Your best friend who moved away last year has returned to your hometown. You plan a nice indoor picnic for you to reconnect and have some fun. They call, tired, explaining how long the drive was and how they “really wanted to but have to reschedule.”
Carefully, you place the cheese platter and the salami back in your fridge, having to make room by throwing out half of your own birthday cake from last Wednesday. You worry that the half-cake now in your trash can will attract ants but realize that there is nothing you can do about it because the garbage-men don’t come for another four days.
It’s midday and you wish your friend was here so you could remember what fun times you used to have. Shaking the feeling off, you head outside and start walking through your neighborhood. It’s fall and severely windy. You shiver through the gusts and embrace the sun’s gaze. You wish you had brought your jacket to put over your plain grey sweatshirt.
A lady walking a dog passes by you. You make room for her and her pup, moving uneasily to the grass as the dog yelps at your feet. You want to say Good Afternoon, establish some sort of human connection, even to a stranger, but she has already moved past you. The cold covers up the terrible feeling in the pit of your stomach.
Upset at yourself for the terrible decision to walk without a coat, you turn around awkwardly at the street corner and head back home. Several minutes pass until you again spot the lady walking her dog. She approaches you, and for the first time you miraciously have the confidence to take a long look at her face. She is smiling genuinely. You smile back. You kneel to pet her dog. It’s your favorite breed and you tell her that. She smiles again, introduces herself and you do the same. The sun bursts through the clouds and your phone vibrates from deep within your pocket. It’s your old friend and they have changed their mind, now ready to come over to your place, if that’s alright with you.