I decided to ignore the journals for now. It felt like I was a new me, meeting new people and starting over. So far, I hadn’t had any issues. It wasn’t like I knew a ton of people in the first place. I started getting to know my co-workers again, but they all knew my deal so they forgave me for not remembering their names. They had, of course, done a few obligatory pranks on me, but if I was in their shoes I would have been in on those as well.
I even had some friends from the past see what happened on facebook reach out to me. For them it was catching up after a decade or so, for me it was only a few months. They filled me in on some things that’d happened. Maybe I didn’t need to read my journals after all.
I sat in Innanna’s for a quick after-work coffee. Innanna was the coffee shop owner who had the near supernatural ability to remember everyone’s order. She knew a little of what happened to me, but like everyone in my life she didn’t have any details of the accident, just knew it happened. I had asked her about Cole, but she said it wasn’t her place to speak about him. Whatever Cole and I had, I’m guessing it didn’t end well.
I sipped my pumpkin spiced chai latte while I people watched. Everywhere I looked people were glued to their phones. It was insane how much people relied on their phones now. I got the appeal, but I hadn’t quite gotten to the obsessive levels that everyone else was at.
My drink was getting cold when I noticed there was one person who wasn’t on his phone. He was staring at me instead. It took me a few seconds before I recognized him.
Ben smiled big with his dazzling perfect teeth.
“I was wondering if you’d recognize me. I heard you lost your memories or something?”
“I didn’t lose all my memories, just a lot of them,” I said laughing. Finally, someone I remembered. Ben was my boyfriend. Well, he was my boyfriend when I last remembered. I had asked Eloise and Claire if they knew about him, but they said it ended a long time ago. I had thought about looking him up, but we weren’t particularly serious from when I last remembered.
Ben joined me in my booth and gave me a quick hug before sitting across from me. I stared intently at him as he settled into his seat. I remembered his short, dark, chestnut hair, but now he had hints of grey at the temples. His once smooth skin around his eyes, now had a few lines and his hair was nearly to his shoulders with what Eloise had explained to me was called a ‘man bun’ on top.
He didn’t look bad, but it was definitely different. My last memory of him was in his work suit getting drinks with me, and now he wore tight dark jeans, white t-shirt, brilliant white Keds, and a large patterned scarf around his neck. It was jarring seeing such a change in style.
“How are you doing?” he asked.
“Good, It’s nice to see a face I actually remember for once. So, what have you been up to?”
“This and that. Working hard.”
“Are you still in real estate?” I asked looking at his outfit.
“Nah. Got out of the corporate grind and opened up my little bike shop over on Ocean Boulevard.”
“No fixed gear bicycles. It’s called ‘Fixies’. I’ve managed to collect a large assortment of vintage cycles. They just don’t make them like they used to.” He ended wistfully.
“Oh cool.” I said, because I really had no idea what else to say. I was pretty sure fixed gear bikes were what we used as kids when learning to ride. But if that was his passion, then who was I to judge? He certainly never mentioned it when we were dating.
“You should totally stop by! I could hook you up with a great deal. Let me grab your number so we can connect later.”
“Ok, sure.” I pulled a card out of my purse and handed it to him. He reached for it, his hand lingering slightly on mine before he brought the card to his lips and kissed it seductively. It was a bit weird and made me slightly uncomfortable. I was already regretting giving him my card.
“Well, love, I must be on my way.”
I smiled at him awkwardly as he left the coffee shop. Innanna appeared with another drink for me and leaned in.
“He’s no good,” she said as she stood up to leave.
“Why?” I asked but she just shook her head knowingly and walked back to the counter.