The last time Emerson and Greta saw each other was at the Gowanus branch of Greta’s restaurant in the year 2015. Emerson was moving back to Portland and Greta seemed to be shrinking, her palms seemed to look like they belonged to someone else.
At the table most immediately behind them Emerson overheard a bearded ectomorph discussing with his server, “I think I’mma go with Option C… No, no wait—Option D. Option D: return to the grassland and start a conversation with the dude with no teeth. I mean, fuck social stereotypes, right? People can surprise you.”
“Excellent. That’ll give you the poached salmon with a coconut milk reduction.”
Emerson turned back to Greta. “It was a really hard decision to make.”
She said it out loud in hopes that someone would overhear and offer her an obscure alternative she hadn’t considered before. She was convinced there were a thousand other possibilities whose atoms she hadn’t yet discovered, and that maybe out of all of them one would finally make her happy.
Greta didn’t say anything.
“Greta… Is it scary growing old?”
Greta sucked on her lips in such a way that for the first time since they met Emerson felt much, much older than her. “When it is, I just think to myself that I’m not really here.”