In Chelsea Market by Loren Rea
This story is one of the May Writing Challenge entries chosen to be a featured story.
It was him; I was sure of it. The cadence of his walk, how he tilted his head slightly to the side when examining something he contemplated purchasing, the dimple only on his right cheek, all of it like an arrow pointing to the fact that he was back in New York, and just so happened to be here. I weaved my way through the unforeign crowd of foreigners in Chelsea Market, moving closer to him with every step and occasional stumble that is inevitable with the chaos of this concrete jungle I call home. But all I could think about as our bodies came in closer proximity of each other was how every time I gave him a ring, it was silence that answered the phone, and how little intolerances were set ablaze into passionate arguments because he could never focus in on me for long enough to see how distraught I always was. None of that changed the fact that it had been three years since we were together, and resisting the urge to want our lips to no longer be strangers is a seemingly cruel task.
In my mind all it would take was just one moment, where our eyes would come in contact with one another, and he might wave a happily surprised to see me kind of hello, and we’d be golden. We would yet again be the infamous Ronnie and Mason, who would pick up where we left up. With the scar I have on my ankle from the time we went hiking, but the storm from the day before made the trail slippery and I lost my balance, to the coffee stain he made that I’ve always jokingly said complements my favorite white tee, part of me feels like he’s never truly left. Yet again, how could I be oblivious to his overwhelming absence. In need of courage to face him after the way he left the morning before our wedding, sly as a fox and as honest as any man could be, I whispered to myself, “You’re doing this because you love him.” I touched Mason gently on the shoulder, my lungs forgetting how to do their one job and breathe, but then my words failed me too, and I stood there speechless. I’d imagined my love in a stranger’s face; there was just something about him, and something about it.