Ran sat at the bar, in a lounge suspended in a glass box, high above Grand Central and the teeming wet streets below. It was raining in New York City. She nursed a glass of bitters and picked at some lint on her cobalt blazer.
A woman walked by and sat down, one seat away from her. Ran was startled to notice that it was the same blond woman from the town car, a few nights ago. The woman – What was her name? Dallas? – recognized Ran, and waved, coming closer, much to Ran’s chagrin.
She was wearing a knee-length, white dress, with a bright, primary color paint splatter print, and red pumps. “Funny finding you here,” Dallas said, balancing her clutch and her drink, a martini.
“I would say the same to you,” Ran said, still surprised.
“What do you do for a living?” Dallas said.
“Well, I used to run a surf shop, but my girlfriend got me a marketing job, here in the city,” Ran replied.
“A surf shop, huh?” Dallas stirred her drink, with the olive’s toothpick, “That’s interesting.”
“It was a small outfit,” Ran said, “I love to surf. It was just something I did after college.”
“So, you are a transplant,” Dallas said, “What’s your girlfriend like?”
Ran brightened, “She’s really kind. We met in the Caribbean.”
“That’s something; I just got back from the tropics. Thailand.” Dallas mused.
Ran looked at her, shocked, “Thailand? That’s cool. I’ve never been to Southeast Asia.”
Dallas returned her gaze, “You’d love it: green curry, papaya salads, a booming nightlife.”
Ran shrugged, “Maybe someday. Do you have a girlfriend?”
“Had a girlfriend,” Dallas said, looking back at her drink, “She came back to the states before me.”
“I’m sorry,” Ran said, also deflating, “Were you guys living there?”
“Yes,” Dallas responded, “I wanted to continue my research, while still living in that part of the world. I had lived in Australia before. But some relationships can’t take being uprooted and moved to the other side of the world.”
“I guess not,” Ran also looked ahead of her. The congestion was still heavy on the slick streets. The downpour was only getting worse; someone’s umbrella was blown inside-out.
Dallas glanced at Ran again, “If you closed down a business for this woman, even a small one, it must mean she’s important to you, right?”
“I would say so!” Ran took a sip. She mellowed, “Hopefully you can find the one you’re looking for.”
Dallas sighed, “I already did; I threw her away.”
The first thunder of spring echoed across the skyline. Minuscule rivers ran along the curb and poured into the sewers.