He followed her down 8th Avenue. Past Circus World, the haunted museum, Port Authority, Pakistani porno shops, he walked in the crowd. She was about a half a block ahead of him. He kept his eyes on her red cap and long brunette hair. Did not let her out of his sight. He was locked in on her.
She walked for blocks. Blocks became miles. She walked through Hell’s Kitchen where black and brown men gave her cat calls. The young lady walked on past Lincoln Center where white men coming towards her turned their heads as they passed. He kept on following. She lead him to Columbus Circle and into Central Park where she sat down on a bench; waiting for him.
I knew you were behind me, she said. Could tell your presence. I felt you, she smiled. He watched people pass by as she spoke. What is it that you want? she asked. He shrugged his shoulders. Looked at the concrete below his torn up tennis shoes. Then looked back at her.
Same as always, she told him. You’ll never change. I married you thinking I could’ve changed you. Look how that turned out, she took off her cap and ran her fingers through her thick hair. Can you even hold down a job? He just sat there. Staring at her. Looking at her now. Thinking of what he used to look like with her; thin. In shape. Ready to take on the world.
I’ve got a twenty on me, she rummaged through her bag. Handed it to him. Get yourself something to eat, she shook the bill at him and placed it in his hand. He nodded. And you have to quit following me around Manhattan. Just forget I’m here. Because, I can’t do this anymore, she cried. I just can’t, he got up off the bench and looked at her. Waved his hand to say goodbye. He never said a word.