“Do I Know Him? Is She Family?” by M. Steven Neal – Part One

Already a few weeks had passed since their first date and the flash of love that had awoken them now glimmered delicately as if without breath would wane a smokeless spell. Do I know him? Is she family? She came out from the taxi onto the street and stood in front of Cosme. He waited inside at the bar.

When they had met on Tinder it was October 24th 2016 and Lacey messaged first. Some fun before my girls trip, she thought. Chicago. She would it turned out bring him up a little too much on that trip. One time at the Food Network Dave did this … and one time he did that … he’s so dreamy. I can’t believe I just said dreamy. And he would it turned out text her the very next day. I wish she wasn’t in Chicago, he thought.

Their first date was at Floyd. Dave had gotten there early and when she came in wearing a black dress and looking very professional and with the biggest smile and widest eyes and waving to him while she walked over he thought that the world had slowed. They sat at the bar and ordered drinks. The room was old and musty and of tradition names and dates going back a hundred years inscribed the walls. The jukebox played Queen’s Somebody to Love. They flirted. They were very comfortable. They spoke about travel. About New York, places they would like to go in their city. And they spoke about lifestyle stuff. After a while they went next door to a restaurant and ate supper and about now sparrows by the thousands flew upon the urban sky reflecting in the glass of the buildings as if they were black rain. On the mirror across from where they sat was marked today’s special, Dinner Not Planned. He said that she was dressed nice and she said that he was too. He said that he loved this city and she said that for her it was a new home. Lastly it was she that said that the water beneath the Brooklyn Bridge looked like a forgotten lake and that what she meant was overlooked, owing to its dark and still constitution. They finished their supper.

I have to use the washroom, he said, and went.

Did he just run away?, she thought.

I hope she doesn’t think I ran away. I just … well, I just like her.

When he returned they walked out onto Brooklyn’s downtown and about the streets they saw old forgotten people leaned up against buildings glazed eyed and some were singing songs and others were lay down on flat cardboard and they had wool military grade blankets and cigarettes and fifths of whiskey. She set a dollar on the blanket of one and the old man looked up and said I appreciate it miss. They walked a bit more, the street glowed by the lampposts of an older downtown.

Let me walk you to the trainstation, he said.