I left work yesterday at 2:30 to head for 30th Street Station to catch the R1 to the airport so I could get on my 4:56 pm flight and get home to Portland. I walked out of my office building and headed down Market Street, towards the train station. Halfway between my office and the station, I paused on the empty sidewalk to switch hands on the handle of my suitcase and adjust the bag slung around my shoulders. When I looked back up, a figure was walking towards me. A familiar figure.
It was Ted.
I don’t know what kind of cosmic force keeps pulling us together, but there’s something out there that causes our paths to collide. Once my brain registered that it was him, the only thing to do was laugh out loud and grin. He walked up to me grinning too, and said, “I thought that person and that suitcase looked familiar.” We hugged and chatted for a couple minutes, until I said I needed to get going to catch the train. He wished me a good holiday, and told me to say hi to my family. In that moment, the one Christmas he spent with my family flashed through my head. It felt so distant, as if it belonged to another lifetime, one totally detached from the one I now lead. We walked away from each other and I did not look back.