The Kid’s Boyfriend

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The kid comes over and reads her a story about how she met her boyfriend. She knows the story, of course, because she was there when they met. She and her bud and the kid have lunch at one of those unreasonably charming cafés in the West Village, the dad goes to work and she and the kid leave to go to a meeting. The next one nearby is in the East Village, a clubhouse in a tiny basement room, it’s not crowded, a dozen people maybe, a kid about the kid’s age sitting in the speaker’s chair. He gives a talk and it’s good. He has a year sober. His dad is sober. He’s funny and he’s smart.

Outside after the meeting, the sober kid asks Are you her mom? Her bud’s kid is still inside talking to someone else. She likes this question. It’s the first time she’s ever been asked this question. No, she says, I’m friends with her dad. They chat waiting for the kid to come out, the sober kid tells her he lives in Maplewood, they chat about Maplewood, she knows people in Maplewood, he says There’s a great meeting in Maplewood, you guys should come out sometime, she thinks, Aw that’s sweet, kid, I’m not going to a meeting in Maplewood (she is totally going to a meeting in Maplewood), she tells him she’s a writer.

Oh cool, he says, my dad’s a writer, the bud’s kid comes outside, she and the sober kid trade numbers. The sober kid walks back toward the apartment with the wife and the kid, this new sober kid is definitely into her sober kid, they get to the gate in front of her apartment, the wife is like Okay bye nice meeting you (= no way can I let my friend’s kid disappear into the East Village with some random kid from a meeting, not on my watch), an hour later the sober kid texts her kid and two days later she’s on a train to Maplewood and that’s pretty much that. She has a boyfriend now.

So the kid reads the wife this story she’s written and the wife has just gotten off the phone with the kid’s dad who has moments ago said that thing he says a lot about there being no coincidences, and generally whenever someone says this the wife thinks there are only coincidences, but this time she realizes that the kid would have never met the boyfriend at all if they hadn’t gone to that random meeting together and she says Holy shit, it’s not just me and you and your dad, it’s all four of us, and the kid is like YEAH I KNOW.

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