December 4, 2013 by vh1161
The old Dutch Masters would have painted a face like his. Round, with fair skin and flushed cheeks. Strawberry blond hair and a beard leftover from No Shave November. Night-dark eyes that sparkle when they are open. After he gets on the Red line at Metro Center he sits down and closes his eyes, a world away. When he does open his eyes he is serene, completely removed from the grey maelstrom of rush hour. He is compelling because he is smiling, and he is smiling because of Cara.
Cara was his nemesis from the third grade back in Flagstaff. She teased him for wearing light-up sneakers during night games of Capture the Flag, so he stole all of her Pogs. They didn’t speak again until ninth grade when their moms decided they should carpool to school. Matthew helped Cara pass Calculus, and she forced him to help post her class election posters all over the school.
They went to college in different states and only occasionally crossed paths while home for the holidays. She was secretly really impressed when she heard he landed a job in Washington after school, and she assumed that would be the end of their acquaintance. People move and they get busy and their lives condense to one time zone.
But just before he left for work today Matthew got a Facebook message.
“Hey! How’s…life? I just got a promotion and am being transferred to Baltimore…That’s not too far from you, right?”