Kassandra’s kind heart leapt at the sound of her old friend’s voice. Despite the way they had parted, despite all the years since, the intervening episodes of life, loss, and growing up, despite Sasha’s involvement in David’s life, Kassandra could be nothing but happy that their reunion had finally come to pass.
Damp with sweat from working on her mural all day, she stepped down from her old apple ladder and wrapped Sasha in a muscular hug. “Hello, friend,” Kassandra offered quietly. She released Sasha and stepped back, maintaining a gentle hold on her friend’s thin arms. “You are as beautiful as I remember.”
“I don’t think so. But it’s kind of you to say it, anyway.” Sasha loosed an arm from Kassandra’s grip, and pushed a strand of hair out of her eyes. Kassandra saw a strain in her friend’s gesture. “How are you, K.?”
“Great Sasha, just great. I’m so glad you’re here. I want to have a long catch up session, and soon.” Sasha smiled, but looked away, toward the street. “Tonight?” Kassandra continued. “I’ve got to clean up and get to work now, but I get off at seven. Let me make you a late dinner?”
“I don’t know. I just got here – not sure what the plan is for tonight.” Something in Sasha’s tone told Kassandra her friend had a precise plan for that evening. “If I’m free, I’ll meet you at your work at seven, how about?”
“Sure,” Kassandra answered, trying to keep her voice easy. “It’s the coffee shop, just three blocks down that way, on the right. I’ll give you my cell number, so you can text me if you’re running late.”
Sasha shook her head, and smiled again. The gesture reminded Kassandra of how they’d looked like sisters, back in the day. “No worries, K. If I’m not there at seven, just assume something else came up. I’ll find you again before I leave town, I’m sure.” She offered another brief hug, and headed off down the sidewalk.
Kassandra watched Sasha walk away, hair swinging in the afternoon sunshine. Only then did it occur to her to wonder why her encounter with Sasha had taken place at Marilyn’s old house – Douglas’s place.
David. Sasha had been looking for David.
In a glimmer of heat rising from the sidewalk, Kassandra glimpsed that carefree teenager she’d loved and lost. She wondered if anyone would mistake them for sisters now.