"Max."

Her voice pierced me. Filled me with haunting wonder and an endless amount of questions. I was paralyzed, completely unable to apprehend any of it. Frozen in sheer bewilderment.

She was alive.

Standing right in front of me. In my very own doorway. Tall and stunning, like a goddess from above. Our eyes met.

"Mona."

The name escaped my mouth. I sounded weak and unsure. Like a child apologizing for his bad behavior, ashamed of his actions. But I had to say something, I had to react somehow. A way of acknowledging her presence.

Mona smiled. It was a winner's smile. She knew how much I longed for her.

"Aren't you going to ask me in?"

I didn't answer. She didn't expect me to.

I stepped to the side, making just enough room for her to pass through, still looking straight into her eyes. I couldn't look away. I couldn't lose her again.

She smiled and stepped inside. Slowly glided past me, easy and steady, like a tiger just about to attack. Still smiling her mysterious, yet seducing smile, as if she knew my deepest, darkest secrets. She probably did.

Mona sat down on my couch, one leg over the other, and ran her eyes through the apartment. It was a mess. I hadn't cleaned up in a long time, and there was painkillers and empty bottles lying everywhere. Stuff that I thought would ease the pain. It never did. I felt embarrassed, but she didn't seem to care. She looked up at me, and broke the silence:

"Did you miss me?"

She was playing games with me. With my emotions.

I hated her for making me feel this way.

"I thought you were dead…"

I said the obvious. Mona was loving it.

"So did I…" She started. "…But god had other plans in mind…"

For a moment I thought she was serious. Mona, a religious person? Then I noticed the grin on her face. She laughed. We both laughed.

"Sit down next to me," she said and tapped the couch.

I noticed the serious look on her face. She wasn't teasing.

I did as she told me. Sat down next to her, without losing eye contact.

We were closer than ever. Uncomfortably close, if she had been a stranger. A guest. But she wasn't.

She was everything I wanted. Everything I ever needed.

She was perfect.

"Mona…" I heard myself say. "I love you."

I had to tell her.

She grabbed my hand.

"I know." She said.

Mona leaned over and kissed me. Passionately. Intensely.

Her lips against mine. Her skin against mine.

She was alive.