Harold arrived at the park early. He eased his lanky frame down onto his favorite bench, stretched out his legs, and opened the cup of steaming hot coffee that he brought from the deli. This was his favorite park and had been Emily’s too before she moved away. Harold was a tall, gawky man, 40ish with sandy, curly hair, brown eyes and a ruddy complexion. His thick glasses made him look older than he really was. Women found him attractive in an unassuming way and often complimented him on his thick, wavy hair. He was a failed movie and TV writer who made a living tutoring kids on their SATs so that they could get into the right college. Not the job he wanted, perhaps, but it was the best he could do, and besides, it paid the rent.
t was a crisp, sunny October morning, a chill in the air. He savored every detail. The park comforted him. He noticed the sunlight dancing on the water in the little fountain in front of the statue. Some birds started splashing about and a little boy contemplated jumping in after them. “Maybe I’ll have children one day.” His heart leaped at the thought of seeing Emily again. He was certain he could convince her to get back together. “Its crazy, I know, she is in Paris and I’m here. But we could work it out. I was such a fool to say the things I did. If I sincerely apologize one more time, I know she will take me back.” The thoughts flooded in. “Her apartment is probably big enough for both of us. I could get a job tutoring French kids, American kids at the embassy, or a real teaching job. Or maybe she’ll move back to New York?” Harold’s brain buzzed wildly. He had made a reservation at the little French restaurant, where once they had spent many pleasant hours talking and making plans. It was a place where he knew she would feel comfortable. He would win her back. “What a glorious day, so many possibilities,” he thought.
Emily was on her way to the park. She hadn’t seen Harold since their breakup nearly 2 years before. Emily didn’t quite know why he had contacted her. She was puzzled by his email. He said only that it would be nice to see her the next time she was in town. Her latest case brought her to New York for a few days so she decided to call him and they agreed to meet. “Our relationship was difficult, I admit,” she thought. “but it will be nice to see Harold again, to hear what he’s been up to. I wonder if he’s met someone? He’s such a sweet guy. Harold needs someone in his life. Its sad, he’s alone so much of the time.”
As the taxi pulled up in front of the park, she fumbled in her bag for her wallet and credit card. She quickly manipulated the screen. After she swiped the card, she noticed the name Spence, Powers LLP on it. “Oh shit, wrong card. Oh well, they can afford me,” she said. She stepped out of the cab and looked around. Emily was a striking woman of medium height, slender, with black hair, blue eyes and pale almost translucent skin. She was a “high powered” attorney in the Spence, Powers Paris office where for the past 2 years she handled international trust and estate cases. Since leaving New York her career soared. She had a lovely apartment in the 16th, a Jaguar, summers at Cap Ferat, and a girlfriend, Patricia, with whom she was madly in love. They met while working on a case together, she was the daughter of one of her clients. Their summer friendship blossomed into a romance. She could not keep from thinking about her. She missed herterribly and could not wait to get home. Paris was her home now, she did not want to be anywhere else.