She arrived with two friends, laughing loudly as young girls do. I was sure it was her, though it was the first time I’d seen her in person. I couldn’t figure out why she looked familiar to me. She smiled and flashed a breezy hello before telling her friends where to meet her later. “Hi. Let’s go for a walk.”
I was there because the curiosity was more than I could bear. What could this girl (how old was she? fifteen? sixteen?) want to tell me? What did she want to ask me? How did she even know who I am? I had to find out.
As we walked along the water, she talked as if she’d known me forever. She told me pointless stories about something her friend said, about a television show I’d never seen, about a band I’d never heard of. Soon we came to a cafe with a patio and I suggested we stop there for ice cream or something. She agreed and ordered a coffee. “Wouldn’t you prefer a mocha?” I asked. She smiled, but said nothing.
After a minute or two, her coffee and my milkshake arrived and for the first time since we’d been together there was silence. I waited for her to explain to me what this was about.
“What did you want to ask me?” she said. This took me by surprise. I was expecting her to ask me something. To tell me something. I had no frame of reference to even begin asking questions. I was about to tell her that, but when I spoke I suddenly said something I didn’t expect.
“Is your birthday the same as mine?” “Yes.” “Did you choose that day?” “Yes.” “Is that why you died when you did?”