"Hello?" The old man shouted, hand on his belt and the other smacking the door. "Hello?" He asked again and looked at his dark horse pitched to the outside stoop. It's big feet digging in the dirt in wait.
Carefully Clinton pushed through and felt the swollen door crack as it stuck. Putting his big shoulder on it the door busted open and into a living room.
Clinton came into the house, looking at the old peeled ceiling. He looked at the mantle over a big suit of armor, it's sword being held out by plated gauntlets. The other swords hung by knotted chords, reflecting the open window’s light onto the rest of the house. Clinton's lumbery form crackled across the wood floor, his gloved hands grabbing the back of the dining room seat. Out of the window he admired the sunset, and the dark form hanging in the sky, still there all this time. Clinton wondered whether he or the habitat in the sky would be first to go.
Feet smacked down the stairs behind him, but he felt no need to turn around. He knew who she was, and she knew he was just a visitor from the old days. "I wish you would have knocked."
She made her way to the table, holding on to the couch on the way over to steady herself. Her white gown rolled all the way to her wrists, from the looks of her hair she rarely left bed for an old woman. "Are you glad I came, Julia?"
She laid her head against her hands and stared at him, "right now." He smiled and saw the treeline of her home's clearing, birds landing in mass. She spoke again, "It's been a long time since I saw you. Thinking maybe you had died."
He smiled, "I thought the same. As long as it took to find you in retirement."
"I've always been the best at hiding." She stood up, reaching for wine.
"No I'll go get us a drink. I'm still fit"
Clinton smiled but knew she didn't mind his mean humor. Clinton quietly poured drinks and brought the glasses back with the rest of the bottle. "I've wondered since we last saw each other. We did so much with our lives when we were younger. I don't know what is left to do now. Since we lived such errant lives for so long."
Julia drank her wine, it smelt acrid but tasted sweet. "You don't know what's there left to us?"
She sank in her seat and watched the last light poking out. The pink clouds above the sun casting into her eyes. "You can follow like me, lead a quiet life."
Clinton's glove gripped his drink, "but someone might come back after me. I don't want to start a family and they'd always be in trouble."
She looked at him as the sun went down. The walls went grey and dark. Clinton continued. "If I'm still alive then all that's ahead must be hell."
Julia reached for him and held his wrist, but didn't say anything. They thought for a minute until she spoke, "The worst is behind you now."
Clinton asked to stay awhile longer, but ended up helping her to bed. Julia was dark upstairs, with the windows drawn. Clinton sat at the end of her bed, taking the sheathed sword off his hip and laying it across his lap to sit comfortably. Clinton asked her, "Do you miss him?"
She made a sad sigh. "I do."
Clinton thought about her and Sam, he decided he would be careful with her. She leaned back, "He was the only friend I ever had."
He let her talk now. "But he doesn't get older, he doesn't get old and die. I can't remember half of what he said to me Patrick."
"I'm your friend Julia. I'm still alive, and I've found you now." She was breathing slower now, starting to cry.
"And if he won't ever get old, that means he can't ever forget you."
Julia spoke, "I know you're right," then softer, "But he lives other lives. And we are still right here."
She pictured them together, young again on the roof of that abandoned church, surrounded by the lights of the city. She could smell the vodka and the wool blanket wrapped around Sam's young body, cold air sticking through and tickling her back. She stayed silent next to him, letting him sleep. Watching him, her held breath filled them both with love. And thinking back the memory hurt in a way she couldn't describe. She felt gone.
"If I could go back. Be young and righteous. To see him safe one more time and know he was there with me. Just for a little longer, even knowing he would leave me again anyway." She sighed, thinking about starting over. "I don't think I would."
Julia's freckled face looked at him, glistening with tears.
Clinton told her, "But we don't get to make those choices."