It's Good To See You Again

August 18, 2010
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The busy shoppe smells of coffee.
There are people left and right, front and back.
I grab my cappuccino and turn around, trying to push through the line to get to
the doors.
But, something makes me look up.
It's the sound of a voice I haven't heard in a long time.

This is the first time I've seen you since graduation.
High school graduation.
You look good; healthy.
You're taller.
Still taller than me.
I still have to tilt my head to look at your face.
But only a little now, because I'm wearing heels.

Your dark brown hair used to sweep across your brow.
Now, though, it's shorter.
I little too short for my liking, but you still look good.
Short hair, halfway between your brow and your hair line, makes you look more
More, professional.
I'm so tempted to brush my hair through it, just quickly, to see how it feels.
But I can't, because it'd be rude.

You seem, well, bigger!
It looks like you have more muscles.
But let's not dwell on that.
I'll faint if I think about it too much.
Are you a professional athlete or something?

It looks like the only thing that is exactly the same is, your eyes.
They're still the same root-beer-brown I remember.
I've told you this once already; in ninth grade.
I remember you laughed.
But not at me.
With me.
I wonder if you remember, as I stand here just staring into them.
Your eyes are still as kind as ever.
Still as caring and loving as ever.

I see you looking at me, as I look you up and down.
“Wow,” you say. “How long's it been? Four, five years?”
“Six, actually.”
“Oh, well you look,” you take a minute to gather your thoughts, “amazing.”
“Thanks,” I say, involuntarily holding my hand out, ”you too.”
You look at my hand, my left hand, the one that's out there.

Your smile fades, then comes back slightly.
I'm a little confused.
What's wrong?
“You're married?”
I glance down at my hand also, and pull it back.
“Yeah.” I try to sound upbeat, happy, cheery.
I don't think it works.
“Do you, um, have time to talk?”
You point to a table on the other side of the coffee shoppe.
I smile.

We sift through the people, waiting for their lattes and cappuccinos.
Frappes and Chai Teas.
Arriving at the empty table, we sit and you stare at my hand some more.
“Is it anyone I know?” you ask.
“Do you remember Hayden? Martin? From high school?”
“Yeah. Yeah I do. He's a lucky man.”
“Yeah,” I smile and look at my ring.
I remember the good times Hayden and I had had.
But then I remember you sitting there, across from me.

“Uh,” I start, “are you? Married, I mean?”
“Umm, no. Nope haven't found her yet.”
“Oh,” I look back down at my hands, “Well, I hope you do. She'd be very lucky.”
I look back up at you, and am comforted by what I see:

The oh, so familiar smile that I have missed all these years.
The way your teeth are still so white.
The way you still have that one tooth, that is the tiniest bit crooked.
I've longed to see that smile.
It's the only thing that got me through our first year of high school.

The thing that brings me back to reality, my cell phone, starts vibrating in my pocket.
I take it out and look at the screen.
Just a calender alert.
The words on the screen say,”Pick up kids from Daycare”.
“I, um, I—“
“Is everything all right?” You sound concerned.
“Yeah, I just. My kids.”
“Oh, well, let me walk you to your car.”

We walk to my Mommy-Mini-Van, as Hayden calls it.
You open the driver's side door and I climb in.
You close the door and I roll down the window.
“It was good to see you again,” you tell me.
“Yeah, it was good to see you, too.”
“Maybe we could do it again? Ya know, with the families. I can borrow my niece for a while.”
“Haha, sure. I'd love to.”
You write something on a piece of paper and hand it to me.
Your phone number.
“Call anytime. Literally, I'm usually not doing anything.”
I laugh a little. “Will do.”
Okay then, see you later. Bye, Gina.” And you walk away.

I sigh and roll up my window.
I look at the reflection in my rear view mirror.
You look back, but turn around and walk to the other end of the parking lot.
“Bye, Leo.”
I say it even though you can't hear me.
I start my car and it starts to rain and I start to laugh, because it's as if the world knows how I'm feeling.

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