They’d meet at the same time every Sunday, order the same meals, and share the same conversation from the week before—a temporary lighthouse for two ships adrift at sea.

The younger one was always early, and the only thing that kept her mind from wandering back to life at home was wondering about the restaurant’s signs and why there were two of them. Their favorite waiter would save the window booth for them, and Carly would stare at the neon letters and ponder the question and come up with the same answer each time.

It’s because of the walkers. This one is for those hungry folks passing by on foot.

She’d bow her head and laugh, her thought moving to the restaurant’s name and why a place called “Sunset” was open for breakfast.

/ / /

They weren’t twins or sisters, but they drove identical cars. They also looked enough alike that most people thought they were siblings, and when someone posed the question Carly and Josephine wouldn’t deny it. Sometimes the story even went like this:

They were born a year apart, first Josephine, then Caroline, and both were given up for adoption. Their new families would serendipitously move to the same suburb in the same zip code, two young lives once flung apart not to other ends of the earth to be brought together well into adulthood for a heartfelt and tearful reunion but to the very same neighborhood, separated by a few streets. They would meet at age nine and ten and discover the truth about their pasts.

Some people didn’t buy the tale, but most thought it too crazy to be fiction. The nonbelievers would smile and nod and usually try to end the conversation, making up their own story about a late appointment or an errand to run, but the faithful almost always wanted to hear more.

/ / /

Fo(u)nd Memories is now a published short story collection! To read the full story, order a copy here.