I know I saw you. Just a glimpse, a tall figure head and shoulders above the crowd. I push and weave upstream, ignoring the exclamations as I step on feet, bumping into people left and right as I cannot spare a second to take my eyes off you. It never occurs to me to wonder why you and I are going in the opposite direction from everyone else. You’re too far away to hear me and the press of people is too tight for me to draw breath to call your name. So, I press on. It cannot end this way. I shouldn’t have said what I did. I must explain. The sky is getting darker and I panic as I almost lose sight of you. It’s hot and smoky and I begin to cough. There’s a garbled message coming from bullhorns somewhere, something about evacuating without delay. Between wheezing breaths, I remember. Wildfire danger. We were so intent on screaming at each other this morning that we didn’t turn on the TV or the radio, and then you stormed out. Suddenly a police officer grabs my shoulders, turns me around and pushes me in the same direction as the crowd.
“Lady, no one’s going any further that way. Move it, now!”
I frantically try to tell him that I saw you, that you must be in danger.
He shakes his head.
“Nobody’s being allowed to go that way. Too late if he did go.”
I squirm away from his grasp, but the momentum of the crowd sucks me forward. And when I looked again, you were gone.