Once, in Beijing, you were there. You were here. Doorway. Phone. Stammer.

She clutched round her that red gown, shawl over shoulders, and stood. Stands?

I am across the street, with you. Table. Café. On the table: phone, keys, change. Two glasses.

One and a half minutes ago, I hit "record" on the phone and slid the phone toward you. Between you and me.

You cleared your throat, and said:

Once, in Beijing, you were there. A young girl, a gown too big. You saw a couple across the street. One older, thin, thin-lipped, a look of resignation. One younger, one who would laugh twice, brittle.

One stood up, pocketed a phone. Walked away. Paused. Looked toward you, in the doorway, then away.


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preterite (joined about 12 years ago)
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second-person return


Once, in Beijing, a young girl in a red gown huddled in a doorway.
Prompt suggested by Galen


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