The light yet sultry aroma floated through the air as I walked through the park. I know that perfume, I thought. Jasmine with a hint of vanilla. It’s got to be her. Ignoring my ever thumping heart, my nose follows the perfume trail.  How does she still have this affect on me? My legs feel as light as air and I don’t even notice how that I’m chasing down this scent. Man, I feel like one of those police dogs….sniffing out for something I’m not even sure is here.

Time suddenly comes to a screeching halt. Memories from long ago flash through my head. How long has it been? 5 years? I picture the last moment we spent together, a warm summer night at the beach. It was her first time there and I wanted to make it memorable.

We spent the whole night going on rides, eating funnel cake smothered in strawberries and jam, and singing along with the oldies band playing Led Zeppelin covers. Hearing her butcher “Kashmir” for ten straight minutes gave me a terrible case of the giggles.

After strolling through the shops and trying on clothes we’d both never wear in public, she shrieked in delight at the sight of the Ferris wheel. “Babe, can we please go on? Pretty please?” I said yes and she skipped off to wait in line.

We rode around too many times to count. She marveled at the aerial view we had of the city. “It’s not nearly as beautiful as you”, I claimed. She turned around and we locked eyes. I touched her soft lips gently and held her in my arms.

As quick as we were to fall in love with each other, it was just as quick for things to come crashing down. She told me one night she was accepted to this prestigious school, and of course I couldn’t deny her the opportunity to go. Even after helping her pack, I was secretly waiting for her to tell me she’s changed her mind. She never did.

“I’ll be back, you’ll see!” 

We kept in touch for a while in the beginning. I was eager to do whatever it took to maintain our now long distance relationship, but eventually it fell apart. She stopped returning my texts and calls, and unfriended me on Facebook. I never expected to see her again, but now, here she was. I wonder if she saw me..Should I call her name? Would the love we shared back then ever be the same?

I felt something on my leg. Slowly coming back to reality, I looked down and noticed a sweet little girl nudging me.

 “Hey mister, have you seen where my mommy went?”

 My eyes grow wide and I start to frown. She looks just like me…

The little girl begins to cry. Behind her, I hear a voice I know all too well yell, “Jazmine, where are you Jazmine?” My mouth damn near dropped to my knees. 

It is her.

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The gentle voice moves closer, bringing with it the sweet lilac scent. 

“Mommy, mommy, I’m happy I found you!” Brandi swiftly picks up the girl. Her daughter? She seems just as shocked as I am. “Wow…I never thought I’d see you again”, I said cautiously. Am I dreaming?

Brandi saw my eyes dart from the little girl to her. My mouth opened but nothing would come out. My words melted in my mouth like hot soup.

Brandi saw me struggling for words and said, “Remember the time on the old Ferris wheel?”

This story was re-written and edited on August 9th, 2019.