It was one of those chance meetings; old friends bumping into each other while at a crosswalk. They had been standing next to each other for almost a minute before one of them realized that they knew the other.
Stanley glanced around, looking at the woman standing next to him, and then looked back feeling puzzled. Then he did a double-take, and turned around to hug the woman.
“Vanessa! How are you? It’s been forever!”
“I know! I haven’t seen you since that party on 3rd Street a couple of years back.”
“Oh yeah, Richard’s party. Man, how sloshed did we get that night?”
“All I remember was waking up wearing only one shoe, and it wasn’t even mine. Oh my God, how have you been?”
“I’ve been good, you know, keeping myself busy.”
The “WALK” sign lit up, and they started making their way across the street.
“Are you still doing that volunteer work with the pet adoption?”
“Yeah, that’s where I’m going now. They had to move their building over here since the old one burned down when a bird flew into a lamp and the ceiling caught fire.”
“What about you? Do you live around here? I thought that you lived up . . .”
“Oh no, I still live over the hill. I’m just here visiting my ‘Man at the Moment’.”
“Oh man, I remember how you are with men. Love ‘em and leave ‘em beggin’ for more.”
“Yeah, that’s me. Wine and dine,” said Vanessa, pausing so that her and Stanley could say the next line together, “then ‘Hi’ and ‘Bye’!”
They both laughed and did a low-five.
“How long have you been seeing this one?”
“Actually longer than most, almost a year.”
“Wow, look at you. Is it serious?”
“No, I don’t see it lasting more than a couple more weeks. He’s getting too close.”
“Girl, you’re going to have to get your head checked if you ever want to settle down.”
They reached the other side of the street and stopped, finishing their conversation standing on the corner.
“And that’s why I’m never going to get it checked because I never want to settle.”
“That’s so you. Well, it was great to see you! We’ll have to get together and catch up for proper.”
“For sure! You’re number still the same?”
They hugged briefly. As Vanessa stepped away, Stanley turned to the man that had been walking beside them for the entire conversation. He was a good-looking man, carrying a bottle of wine and straining to keep a smile on his face.
“Hi, I’m Stanley.”
“Hello. I’m Edgar.”
“It’s nice to meet you. I feel sorry for you, brother, if you’re dating this girl.” He looked to the bottle of wine Edgar was holding. “That’s a fancy, expensive wine you got there. I hope you’re not planning to ask her to marry you tonight . . .”
“Actually . . .”
“ – because this girl will only leave you crying in the street.” Stanley poked at Vanessa, and they both laughed good-heartedly.
Edgar smiled wider, but he did not laugh. The hand that was holding the wine slacked to his side, and his other hand went into his pocket where it wrapped around a tiny velvet box.
Vannesa hooked her arm around Edgar’s and Stanley turned to continue walking. “It was great to see you Stanley. I’ll give you a call next week, maybe we can go see that new art gallery downtown.”
“Sounds good V. Have a good evening!”
“You too! Bye!”
Stanley continued walking up the street, while Vanessa dragged Edgar down a side street, talking about the new art gallery opening and how it was supposed to be full of art installations that were interactive. Edgar wasn’t really paying attention though. He was thinking about the words ‘Man of the Moment’, and looking at the stop sign they were getting closer to.