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In line for a mocha latte, I spot Aaron at the corner table reading Baseball America. He looks just the way I remember him: rumpled plaid shirt, unruly hair, fuzzy beard in need of a trim.

The barista calls my name. Aaron's head snaps to attention.

Maybe he misses me like I miss him. I claim my coffee, then glance hopefully back to the corner table again.

It's empty.

Aaron never was much good at sticking around, I remind myself as I head to the exit, ashamed of my ceaseless optimism.

Then I feel a hand on my shoulder.

Story by:

Lori Cramer

5 January 2015