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What Is It Now? - by Lindsey Brown

Even with the AC blowing and goosebumps on my arms, I am sweating. Nerves are pulsing in my veins.

It has been years since we have talked. Longer since we have really seen one another. I cannot tell if that makes this more or less awkward.

Last time we saw one another was five years ago. I remember it clearly. I wore a flowing pink dress. It matched the Crape Myrtle trees in the park near campus. He was on a break from the band's first tour, and he said we needed to talk. I thought after three years together he was going to propose, not break my heart.

As the clock ticks closer to three, my old demons start reappearing in my thoughts. Insecurities brew in my brain as fast and strong as the espresso coming out of the expensive Italian machine in this hipster coffee shop. He asked that we meet here. I smile at the thought that maybe it is because he remembered how much I love places like this.

Hearing from Matt last week was shocking. I wanted to tell him to fuck off but I couldn’t. He sounded different on the phone, there was a tone in his voice that pulled at my heart. He didn’t give me any details about why after five years he wanted to meet me, but he said it was important.

My mind wanders about everything and nothing until I see out of the corner of my eye some movement out the window. I turn and witness two teenage girls smiling and bouncing up and down. They are talking to someone just out of view. It has to be Matt. He finally got what he wanted - to be famous. The girls run off and I see a familiar hand slip into view.

Quickly, I snap my head down and try to look busy. I play on my phone and pretend that I have not been here waiting for him for over 30 minutes. Agreeing to meet the guy who threw me away the second he began to get famous is pathetic enough; I do not need to look like a puppy dog waiting for him to get home.

I hear the bell ring as the door opens and then steps on the hardwood floor moving my direction. As the chair next to me moves, I look up.  

Dark denim pulled taught over those familiar, muscular thighs and a faded black t-shirt. A few more tattoos than I remember. A small cleft in his chin and a two-day beard. He brushes his dark, curly hair out of his honey eyes. It is him. Matt Montgomery in all his glory.  

“Hey, Megan. Thanks for meeting me.”

As his deep baritone voice registers in my ears, my heart beats faster and I force myself not to show how much his presence is impacting my ability to think.

I take a controlled breath and remind myself that if I do not keep my guard up I am going to fall for him again and that cannot happen.  


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