A strand of honey hair hugged the straw underneath the inner band. With a softy yet quick tug he pulled it free and out of shadow. It shimmer against the setting sun, like a chain of gold hung ‘round the slender neck of a bright-eyed girl. She’d softly giggled when the cool metal brushed her ivory skin, and turned to kiss him deeply when he’d link the chain together.

With a tepid heart he released it from his grasp, and it flitted away in a breeze.

A loose straw hung on the edge. He pulled it out and held it under his nose. It smelled like sweet summer grass. Of dew laden lovers lying on their backs, and honeyed hair splayed across the verdant. The forests shrouded them in silence. Her lips parted in a smile beneath their kiss, and stood stretching her arms. She was like the moon had come to earth, and shone just for him.

With a trembling sigh he released the yellowed grass and it fluttered to the waves below.

Around the center hung a ribbon, frayed on both ends. It mimicked her eyes, once. Though now gray with age. He held it towards the sea, the wind blowing the frayed edges back towards him. And, try as he might, he could not let it go and stuffed it into his pocket.

He looked over the hat once more: she loved it once, as he loved her. But like so many things: the straw, her honeyed hair, the blue ribbon, she left it behind. “Sorry,” the note said, that sat underneath the hat on the bench in the train station where he worked at. He’d crumbled the note and threw it away. And, like the note, he tossed the hat. It flew out of site and landed on a wave, to be washed away. Somewhere far away. Maybe it’d find her, or maybe it’d wind up in the belly of a sea beast. He didn’t care. As it vanished from sight, he turned away: an arthritic hand wrapped around the end of a cane, and another grasping the ribbon in his pocket.

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