After work every day, you walk down to Union Square and people watch. You put your headphones on and sit there with a cup of coffee and a smoke in your hand. It takes you about fifteen minutes to finish a hot cup and that's all the time you need to decompress before getting on the train and heading home.
You sit silent, stoic, and sure of yourself and the way you started to change for the better. You watch as each person passes by you, sometimes they look at you with disgust, other times they get that nervous look in their eyes. That look that says they're upset that they made eye contact with someone else because we, as a generation, have never been taught how to look people in the eye and smile.
You take another drag of your cigarette and smile to yourself. You stare at the bright green WHOLE FOO MARKET sign and think about when they'll fix the lights but you quickly dismiss that thought and hope they never fix it. Because something inside of you feels like it implies the word FOOLS instead of FOODS like it was meant to and to you, that's what those people are. You smile to yourself again before getting up to take a quick walk around the park before leaving.
And that's when it happens.
You stop and notice them. They are standing there alone, looking into the WHOLE FOO MARKET wondering whether or not they should walk inside. You remember that look all to well, when you used to date. The way they would rub their chin and bite their lip before making any decision. The way they'd look at their phone and check the time and quickly slip it into the back left pocket of their jeans.
You haven't seen them since, well, you know. And a piece of you wants to walk up and talk to them. Say hello, then catch up over drinks, you think to yourself. This particular relationship is the one that hurt you the most. After the break-up you still felt in love with this person. You felt like you made the biggest mistake of your life and you'll never get another chance.
You are still in love with them.
You stand there and stare as this song erupts into your eardrums:
Move on, move on, move on. Smoke your smoke and move on.
You contemplate walking up to them and you decide to. One foot in front of the other, slowly but surely. Before you could get within twenty feet of them, someone beautiful and handsome and taller and more fit than you could ever be exits from under the WHOLE FOO MARKET sign and puts their arms around your ex-partner. Something inside of you breaks, again. You never thought you'd feel this. But you see your ex-partner's smile and you see the hug, kiss, then smile of their current partner and you continue to watch.
They clasp their hands together like high school kids and you sink inside yourself because you had forgotten what that feels like both physically and emotionally. You thought they were the one and your break-up was a bump in the long road. But it wasn't. No. I'm sorry.
They walk out of frame, out of view, they're gone, off to a bar or a restaurant or an apartment they share. You look back up at the bright green sign across the street above you and wonder how it looks even more green than it did a few minutes ago. You look at it and light another cigarette and think: