As her eyes moved sadly across the bright blue, a little patch of red, yellow, green and white slipped into her line of vision, spinning on the wind in concentric circles. It looped and dove gracefully, tracing multicoloured figure-eights against the still blue backdrop. With her eyes she followed the thin white thread that led down from the flying colours to see who reined them in, but the string disappeared behind the roof over the CIBC Stage.
That was the moment.
“And there he was on the platform at High Park station,” Elena was saying. “Zak Whatsisname. Again. He was pretending to send a text message when I got off the train and he looked up all nonchalant and said ‘Elena! What a surprise!’”
The multicoloured patch in the sky pulled itself up to a halt and trembled a while in the air like a hummingbird as they stepped out onto the boardwalk.
“And then he walked home with me – without asking if he could, by the way – and when we got to the door of my condo he gave me this look like he expected me to invite him up. Can you believe it?”
The boardwalk was peppered with people. Several young women in neat office wear sat on the benches along the lakeshore reading paperback novels or gazing out over the harbour while they ate falafels or sandwiches; a young Indian couple ambled down the boardwalk pushing a large tandem stroller containing two identical babies; a small troop of joggers in full athletic gear trotted at a steady pace over the boards; an elderly woman stood close to the edge of the walk, holding the hand of a little girl with a brown cherub face who tossed breadcrumbs to the ducks in the water below.
I can see it all, like a landscape painting, like one of her paintings, the one she named “Papalotero”…
Teresa cast her gaze down the walk to identify the person navigating the kite, but the approaching joggers blocked her view. She raised her eyes again to observe the flying colours, which had resumed their playful dance on the light breeze that blew in from the lake.
“I told him I had a ton of homework, and he finally took the hint that he couldn’t come up. Anyway, the next time I saw him, he tells me he lives on Indian Grove. So why is he getting off the subway at High Park and not at Keele?”
I can see her face, gazing upward at the kite. Her beautiful, glowing face, absent from the painting. In my dreams, I paint it into the landscape.
They had turned and were walking eastward along the boardwalk. The troop of joggers flashed past them on the right. Teresa lowered her eyes again, following the string down to the earth, and found that it disappeared into a small group of people gathered around the one holding the end of it.
“And now today, he just casually shows up at Pho’s. I mean, it’s obvious he’s stalking me. It gives me the creeps.”
The kite took a sudden dive down towards the boardwalk. Teresa gasped as she braced herself for the sound of the crash. But before it reached the ground, it swung around abruptly and soared back up to its previous height. Teresa gave a sigh of relief. The crowd gathered around the kite flyer also let out a collective sigh, and a few applauded as the kite rose higher and higher on the wind.
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