I am here, sitting outside, shivering away. My teeth will not stop chattering, and I have lost the ability to feel my fingers. But I will not move. I am going to continue to wait out here, for you. It is crowded inside – what if you can’t find me and decide to leave? Well, there is no way you cannot see me now. Truthfully, this is my fault. I kept worrying about being late that I ended up coming here a lot earlier than I had planned. I always make it awkward when I am waiting alone in a public space. I hate that about myself. I clutch the small cup of coffee in my hand hoping that it will warm me up, even just a little.
That is when I hear it — my name sounds the best coming from your lips. You are here, just like you promised. I go in for one of your awesome hugs, but I don’t think you were ready. Like the gentlemen that you are, you hold out the door for me, and we walk into the café. I decide that one cup of coffee is enough for me, but you want to order something, of course. I will find somewhere for the two of us to sit. It is packed, and I regret not waiting inside now. Luckily, a couple is picking up their bags to leave. I rush over to them and drop my purse down on the table. I smile at them as they walk out eyeing me. Nothing is going to ruin today for me. It is finally happening.
My eyes will not leave you alone as you wait for your order at the pick-up corner. Not much has changed since I last saw you. You look almost the same. That is reassuring. You sit down with tea, not coffee and a muffin, blueberry, your favorite. That is so you. I could have ordered that for you. You look tense, I can tell. It has been a long while, but you still look great, better even. How is that possible? You look more mature, more grown. Don’t worry, it’s a good thing. We are technically adults now. We are talking a lot: complaining about adulthood and reminiscing about college days. We smile at the past we share and shake our heads at the crazy decisions which ended up becoming the best memories. I let out a breath of relief, happy to know that we can still meet like this, that we can still do this. I was always the most relaxed in your company; I still am.
I notice a crumb of blueberry muffin on your cheek. I smile and involuntarily reach out to brush it off your face. My hand is getting closer to that area between the cheek and the corner of your lips. The tips of my fingers are coming into your view and you react by moving your upper body back, tilting your head up. I pause because I know I made a mistake. My fingers start to retract, but I’m not sure if I’m the one moving them. I blink a few times but quickly stop. If I continue, then I might become teary eyed and that, would not be appropriate. I feel my hands clasping together, placing themselves above my lap, hiding from you. One stupid action on my part and this reunion is completely ruined. Gone are the laughter and happy talks as we stare at our respective table corners in silence. Why am I such an idiot? It took me so much courage to ask you to meet me again and here I am, as always, fucking things up. Can I ever make things right between us? I just want – I just want to turn back the time. I only need a few seconds. That’s it. You down what is left of your tea and toss back the muffin. Kindly, you put my empty cup on your tray but avoid my nod of thanks. I look up, and you look up. Diverting my gaze, I quietly stare at you, pondering. I wonder if you can hear my thoughts. Are you thinking the same things? You really haven’t changed since I last saw you, but somehow everything is different. We are running in opposite directions. No, in fact, you are running in front of me while I am jogging backwards, hoping to salvage the past. What’s there left to do besides watch, as you get up to leave? I guess we both had our turn in doing that.