The bohemian flicks she put on her trailing letters. The extravagant curls on her vowels. He could recognise her writing anywhere. Even now.
He delicately traced a thumb across the words on the tag. A blanket of ink chased his touch over the pale cardboard. It was fresh.
He fought the urge to scan the room. He didn’t know who he was looking for. After all, eight years is a long time.
“Where do you want to be?” the sign above the exhibition demanded. He glanced down at the message in his hands.
“Paris, 2002,” she had answered.
It was raining. They danced through the concrete pavements, weaving in and out of the puddles on the grey stone. The warm lights of the hotel shone ahead through the storm.
They didn’t exchange a word in the room. She sat on the bed and dried her hair with a soft, white towel. He idly flicked through news channels and incomprehensible French soaps. They spent the majority of the holiday in that hotel room.
He hadn’t cast a thought in her direction for six years. He ran his eyes across the tag again, scouring the letters for clues. There was nothing there to betray the author. No address. No job title. No wedding ring.
His curiosity faded and the message fell from his hand. It idly swung from a piece of frayed string.
“Can I do one?” a small voice from his side said.
He nodded and passed a blank piece of card to the girl, smiling as her face scrunched up in concentration.
Eventually, he picked her up and together they tied the tag to the wall. She asked him if they were allowed to put it over the other messages. He glanced at the echo from the past – now half-hidden by his daughter’s crayon contribution – and reassured her.
“We better be going,” he suggested. “Your mother will be waiting for us.”
Word count: 327