Walking up to the closed door of her favourite coffee shop, Giselle, put her phone away and pushed the golden rose handle.
Everytime she entered this place it felt to her as breaching throught an invisible barrier, into a different world.
Giselle looked up from the handle and, amost instinctivly, gazed at the waiter with the arm tattoo.
As always their looking into each other's souls lasted for a few strange - in the best possible way - seconds.
Ordering the same drink and pastry every time makes it feel like a shared habit between the two, the kind that could easily be found in any romantic relationship.
She enjoyed much more seeing this ritual in that way.
Sunday mornings don't usualy bring many clients to the shop, leaving him enough time to arange her napkin into a perfectly executed origami swan.
'They say that if one manages to make a thousand of these, will be presented with an eternity of good luck.'
'Why would you need an eternity of luck, if you can't live forever?' - she cleverly asked him, making this their very first conversation that didn't involve an order.
His mouth shaped into a soft smiled 'Good question. I'm Mario. I'm not realy counting them so it's possible this was my thousand swan.'
'This means that from now on you are forever a lucky man.'
'Maybe the lucky bits were already in my life and I simply failed to reach them.' - those ridiculous puppy eyes looking righ through hers.
Giselle sat at the second table counting from the window and Mario went about is business attending the ever increasing amount of people that arrived as the clock got closer to noon.
Most faces were familiar to both of them, another habit maybe.
Throughout this rainy November morning, their communication happened only by looks and facial expressions.
If a client was being too picky or taking too much time, an eye roll from Mario was followed by a small laugh from table seven.
When a group of hangover university students showed up being loud and obnoxious, a raised eyebrow and opened eye signaled 'here we go again.'
Their next encounters happened like this, sharing looks diferently than before that day but still in the same will-they-won't-they way.
On one of their long staring contests, Giselle smacked the coffee of a freshman while trying to wave goodbye resulting in a burned chin and a ride to the hospital.
Despite the doctor's insistence, the freshman (whom Giselle now knew was called Alex) assured her that the burning was not a consequence of any kind of hazing or bullying that happened to her.
Giselle, feeling enormously guilty, asked numerous times if Alex would be alright, to which the doctor answered yes every time, a little anoyed and still believing that Alex's burned chin was a sort of innitiation.
After this incident, Giselle and Alex would continue seeing each other, at first partialy due to her guilt. As it turns out, Alex was the kindest person to ever cross her life.
Her passion for horror movies and the make-up needed for groutesque scenes was almost incompatable with her sweet and generous way of living.
And this paradox, this instriguing mistery was to blame for their falling in love.
How did this love story endend? In death, of course. Alex's death, more precisily.
It lasted for decades,
brought half a dozen more humans to the world,
as cute and sweet love stories generaly do.
What about Mario?
Well, he built his life with a lovely, hardworking nurse that worked in the hospital Alex had her burns looked after.
And for him as well, life went on.
The funny thing about them, about this ambigous stare, I think, is quite obviously its ambiguity that,
combined with the strenth of old regrets,
made them wonder during those years in a continuous rythm of 'what if.'
To me, it's incredibly funny how we can live a full and happy life
and still find our minds wondering through those hidden old corners of our memory,
in search of that origami and the look that acompanied it.
These deep desires she kept burying and burying in insignificance all through those years
just came crawling back when she layed eyes on Mario being carryed away in a wheelchair to the hospital elevator.
There she was, again, bursting through those barriers, slowly moving her eyes to meet Mario's.
It would have been nice that these many decades had passed and they ended up meeting at that old, memory filled, coffee shop,
but that thing has been demolished, along with all of antique buildings, to give space for brand new buildings made out of plastic bricks as easy to build as a child's toy - because it was inspired by a toy.
Giselle didn't aproach Mario
or tryed to shout for him
because that flash of her memory came just long enough to make her eyes shine with joy
and let loose a tear of happiness one last time.
Her Alzheimer's was in a terminal stage, too cruel to let her keep that memory.
As the shine in sweet Giselle's eyes grew smaller, so did Giselle herself.
We are our experiences, the people we love. We are defined by what we live and we keep all of it with us, maintaining who we are, through our memories.
To be striped of them is to be robbed of who we are. To die not only not knowing who you are but also that you are is to me simply put cruel.