You walk the same path with someone for such a long time that you start taking your common journey for granted, you just expect it that when you turn right, they also do, when you jump over the puddle, they’ll avoid it too, and if they stumble along the rocky road and you pick them up and patch up their bloody knees, they’ll do the same for you. Just because. Because what? Because that’s how you expect their heart to work?
But then you lift your gaze to look up at the starts on a hot summer night and when your eyes fall back on the one whose hand you’re holding, your heart skips more than just one beat. You’re walking beside a stranger. You look into those eyes you could read so well, you search for familiar gestures – you even manage to spot a couple of them from time to time – you squeeze their hand tighter and you curl into a ball in their embrace, desperately hoping to be able to feel the usual chocolate smell of their skin.
You don’t recognise this person you’re staring at now, hopelessly yelling at them, demanding that they answer your questions: “Who are you? What have you done with him? When did you replace him and how did I not notice it earlier?” You’re left with no answer. “What are you talking about? I’m myself, the same person I was 5 minutes ago. Who are you?…”