Des had just gotten on his motorcycle, about to take off when he spotted Chantoya coming down the sidewalk. He turned off the engine and slid off the seat. Adjusting his shirt and smoothing his hair down, he walked over to her. “Hi there,” he said when he was standing in front of her.
A big smile broke out on her face. “Hi yourself,” she exclaimed before hugging him. “It’s so good to see you. It has been a while. How have you been?”
“I’ve traveling a lot. Just got back from South Korea.”
“South Korea? What’s it like there?”
“It’s a great place. I was there for a month and loved every minute of it. The culture, the history, the food and the people made it worthwhile.”
“I’d love to hear more about your trip, Des. How about we meet tomorrow afternoon at Squirrel Chops?”
“Sure. What time?”
“Is five okay with you?”
“Yes, it is.”
“I’m sorry I can’t stay and chat more but I’m on my way to the theatre.”
“Okay. Don’t let me keep you.”
She touched him on his arm. “It was really great seeing you.”
“Ditto. Have fun at the theatre.”
“Thanks. I’ll see you tomorrow.”
“Anneyeong, Chantoya.” He smiled. “That means goodbye in Korean.”
She laughed. “I’m impressed. ‘Bye, Des.”
During their exchange a few minutes ago, neither mentioned Shelley. Perhaps, it wasn’t necessary. He wondered if Chantoya would tell her that she had bumped into him. Maybe that too wasn’t necessary. Perhaps, Shelley had moved on. At least, he hoped she had.
Chantoya met her date, Calvin outside of the Paramount Theatre. They were going to see the musical Wicked. Calvin looked handsome in his dark suit but when they hugged, she didn’t feel any spark. It was more like hugging a friend. As they walked through the doors and up to the orchestra section, she thought about Des and wondered what he was doing at that moment. It was really great seeing him again. She had wanted to get in touch with him after he broke up with Shelley but decided that it wasn’t a good idea. How would it look her getting in touch with her room-mate’s ex? It had been a tough time for Shelley who really checked for him but she tried to help her to see that it wouldn’t have been good continuing the relationship when it was clear that Des and she weren’t on the same page when it came to marriage.
Chantoya realized that he hadn’t asked about Shelley. If he had, she would have told him that she had moved to New York. I’ll tell him tomorrow when I see him, she decided.
“So, did you have a good time at the theatre?” Des asked her when they were sitting by the window having Lattes.
“I really enjoyed Wicked.”
“Did you go alone?”
“No. I went with Calvin.”
“Is he your boyfriend?”
She shook her head. “No. I went out with him a couple of times but after last night, I decided to stop seeing him.”
“What made you decide that?”
“I wasn’t attracted to him.”
“Is there someone you’re attracted to?”
She looked at him. Their eyes met and held. “Yes.”
I hope it’s me. “Who’s the lucky guy?”
He reached over and put his hand over hers. “The attraction is mutual, Chantoya,” he said quietly.
“I’ve been trying to fight it all of these years because of Shelley. After you broke up with her, I wanted to call you but didn’t think it was wise or proper to do so. Then, after she moved to New York, I thought about getting in touch with you again.”
“So, she finally moved to New York. When we were together, she talked about us moving there. I like New York but I’ve never wanted to live there.”
“She hasn’t been in touch with me since she moved there. Maybe she has decided to cut all ties here.”
“Maybe. I hope she finds happiness in New York. My ties are right here–in Seattle.”
“Mine too.” She looked down at their hands.
Sometimes relationships don’t work out because the two people involved are meant be with other people.