She was a ghost, a living spirit from almost twenty years ago. I stood staring, watching her walk down that same street we’d walked down together all that time ago. The shops and street design had changed over the years, since I’d last been back to the town, of course. But it was the same street and she was there, unchanged and un-aged from when we walked hand-in-hand down that very street.
She saw me staring and turned to look, then turned back and walked up to an older woman who, somehow, reminded me of her too.
The older woman turned, stared and then marched across the pedestrianised street towards me. She grabbed the ghost from my youth and pulled her along too.
‘Pete?’ the older woman said. ‘Pete, is that really you?’
‘Yes,’ I nodded, smiling when I realised this older woman was Dawn and the other younger version – the image of her younger self – must be her daughter.
‘I thought she was you.’ I nodded towards the daughter as they drew closer.’ She looks so much like you… back in the day.’
Dawn laughed too and hugged me. ‘This is Cathy,’ she said. She turned to her daughter. ‘Pete was the love of my life when I was you age,’ Dawn said.
Cathy, obviously embarrassed, muttered some greeting and then said something about having to go.
Dawn and I turned to watch her leave.
‘She looks so much like you at that age.’ I could hear the wonder in my own voice.
‘That’s just what her dad says too,’ Dawn looked up at me. ‘But every time I look at her I can only see her real father.’
‘I do.’ Dawn nodded, looking into my face. ‘I think she looks just like you.’