You

The picture of you two is striking, the word is perfect to describe what I see, far before my lifetime.

Neither of you are smiling. I feel happy looking at it. You are beautiful, he is dapper. You are not as I see you today, carrying the marks of the last five decades with you– adorable, smiling figures who welcome me with love every vacation.

I see you today, content or angry, and I wonder about my future. The ego-centricism is showing, I know. Will I be like you one day, or will my life follow a different path entirely? You look at me, facing the camera head-on from the past.

I found another photograph, cake in one of your hands as you feed the other, the family looking on.

From the stern to the smiling, the transition is strange but natural. You retain your beauty and he his whiskers and neatly parted hair. The short hair I played with as a child, combing into white tufts that stood up from your scalp.

Today everything has changed, the joy I found being with you is marred by worry. You were often anxious about me then. The roles are reversed, I worry about you: one of you has forgotten me, the other constantly fretting about everything. The foundation of my childhood is gone, the stability I saw from your hand-made birthday cards, lemon juice in the sweltering summers, stories and phone calls has left me; bereft of your comfort.

For eighteen years you defined summer for me, your home my second. The white walls, the carpets, the ceilings, the brick mural, I have memorised all of them, just as I know your faces. They have not changed as much as we have.

I dream of those summers.

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