Wanderer by Michelle Elvy
They went to the gallery together but when they stepped through the door their hands drifted apart and they meandered down separate corridors. This is how they always went: travelling together but following two paths. In market streets he’d seek gourmet coffees while she’d follow her nose to the smelliest cheeses; underwater, he’d linger near the colourful sunny surface while she’d dive into deeper blues and purples; on hikes he’d look for shady patches while she’d search out the sun.
Lately, he’d been wondering if she’d wander off forever one day. Now he found himself spying on her in the gallery.
The first time he found her, she stood in front of a portrait of an older woman. It was as if he’d intruded on a fierce conversation, so intent were their locked gazes. He dared not speak.
The next time he found her, she was falling into an Escher-like ocean labyrinth. She tumbled down into spirals and space, and he was sure he could not get her back. He dared not move.
The last time he found her roaming off into the rolling hills of a distant landscape, her body so small in front, as if she were disappearing into the milky greens. He dared not breathe.
But when she turned and caught his eye, her smile opened up like the hills and stretched like the treetops and melted like the oceans. And when he asked “Where to now?” she squeezed his hand and said, “Let’s wander home.”