Issue > Fiction
Allison Li

Allison Li

Allison Li was born in China but is a kiwi at heart and calls Auckland her home. She studied health psychology at the University of Auckland and currently works in mental health. Her writings have appeared in Potroast, Landfall and Blackmail Press.

Sakura


You are moving to America to become a young academic.

We meet at the campus bar where we frequented as students. You look impeccable as always, though the sharp edges of your tall frame have softened with time. I smile and suggest that we celebrate with champagne. Sighing quietly, you run a tired hand through your hair. It is hard to know what you are thinking. I don't prompt, and you don't say. I raise my glass to you with perfect composure. You are the first one to look away.

I can smell the scent of cherry blossoms and your cologne. Five springs ago, sakura petals rained from the sky and fluttered around us like pink snow. We watched the blossoms complacently, our shoulders almost touching, before they scattered into the wind. I remember the way you picked petals out of my hair, your eyes tender and your face alight with happiness. Time came to a standstill. My heart swelled with something raw and not particularly crafted, echoing love.

We made a habit to banter late into the night. It was the closest thing to foreplay we allowed ourselves to have. In my dreams, you lock your arms around my waist from behind to whisper good morning into my ear. Now my fingers hover over your cheek in a voiceless plea. You don't tell me the three words you have never said. Your eyes are bruised pieces of asphalt and I cannot find my own reflection.

Regret hangs precariously in the air. I don't say goodbye, like I wanted, nor do I ask you to stay, like I wanted.

I simply let you walk away in silence.

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