The Undeveloped Negative
I thought I saw you on the 4 express train on my way home. I was buried under layers of clothing and had foregone makeup, surrendering to my massive sinus infection and the below zero temps. Time literally froze, tunnel vision shutting out any other passenger on the train until all I saw was the scuffed silver ring on your left hand as you turned the page on your worn book. You got married. Of course, why wouldn't you have gotten married? After all, I had gotten married. The last seven years dissipated and I was yours again, in college, heart fluttering and cheeks flushed. I prayed to God you would glance over at me, and then wished I had put on my makeup and the stylish clothes I usually wore. I wanted you to see who I grew up to be.
The train jolted back and forth, causing you to grab the metal bars and give up your reading. You looked in my direction, and my mind raced with what I wanted to say to you. Everything. Too many things. But when our eyes met, my eyes met those of a complete stranger. I felt like I was leaving you all over again in our shattered apartment in Wynwood.
I got off at Chambers Street, defeated as I walked up the stairs to my next train. All I could think about was how strong the love was that I (still) felt for you.
What I would have said is that I am ashamed that I have ever settled for a love less than the one we had together. I'm sorry I left you and our apartment in a mess in Miami while I went with him to the city. Most of all, I am so, so sorry that seven years ago I was naive enough to think that a love like ours was perennial and would bloom in other people I would meet along this journey.
I am thankful to still feel that love towards you. I realized when I thought I saw you, that our love sustains me, even now.
I hope you are married. I hope that you did find love. God knows, I am still looking for you in every person I meet. Even in the rush hour subway commute on the express 4 train.
For now, seeing you will remain an undeveloped negative waiting to be processed.