There were two men waiting for me when I left my apartment this morning. My mother had called for them to escort me and I'm sure it was intentional that she didn't phone me beforehand. They were dressed casually and so I would have overlooked them had they not approached me. I had meant to take the train.
I ducked into the backseat of their car, a black Mercedes wagon with the tinted windows. The one in the passenger side seat asked me to put on my seatbelt. The one driving asked if he could smoke before rolling down his window.
Far from being terse and cordial as I would have expected, they were overly-familiar, almost jovial. They asked me where I grew up, if I wanted the radio on and to what station, if any. It's always been a silent pleasure of mine to observe people in pairs, how much we defer about ourselves in an instance for the sake of the other person. The two would seemingly make every effort to want to talk — the driver moreso. But it felt more like they were talking to each other through me, the way the one would tilt his head or interject when the other was seemingly reminded of something they had shared together, some past experience. It was clear they had really known each other.
There was likely something in the same way, something that drew me to you after so many years apart, and why I made the decision to run away that time. I would ask you a question and in the way you responded I could intuit something more to be said. It felt familiar, that instinct, to leave a thing unsaid as a way to temper all the things to come. Or perhaps I was only ever projecting.
I wondered briefly during the drive and amidst the small talk how much time would have gone by for me to compare, us and them. Was it the first night? Several mornings after we would wake up under the same roof? A year in? The way they seemed so unconcerned, the two men, would time and again bring me to mind of me and you.