Maere Tungol


“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”

Ernest Hemingway - To a friend, 1950


“Serra, Serra Madison – is that you?” he asked, lightly tapping the woman walking away from him on the back of her shoulder. The woman stopped and turned slowly to face him; she was beautiful.

“No, that’s not my name,” she said. “I’m sorry.”

“My mistake,” he said.

He had arrived at Grand Central Station earlier that evening to catch the 7:37 train to Westport, where he planned to have dinner with friends around nine. For the most part, Zachary Spencer had never been early for anything in his life, including love – so tonight’s weather delay presented him with a rare opportunity.

His train would not depart for another twenty-five minutes, and that left room for a cocktail at the open-air bar located on the upper level of the station. There he could catch his breath and from his corner seat, watch thousands of commuters scramble to find their rides from the city to their homes in the suburbs. It was Friday and snowing outside. “Wild Turkey neat,” he said to the bartender.

Zachary finished the whiskey and had made his way about halfway down the marble steps that led to main floor when he thought he saw her. He noticed the reddish brown hair first, then the manner of her dress and finally, her stride; there she was again after more than fifteen years. His heart pounded violently inside of his chest, and his palms began to sweat. Things had not ended sweetly between them, and he did not know how
she would react if he went up to her, much less what he would say.

For an instant, he simply watched as she began to distance herself from him. He looked at his watch – time to board. But he had to speak with her, even if it was to say hello and ask how she was doing; more than anything he wanted to look into her eyes again.

“Serra, Serra Madison – is that you?” he asked.


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