Valentines: “Missed Connections” by Mina Lee

Missed Connections

In line at Little Zelda’s, Sunday, 11/15, 11 am Crown Heights  

You stood in front of me wearing a Friend of a Friend cap and monochrome blue outfit, which I don’t think you meant to do, but pulled off quite nicely. You politely ordered a cappuccino and sat down by yourself at a table out on the curb.  

After I ordered, I waited around, and I took the empty seat at a table nearby facing you.  We made eye contact for a brief moment.  

I looked quickly at my phone. When I looked up again and you were looking at your  phone too. While I was looking-not-looking, at my phone… what would it have looked  like sitting together at that table?  

Your hand would be inviting my hand to gently come in to hold it on this cold day. My  warm hand would warm your hand. 

“Help me with the Sunday crossword?”  

“Done.”  

By this point, you’ve already gotten me out of the habit of turning on Autocheck.  When I stall at a tough clue, you say, “It’s ok. Let’s come back to it”, even when I whine,  “Ugh. Fine”. You’d slyly switch hands so that now your warm hands would warm up  mine.  

Your cappuccino was ready, you got it, said thank you, and walked away. 

Grand Army Plaza on the 2, 3, 4 5 Line, Saturday, 8/15, 8 pm  

Dude in the wire glasses, red beanie, and leather jacket… I need you right now.  

If you could see into my mind, we’re hand-in-hand hurrying out of the train station and  briskly walk-running to my place around the corner only stopping at a busy intersection.  There, you let go of my hand to skillfully place yours on the small of my back and pull me into your chest. You gaze into my eyes with a hunger that I can feel with every  ounce of my body. I feel my legs buckling a little, but you don’t notice because of your  tight embrace. We look at each other and we kiss.  

As the 4 train hurtles down the platform, I’m startled back into reality where you and I  are complete strangers. I mindlessly follow you onto the train, but quickly realize I need  to be going the opposite way so I hop off. Doors close. Bye forever.  

Columbus Circle Entrance of Central Park, Sunday, 5/3, 2 pm 

Can I get a round of applause for the tall guy in the topcoat, hoodie, Adidas sweatpants,  and crisp white sneaks?  

I don’t know how you pulled off this outfit without looking like a total Hypebeast fuckboi,  but you did and I was 1000% into it. You’re casually sipping on a coffee and it seemed  like you’re waiting for someone. I really wished that someone was me.  

As I walk up to you, I catch your eye and your smile brightens. A smile that is so pure  and genuine that it looks like it was engineered… just for me. Your eyes have this  welcoming, flirty glint to them in the sunlight, as if I’m the only person you want to be  looking at. You stand up straight and you casually walk towards me. When you finally  get to me, I can feel you smile through your kiss. It’s so sweet. As you put your arm  around my shoulders, you dive into how your week was, and we start our stroll into the  park.  

“Hey! There you are!” Thanks to my friend, my fantasy of us abruptly ended, but we’ll  always have my daydream.  

Caffe Reggio, Friday, 3/20, 9:30 pm 

After a long day, all I wanted was to read a little in my favorite corner of Caffe Reggio,  but no… you had to just walk in through the door. You sat down at a table next to me  and I froze. My heart was beating out of my chest, I worried you would hear. I was so  distracted by your presence that I read the same line in my book about 10 times now,  looking like a super slow reader. Great. I thought I sweat through my shirt thinking of  different ways to talk to you. 

“Hi, um… excuse me… is there an outlet by you? My phone is dying.”

“Sure let me check real quick,” you look under your chair. You hold out your hand for my  phone and charger to plug in. “You’re all set! Wow. Glad we found you an outlet, your  phone actually just died,” you say with a smile.  

“Thank you so much. Yeah… my friends kinda tease me about it, it’s become my MO, I  guess…,” I say shyly.  

You chuckle and lean in and whisper, “me too”.  

“Here’s the check,” said the server.  

“Thank you so much,” I said with a smile. I looked down at my phone and it’s… on the  verge of dying. Hey, at least, I know how to get home from here. As I slowly gathered up  my things to savor our time together, I wrote my number on a piece of paper, I slid it to  you, gave you a quick smile, and left.  

*buzz buzz*

About Mina Lee

By day, Mina is an HR professional, and by night, she’s an aspiring culture junkie and local TV binge-watching champion. As a formerly repressed Korean American trying to conform to white society, Mina is actively seeking out ways to reclaim her Asian identity by doing weekly kpop dance classes, making more Asian food (fuck spaghetti… just kidding she loves all carbs), reading more Asian authors, and exploring her creativity through cooking, drawing, and writing. From the very bottom of her big, bold, Asian heart, she wishes “the man” a thoroughly heartfelt FUCK YOU and looks forward to sharing more of her most authentic self with like-minded souls around the world.