His friends tried to reassure her. They even admitted to their hijinks the night before. But when no one had heard from him by nine-forty-five, even the closest of his best men started avoiding her eyes. She knew what they thought of her, and she heard in their whisperings the confirmation she didn’t really need.
At first he wasn’t really worried, just angry with the guys and himself. Angry at the S.L.U.T driver who didn’t wake him up, and the yuppies with their Starbucks and Northface vests who looked at him like the crazy person he was sure he did look like as he ran down Pine Street barefoot and smelling like a wet dog. When did the goddamn city decide to remove all the payphones? He stopped, finally, breathing hard and with the realization that even if he found a phone, he had no one to call. He hadn’t memorized a phone number since tenth grade, and his parent’s old house number would do him no good now.
She thought back to the day they met. She was working at Starbucks for a little extra cash, and he was being stood up by some study buddy. She made his caramel sauce latte and he told her she had beautiful eyes. It was a slow day, too sunny outside for many customers, and he leaned on the counter and they talked for almost an hour. She loved the way his hair fell over his eyes and that he seemed interested in her opinions on local politics and corporate corruption. Even back then she liked to goad him – throw out an off hand comment about children of the rich and why fraternities were an outdated excuse for men to act like animals. She liked to watch his face get red while he tried to argue with her without getting upset.