Your Reporter found himself sitting on one of the stone benches in Plaza las Armas in front of the cathedral in Zona Central and enjoying the crisp night air. I sat under twinkling stars, some finger snapping, old Mexican cha-cha music squawked from hidden speakers, and I chain smoking my Luckies, when out of the dark walked a nostalgic phantom gliding up the alameda like a specter. It was Oscar.
I know this person, I thought as a surge of excitement swelled up in me.
“Hola!” He smiled as he walked towards me, palm opened.
We shook hands and updated each other on our lives the past few months.
Oscar stated, “I have a new job in a maquiladora. I work for Clorox. With the money, I have rented a small apartment near the factory. I make enough to buy clothes and food. I don’t run in the plaza anymore. I guess, I have been living a responsible life – like you had wanted for so long for me.”
He chuckled. Oscar did look healthier and the clothing that he wore was new. I felt truly relieved for him.
I explained, “It is so good to hear a success story for once.”
Oscar smiled and said, “I am so happy to see you, again.”
There was an uncomfortable silence, those stilted moments when you meet an old lover and realize that there was still something there and perhaps a chance of rekindling a spark from ashen gray heartache.
I blurted, “Can I invite you to dinner tomorrow night?”
“I’d like that.” He grinned, nervously.
After a few moments of pat, tense chatter, Oscar stated he needed to return home. We both briskly, nervously, hugged, and he was gone - lost in the night’s heat.
I returned home with the thoughts of a million, romantic memories of nostalgia spun in my head. I realized then, how much I truly did miss him.