Stares Near The Stairs

I never have boyfriends. I date, I kiss, I fall in love. But rarely do I accept when boys ask me to “be their girlfriend.” There’s just something about the finality of it all that freaks me out and leaves feeling trapped and suffocated.

Do I make out with multiple guys if I’m seeing someone? No. But in my sick and twisted mind, I technically on-paper could.

Anyway, the irony of all irony occurred 2 days after officially becoming someone’s girlfriend.

While having dinner with my cousin, I complained about my boyfriend and told her how differently I thought he’d treat me if I officially committed to him. She bitched about her boyfriend also and, before we knew it, we polished off a bottle of wine.

In the midst of our drunken blabbering, I brought up Cal the Cop and brought her up to speed with what had happened with him (which is that he had asked me to go for a drink with him and I didn’t go, then fake-asked me to go on a trip and I didn’t go, and then informed him that I was getting back together with my boyfriend).

When we left the restaurant a little while later, I started walking to the left.

“Why don’t you go this way?” Diana asked. “Because I can grab the 3 Train and you can get the D and we don’t have to walk the streets alone.”

“Okay,” I said, and before I knew it we were walk-stumbling into the train station.

“Love you, text me when you get home!” Diana said, and we kissed each other goodbye.

I turned around to walk down the stairs AND WAS STARING DIRECTLY INTO THE EYES OF CAL THE COP.  IN A NEW YORK CITY SUBWAY STATION. After essentially flat-leaving him and rejecting all of his hang-out attempts because I made a decision to try and have a fresh start with someone else. Really, universe??!!

“What are you doing here???” I asked him in a whisper, looking around, like I was a CIA agent who just saw a fellow agent somewhere they shouldn’t be.

“You’re drunk,” he said, smiling, and kissed me on the cheek. My knees went weak.

“I’m not…I’m…What are you doing here???”

“You’re very drunk. I work here,” he said. And added, “I’m a transit cop, remember, Jen?” when I looked confused out of my mind.


“Do you want me to drive you home?” he asked.

“You’re here,” I said, cocking my head slightly to the side.

“Yeah, for another ten minutes,” he said, looking at his watch.

Thinking of my boyfriend, I spoke my words robotically: “Oh. No. I have to take the train. I have to go. Bye.” And then, without saying goodbye to his partner or kissing him on the cheek, I walked away as fast as humanly possible.

“Jen, that’s not the staircase! That’s an elevator shaft!” his partner called after me.

“I know!” I called back, and shamefully walked back toward them and around the bannister until I found the actual staircase.

I literally spent the entire train ride DYING to tell someone — BUT I HAD NO DAMN PHONE SERVICE! By the time I reached the bridge, I called my cousin and asked/screamed if she had seen that insanely coincidental encounter. Of course she hadn’t, and I told her the entire story word-for-word. She couldn’t believe the irony any more than I could.

“But you were just talking about him!” she said.

“I KNOW!” I yelled, getting strange looks from fellow trainers.

“And you JUST got a boyfriend. You never have boyfriends.”

“I KNOWWW!!!” I almost cried. People physically moved away from me that time.

And after not taking the train out of respect for my boyfriend and a lack of self-control around Cal the Cop, my boyfriend was mean to me when I got home and I basically cried myself to sleep.

Ps, read more about this tale in From Fate to Fight.

Have you ever ran into someone you were just talking about?

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