When I walked in, I found S sitting at a tall table with C, and another girl – a new cafe staff member. At first it was awkward; I had a hard time looking at him. They were all trying to eat. Meat naturally. Difficult enough to observe that. But then Nadya showed up with her boyfriend and I made my way over to the bar with them. C came up next to me while I was talking to Nadya and he bought my g&t.
“What’s that for?” I asked him. “To apologize,” he said, “I’ve been having a real tough time lately.”
He didn’t even go to Michigan and he hurt his back. Hasn’t been in touch with good friends. While this all tugged at my heartstrings, I did get in a few good shots at him. When he said he was laid up, because he hurt his back, I asked him if his fingers were broken. He laughed. Jerk.
If it hadn’t been for S’s birthday, and her wiles, would he have reached out to me before I moved? Certainly not.
I had to initiate the goodbye. He hugged me three times – first at his height, then he stooped to my level (ha), and then he kissed my right cheek and found his way to my lips.
“Don’t let me pass by,” I might’ve said. “You’ll regret it.”
He said “I know,” and that’s the last time I saw him. As I drove away, I saw him sitting in his parents’ Subaru, which he hadn’t started up yet, just staring off.