"Thank you for this whole day. It was pleasant. I really enjoyed being able to talk and laugh with you again. I missed that."
"Yeah, me too. But you know that this doesn't mean..." he began but did not continue, unsure of how to phrase his next words.
"Of course I do, honey. You don't have to push the knife any deeper." She paused to allow him time to process what she had said. "Don't worry," she assured, "Any hope I've held has been sufficiently squashed. But just so you know," she raised herself on her toes and wrapped her arms around his neck in a hug as she whispered, "the hope will never really completely go away, no matter how much I try to ignore it." Releasing herself from the embrace, she continued, "But there's nothing you can do about that."
As she walked away, she realized that what she had missed most of all was the feeling of his hand on the small of her back as he pressed her close to him in a brief but lingering hug; she knew she had missed that most because he had given her another dose of it before saying goodbye.
It appeared she would be suffering from withdrawal yet again that night.
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