The Message from Ruben
A stranger accidentally text-messaged me. Usually I’d press delete before reading any of the content. I’m quick that way, unless it’s a familiar name. I don’t have time for bullshit. But then, I read the beginning:
Bet you think you never here from me again?
Sexy? That wasn’t a word I’d use to describe me. And what about the bad spelling and grammar? Still I scrolled down to see if a name was included:
Did I know a Ruben? It’s not like Bob or Tom. I stared out the window of the café, watched the leaves catapulting from their trees. I tried to recall him, scanned through the file of various men. It wasn’t a vast one, believe me.
And then it registered. Ruben was a trainer I’d met at the Wisconsin Athletic Club. He’d spent two years in Nicaragua working for Habitat for Humanity. Before he left, we’d had a drink at Hi- Hat.
The place was dark, hazy with smoke. He sat at a table with high bar stools.
I sat opposite him, his grin lit up the entire room. My legs dangled in mid-air. “I feel like a doll on these seats. Or a zoo animal. I’m too short to reach the ground.”
“I like you. You’re funny,” Ruben said. He sipped his cosmopolitan.
He’d ordered Chardonnay for me. I wondered how he knew white wine was my preference. “Thanks for the wine,” I said. “Cheers.” We clinked glasses.
I wasn’t sure he could understand me, but I didn’t care. “Really? You think I’m funny? I think I’m depressing,” I said, thinking we should have gone to my place. I wanted to tell him I was engaged to the wrong guy. Wanted to mention there was a strong possibility I was pregnant. But I didn’t. Just stared at his perfect eyebrows.
Now, married with two kids, and barreling toward divorce, I sighed. The wind had picked up outside, swirling the leaves up toward their former branches. I glanced back at his text, bit the inside of my lip. Should I delete it?