Coincidence? I think not. Happenstance? No.
It was divine guidance. Fate. Destiny. Meant to be.
I would never have been in Central Park otherwise that day. Hadn’t been there for years.
Avoided it, actually, as I did any person, place or thing that connected me to you, or the us that we had been.
But for some reason (it felt so random at the time,) I decided to get on the train and head uptown.
It was a sunny Labor Day. New York City felt generous without most of her locals taking up space.
I had no plans. I was trying to stay active so as not to slip into loneliness.
I came out of the subway at Columbus Circle. No plan. No route in mind. I wandered, following my nose, enjoying just being in the world.
I suddenly realized I was in “our” spot, on the Great Lawn. A fluttery fear made its presence known in my belly.
Without conscious intention, my eyes scanned the horizon, and just as I realized what I was doing, I saw you lying there.
Even face down, I’d know your body anywhere. Long, lanky, tanned. Shirt off, ripped, worn jeans low on your hips.
My heart somersaulted. A rush of heartache and bruised love and attraction rushed through my body.
In a moment of agonizing indecision, I considered turning away, walking past, walking on.
But my feet and heart had other ideas, and they took me to where I was standing over you.
Did you feel my presence, or was it just that I was blocking the sun?
You turned your head and said hello.
Just like that.
It had been three years of no contact. Three years since I came home to an apartment emptied of your things. A total shock.
Three years since I learned you’d been seeing other people for at least the last year of our relationship.
Three years of putting the pieces of my heart and my life back together, mending the gaping holes you left.
And today, of all days, “randomly,” our paths cross.
I say I’m well, and I mean it. I ask how you are, and then I wish you well, and I mean that too.
The truth is, I’ve never been better. The truth is, you don’t look so well.
I see the pack of cigarettes and the empty tallboys in the grass. I see a guy who is nursing last night’s drunk with midday hair of the dog.
You look like you’re in exactly the same place you were before the shit hit the fan. The place where we both drank too much. The lost place. The place where our love did not survive.
I see this, and I wish you well, from my heart, and I walk away.
I smile to myself, a bit astonished at my strength. The capacity of my heart to forgive. My resilience. My spirit. At the Universe knowing the perfect moment, the exact moment I am ready for it, providing me with this chance to see that I have healed. This chance to let it all go.
I move forward, into the sunlight, into the lush green of the park, into the present beauty of my life.