You never know what you really have until you lose it. And you never know what you really want until you see it, grab it, hold it close, it’s snatched away from you; and is hung over your head deriding your sudden helplessness to retrieve it.
I realized this when I saw him standing there.
Someone once told me that the grass was much greener on the other side. I’m there. And it isn’t much better. There are still patches of unfertilized mud making their dictatorship over the barely visible dried-up streaks of will-powered jade minorities.
All in all—my lawn still sucks.
I told myself this as the cashier tried for the 6th time to make a miracle out of the most overused mishap in my insubstantial life. Credit card malfunction.
She looked up; as if waiting for me to make this issue magically disappear. Do you believe in magic? Because I sure as hell do not.
“I’m sorry…..again, but your credit card just won’t go through.” I sighed lightly. I could have reached into my purse and pulled out my cash of $3900, but I didn’t. Instead I nodded. I know what I’d have to do. Somehow all the restaurants on this side of New York City always seem to acquire the ‘testosterone filled, sex-deprived sexual harassers’ for bosses.
You know the kind. They sit on the benches in front of teenage girl usual spots, and wait and watch. Or the type that actually grab your ass in the busy melee of bodies in the subway.
I looked back, through the rectangular window in the kitchen door. I could make out the back of his head; as he talked through the step-by-step process of frying deliciously seasoned shrimp to young cooks.
Shrimp that not even 10 minutes ago I was generously stuffing into my miniscule black handbag; fully aware that this opportunity would not show its face again.
I knew it was him. I couldn’t pretend not to even if I tried. Trey's stunning bronze buzz cut disappeared from my view as he shifted his body to slice perfectly arched onions. It appeared again as he slid them into the burning fry pan.
I had had enough. I looked down. Glaring at my purse, my less-than mediocre plastic watch—anything to keep my eyes from wandering into that window again.
My head snapped up. It would have fallen back down if it had not been for those enticing hazel- cerulean irises. Now cold as a winter night; looking—glaring—right back at me.
Trey's face was expressionless. As if he was witnessing a mother scold her child. Curious as to what the child had did, but emotion indifferent. As to not give the young one anymore to fear than its mother’s wrath. That’s exactly how he was looking at me right now.
Wonder. Amazement. Helpless. Curiosity. Deprived. Pity. Shame. Then worst of all. Anger. I hadn’t planned to meet him this way. I hadn’t planned to meet him at all.
My feet turned to leave, but I was too late; or Trey was just really early.
“Oh!” The waiter's voice was loud now. A wild contrast to her former shy and awkward vocal count. “My manager! He can help! He can do everything!”
‘My manager can do everything’. Huh. The way she stated that. As if it was a fact. Then again; maybe it was.
He was walking across the room. Same confident stride. Same piercing gaze. Except Trey wasn’t looking at me. But at her. At the cashier. Huh. Again.
“Honey, is there a problem?” His voice was; wow. Like a coat of sugar atop of an artificial cherry sweater, on a bland unfazed day.
My heart pumped. Skipping one beat. Then another. The feeling of nostalgia clouded my sight, hearing and mind. I was sure to keep my chin tucked in my neck. No eye contact. No messing up. But honey?
My neck was starting to hurt. It clicked up automatically, saving itself from further pain. When it did, my eyes registered two pairs staring at me intently. He slammed the air back down my throat. Icy, narrowed eyes searched me.