Ubiquitous

Missed Connections 

Saw you on 34th and 7th. Thursday the 8th, around 2 in the afternoon.

Hey, Tall Dark and Handsome.

I like saying that as if it is your name. In fact, as I was typing this, I said it out loud five times. Hey, Tall Dark and Handsome. It almost dances off the tongue, don’t you think?

I’ve seen you many times before, and sometimes, I wonder if you’re everywhere, lingering on all the different corners, your back against a building, gazing over a crowd of tourists, walking briskly on your way to work or standing on the curb, hailing a taxi. I’ve thought to say hello, introduce myself, but there is always something holding me back- old anxieties, new ones, the monitor on my left ankle, always blinking up at me (that’s a joke, I promise).

I saw you again two weeks ago Thursday.

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You were walking this time, right hand in the front pocket of those deep gray tailored slacks you like to wear. I sometimes wonder if you own five pair. They fit wonderfully, but you must know that, can feel it when you run your hands over the fabric as you pull them on, fasten them.

Instead of the pastel button down (and dark colored tie of the same hue) you usually wear, you’d chosen a forest green golf shirt, which surprised me a little. It’s alright, I like surprises. They keep me on my toes.

You turned left at the intersection (another surprise) and walked at a brisk pace for several minutes. Something important was on your mind. I didn’t like the way whatever was worrying you wrinkled the skin next to your ears and eyes. I wouldn’t say it made you unattractive, but it added an unwelcome element to your overall persona that gave me pause. I have to admit, I almost walked away, but I had to know where you were going first.

I didn’t hear what you called her (I’ll pretend it was Beulah, I’ve always hated that name), and I pretended not to notice the way she touched your shoulder, so natural, like her hand belonged on your body. I even tired not to notice if she was pretty (I guess some might find her so), or if she were thin, heavy, or athletic (she was frail, shorter than me, but more hippy, if that’s a thing).

The two of you sat out on the cafe patio in plastic chairs around a plastic table, and the server brought water first, then pretentious white wine for her, a glass of something caramel colored for you. I watched with fascination as you sipped without a grimace, the fullness of your lower lip exposed on the bottom of the glass. Then you winked at her. The act gave you an unexpected humanness, and for a moment, I had to turn away.

When I looked back, she’d placed her hand in yours, and it was clear the conversation had turned. I thought I saw tears on her cheeks, and a deep sigh come from your chest. For the briefest moment I hoped I was watching the break-up, the end of the relationship, and I almost felt sad, as if somehow I was to blame for what had transpired.

Then I saw it on her finger, a platinum band and six smaller stones surrounding an epic diamond in the middle. You’d asked, and she’d said yes.

I slumped down onto the sidewalk, feeling that all to familiar sensation: a mix of hatred, sadness and repugnance. A sudden sickness overwhelmed me. I stood and rushed to a nearby garbage bin. As I threw up, through the choking and stinging tears, it came to me. I knew what to do, I just knew.

They won’t find her body, at least not anytime soon. I observe and watch. I take careful notes. I’m cautious and deliberate. I make sure. I’m always sure.

In time, you’ll get over her. The sadness will be gone, and you’ll understand. You’ll be free. Any lingering memories will be like tiny pin pricks, moments when you’ll feel gratitude that her vanishing kept you from making the worst mistake of your life.

When that day comes, and it will, I’ll be ready, waiting.

One afternoon, you will round a corner, that placid look I adore so much back on your face, and I will be there, in the center of the sidewalk, arms open, ready to love you in the way you deserve. Because just like you, I am everywhere. Unlike you, I see everything.

Until then, I will be patient.

All my love,

Plain Jane.

 

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About fenster

There are some who call me, Tim?

6 responses to “Ubiquitous”

  1. kimberleycooperblog says :

    Oh, I like this. Dark and sinister. Scarily possible.

  2. Beth Camp says :

    Oh, it’s hard to really like this one, even as you bring the reader right down deep into this narrator’s dark, dark heart. Especially twisted for me was that moment the narrator maybe sees the girl with a tear, the boy with a sigh. That moment is so open to interpretation (more than a breakup, is the girl pregnant?), but our narrator has a solution. Very well written.

  3. Liesbet says :

    I’m thoroughly enjoying your flash fiction, Ryan, and your non-fictional life events as well. Keep them coming! 🙂

    Liesbet @ Roaming About – A Life Less Ordinary

    • fenster says :

      Thank you. I don’t know about you, but I need a blog break. Ha! Maybe take the first week of may and, oh, I don’t know, road trip!

      • Liesbet says :

        Booked a trip to Belgium to see friends and family on May 1st. 🙂 And, to get a blog break. But, need to catch up on all my normal “April blogs”. I have disappeared from the radar during this month. Enjoy your road trip!

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