My Imaginary Boyfriend
I saw him in the produce section at the Porter Sq Star Market in 2006. I announced to my friend that he was the most beautiful person I’d ever seen and then I followed him to the frozen food section, through check-out, and into the parking lot, where it became too weird. In the months that followed, I spotted him every few months throughout town — from the bus, on his bike, skateboarding downtown. The next year, I started working at Diesel and he’d come in every so often. I explained to all my coworkers that although we’d never spoken, I’d fallen in love with him at Star Market.
Jess began to usher me to the cash register any time he was in sight. I’d get nervous and make silly jokes whenever he came in, but fully accepted that he would always just be my imaginary boyfriend. That felt like enough.
Two years after I first spotted him, Parky casually mentioned that he’d asked about me. He’d been watching me, too. I dropped everything, walked from behind the counter to his table, wrote down my number, and broke up with the guy I had been seeing. We dated for the next two years, including lots of Diesel coffees, Diesel day-old pastries, and Diesel proms.
Time passed, I moved to Seattle, we broke up, and I’ve only seen him a couple times in the last decade. But, if it weren’t for his text a few weeks ago, I wouldn’t know about this call for Diesel Love Stories 🙂