White-hot shock waved out of me. It was Harvey’s voice, his hair shorter than it had been before but still with it’s unmistakeable tight curls that appeared as though they were charged with enough energy to fly off his head. His hair never did though, always remaining as thick on his head as it had been for years. I looked at his skin, it had paled, he was older, gaunter but the familiar warm creases under his eyes were still there, as if he were smiling all the time.
“Wh-where? Harvey!!! Where have you been?! I missed you so much, oh my god are you hurt? We’ve been looking all over. Did someone take you? Are you ill? WHAT happened?”
“I love you. I’m sorry, it wasn’t my fault, you look well, I missed you too. The kettle’s on? Cup of tea?”
“I…” I looked at him. He looked back and I realised that I wouldn’t get the story all at once, it would have to trickle slowly and that if he opened up fully the flood would come and all would be destroyed. It was best to release the pent-up story slowly I realised, cup of tea it was. “Yes, tea, want to watch some TV?”
“Sure.” He got out the spoons from the drawer as I reached and took our favourite mugs from the mug tree, it was like an ancient dance that we’d always done. I got the mugs, he wove around me and got the spoons, I got the tea bags, he got the milk, I spooned the sugar, he poured the water and I mixed, then we took the mugs to the cold water tap and he worked the tap whilst we added some cold water to the tea to make it drinkable. Finally he put the milk and I lifted my mug to taste, it was perfect. The warmth wrapped my face and I spilt a tiny bit on my top. I had been so focused on his face that I wasn’t concentrating on drinking. I didn’t want to take my eyes off him in case he disappeared again. It was like magic.