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Him and Her

By christopher.harn

Him


She didn’t show up. Not all that shocking, really, given that it’s been so long. This is a lovely place anyways, so it’s not a total loss. It’s strangely quiet here...the three ladies on the other side and the college kids all have their heads down. In a city cafe like this, I’d expect it’d be busy at this hour...I’m not complaining though. This is just serene. Not what I expected- I came here hoping to catch up- but it's not a total loss.


 


I do wish she’d shown up though.


 


We hit it off pretty quickly. It normally takes me a while to get to where we were. She was more energetic than my ‘type’, whatever that is, although she wasn’t bossy or high strung or anything. It was more like a zeal for life. She didn’t need coffee in the morning, which just seemed weird to me. I don’t feel like a real person until my first cup.


 


She always drove when we went anywhere. I like driving, but the truth is that I’m an awful driver and she was a very safe driver. Her driving record was immaculate. I think I was responsible for the only blemish on her record, actually, and I don’t know if that was ever really counted against her. The only time she’d speed up was if I started whispering dirty talk in her ear.


 


We used to have some great chats after sex, I think. I don’t remember any of them specifically, so it’s hard to say. It’s been a long time, much longer than it feels. I think I tend to remember sex being better, the longer it’s been since I had it. In the same way that the greatness of heroes gradually lessens as they approach the era of their writer, so too is it with my sex life. When I was younger I hit on Helen of Troy herself, and have since lowered my standards to ‘normal’ people. She’s a throwback to an imaginary era when I was still dating immortals. 


 


Things ended abruptly with her. She moved out to Kansas City for a job, really a much better job than she or I had ever had. And in the scheme of things, we hadn’t been together all that long. I guess...I just wish I’d gotten to see her again. I wonder if I’d even recognize her. I think there will always be a small part of me that wishes she hadn’t moved out to Kansas.


- - - - - -


Her


I guess I’m not surprised that he didn’t show up. It’s been over ten years since I saw him last. We haven’t really talked in nine, aside from the two minutes we spent planning this yesterday. It’s a shame too, given the coffee...he was always a prude when it came to his coffee, and they make a good cup here. And it’s got a good view of the city, and he appreciated a good view. He was a bit of a prude, and he would’ve liked this cafe.


 


His hair was always well kept and had a clean part, and I loved to run my hands through it and mess it all up. I loved messing up his perfect, silky hair. In bed, it’d end up all frayed looking and sticking out like he was a stray dog or something. My stray dog, at least for a little while. That was about the only time he didn’t care about how his hair looked, and really, we were both so sweaty by that point...keeping up appearances wasn’t all that important. I miss a lot more about him than just the sex, but I certainly do miss the sex. Then again, it’s been so long, and who the hell really knows at this point. Maybe I just want to remember him as a sexual savant.


 


He had the sweetest dimples, and when I laughed he laughed, and then I’d see his dimples and I’d laugh even harder. I don’t think I ever saw him in a t-shirt, not once. He didn’t wear PJ’s...it was either a collared shirt or nothing at all. He always brushed his teeth twice every day, no matter what. That’s just how he was. Even if we stumbled back to one of our places after a long night of drinking (at the very least), he’d take the time to brush his teeth when I’d already passed out.


 


He made the single best breakfasts I’ve ever had. The rest of his cooking was forgettable, but the man could make an omelet like no one else. He could elevate the simple pancake into an art form. Lazy mornings in bed were perfect with his cooking and a favorite old book. But as I said, after eleven in the morning, his food became entirely forgettable.


 


I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to end things well with the people I’ve been with. It’s often a slow, masochistic process that involves a lot of verbal vitriol and post-break-up sex. With him it was clean, amicable, and...sweet. There wasn’t a lot to say. We knew the time had come, and we just separated.


 


The people seem dead here...normally, I feel like there’s a lot going on in cafes...people are actively involved in something. The two old ladies next to me...the bearded man out by the window...even the college kids in the corner...it just feels stagnant. Lethargic. Not like him. I really do miss him, I think. I don’t regret it, really, but...I often look back and playfully wonder if I shouldn’t have moved out to Kansas City.

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Him and Her

Created: Sep 09, 2013

Tags: coffee, story, cafe, fiction, memories, date

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