The velcro strap of my bag comes undone and before I know it, I’m balancing the bike below me one handed, trying not to crash into the cars parked on the side of the street. I manage to stop, and pull over in an empty spot to collect myself, when Former rides by in the opposite direction, on the phone with one of his friends.
“Is that Jess? It is Jess! Hold on, let me call you back!” He says into the receiver.
He pulls up next to me and awkward small talk ensues.
We’ve both been doing the same, both slightly surprised to run into one another. He asks where I’m off to and he tells me where he’s been. We agree to get a drink sometime the following week, though the energy between us says it’s not going to happen. A lack of correspondence from either side hours after we part ways confirms that.
Even still, I find myself wishing there was more traffic in the seemingly open lines of communication, not for sake of love lost between us, but because I occasionally find myself missing his general presence in my life. I miss how high and staccato his voice gets when he’s uncomfortable. I miss the happy buzz about him when he’s in his kitchen cooking. I miss the mirrored blind loyalty we both share for our own groups of people.
On the other hand, I don’t believe he fits into my life anymore and I think the feeling is mutual.
But I still hope he misses me, subtly, in the same way the trees miss their leaves after they’ve fallen, knowing future seasons will bring fuller branches. Quietly, in despite nature, when no one is paying attention. And if not, I hope when he catches himself thinking of me, time made his memory of me a good one.