She finds them at the bottom of empty glass cups, the ice cubes melted into a honey colored film at the base. This is when the memories swell, pictures so vivid it feels impossible to be so far apart.
Outside the clouds are thick, a gray rug across the sky; the lake is eerily calm, a translucent sheet of water. She peels her forearms off the sticky plastic table and remembers the taste of salt on her lips, sour leftovers of margarita mix. Days like these she longs for the pub at the bottom of the hill, the dark wooden corner booths radiating warmth, a cozy lure away from responsibilities, worries.
She winds down damp sidewalks dizzy with nostalgia to share, but they never were a sentimental bunch. A voice cuts through the miles, a flippant response about how she’ll find new friends, make new memories. The voice doesn’t understand, and she thinks maybe the nonchalance is a sort of defense anyway.
She tilts another empty cup, peering through the crystal. It is a slow letting go that echoes in the intermittent plinks of rain against the foggy windows.