded places from childhood, too special to give away.
I call him and he answers. It’s never quite the same and we both know it. Standing in the airport yesterday, I asked the usual question: “Do you want to talk tonight?” Of course. We talk every night. But we both know we wouldn’t have to ask it if we weren’t a thousand miles away.

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