"I'll be 69 this year."
I lifted my eyes from my book, struggling with my irritation. Across from me sat a woman, her eyes clouded with reflection as she stared over my shoulder. "Forty years I could have spent with someone who adored me if I hadn't have been so blind."
I blinked. I couldn't quite tell if she was actually speaking to me. I folded my book around my thumb and waited. The ache in her voice spoke to the same in mine and I refused to look at my phone that had hummed more than once, someone far off asking for attention, consideration, forgiveness.
At last her eyes settled on me. "If you even meet someone who looks you in the face and sees you, young lady, really sees you, don't run away. Be afraid. Be terrified. But don't run away." A tear welled up and tipped over her lashes, disappearing into the furrowed lines of her cheeks. "I could have had that sort of love they write poems about."