I Saw Her on a Sunday
The rain came in monsoon bursts of longing and cold. The card shoved through my letterbox said, Meet me at the park on Monday morning. Don’t be late. The card smelled of cinnamon and spice, exotic and enticing, a world away from the city gloom. I went, although it was hard to know if I was late when one wasn’t given a time to observe. Nevertheless, the park was unoccupied and my time was my own.
The rain hadn’t stopped and the puddles grew deeper. Yet there I sat. The bench, wetter than my trousers — no easy task — gave a certain solidity to the fruitless nature of my waiting for a someone unknown, care of a letter unaddressed, that had turned to mush the previous day. Determination was my middle name.
The ducks quacked a hello; I could’ve quacked one back. My pocket still carried the scent of my mission, but why I persisted was beyond me.
Storms were supposed to stop, weren’t they? I circled the park’s perimeter in ever-decreasing rapidity on the off chance she might still have turned up. She didn’t.
I gave up on Friday. The dream of a Caribbean beauty, or some African enchantress had long since waned. Instead, I stayed behind my window glass and watched the world weep incessant tears. They matched my own.
Was there a Saturday?
I approached Sunday from a different angle. The rain had stopped and I needed to get out. I perused the area, as it was still new to me, lounged about outside a coffee shop, then headed in the general direction of the park only to find another. Much bigger than the pitiful excuse I’d occupied, I strode into a world of pristine cut hedges, several small lakes, and a lady on a bench who smelled of cinnamon. Cinnamon!
I saw her on a Sunday, a week after I should’ve. She was shy; I was shyer. Somehow, it just seemed right.