The last time you saw her she was twenty-six years old and screaming at you from across a rest-stop parking lot, waving down a truck to give her a ride. When she walks into the co-op board meeting she's thirty-eight and she has hips now. Good God she looks good with hips now.
She sees you and her face goes white and she rushes for the door to run but she jiggles the knob and accidentally locks herself in. Panicked she finds a far corner and puts a trash can between herself and you.
You jump out of your chair and leap row after row to the rear of the room to get as far away from her as you can.
"I moved all the way across the fucking country!" you shout at her. "I put 3000 miles between us!"
"So did I you dumb fucking piece of shit!" she shouts back. "I fucking hitched my way here after leaving you at that Roy Rogers you asshole. You followed me!"
"You followed me!" you counter. You grab a stapled packet of meeting minutes and throw it at her. She grabs a paper bag out of the trash can and throws it at you. A partially eaten sandwich falls out of the bag and hits Manny from 11D in the chest.
"You two know each other?" Paul the board president asks.
"I think they used to date," Natalie from 2B says. "I think they broke up and each of them moved across the country thinking the other would stay put, but they ended up in the same city and now she's trying to move into the same building as him, into, um, which unit?"
"4C," Paul the board president says.
"That's right next door to mine!" you shout. "No fucking way! I vote no."
"She's already been voted in," Paul the board president says. "At the last meeting that you didn't attend. She's just here for an introduction. She's got solid credit and hers was the only offer that met our asking price."
You take a step away from the wall. "Withdraw your offer."
She comes out from behind the trash can. "Fuck you," she says. "I'm already in escrow. You can move."
You're feeling bold. It's been twelve years. You're older, sadder, the tissue of your heart's gone hard. You can face her without falling for her. You can take another step closer.
"You can live anywhere you want," you say. "Anywhere but here."
She moves to the center aisle. She's moving toward you. You try to stay strong but she has hips now dear God she has hips now.
"Sell your place, move back to Baltimore," she says. You see a slight wobble in the next step she takes. She's weakening too. "I'll buy your unit and I'll knock down the fucking wall."
"That would have to be approved," Paul the board president says.
You take another step toward her. And another. You're no longer moving toward her of your own volition. You're being pulled. You can feel her taking over. Already, still a few steps away, you can feel her in your veins.
"Jess," you plead. "I was doing so well, Jess."
"Then run," she says, also pleading. "Open that door and run. Because I can't move anywhere but three little steps straight ahead."
You take one step. She takes the second. The third you take together and you're in each other's arms and on the ground and your neighbors are ducking as your clothes go flying about the room.
Paul the board president bangs the gavel he bought himself and adjourns the coop board meeting, yielding the room to your reunion. A month later you'll both return to the meeting to request to knock down the wall between your apartments. Six months after that you'll both disappear without warning leaving all your possessions behind.
Happy Co-op Board Meeting Day!