Urban Cowgirl

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At a time like this, I know of only a handful of things that are guaranteed to make me feel better. Thankfully, one of those things is easily attainable. I make my way to the coffee cart near the front of the museum. Normally, I’m an iced coffee sort of girl but there’s a chill in the air today and I can’t think of anything better than something warm and sweet to sip on.

“One latte, please. As hot as you can manage,” I ask the barista. My request is granted. My latte is so hot I have to pull down the sleeves of my sweater to hold it, but it’s exactly what I wanted.

I make my way back through the museum. It’s more crowded than it was before. I try not to look at the scores of couples holding hands or leaning on each other while they look at pieces from the romanticism period.

I’ve lost count of how many times I begged Peter to take me on a date to a museum. He could never understand why I’d want to go somewhere so simple. If it wasn’t exclusive or limited in some way Peter rarely took interest. A walk through snowy central park was something he looked down his nose at. Then again, he came from money. I don’t.

I stand in front of the painting of the water lilies again. There’s something about it I find calming. I’d learned that personal mantras are all the rage now. Maybe mine could be something like Be A Water Lily. I laugh out loud at how ridiculous it sounds. A few patrons give me a strange look. I sip my latte and wander to another part of the museum.

It’s more crowded in the wing I’ve entered. I try to snake my way through the crowd but everyone in the wing has conveniently forgotten the meaning of ‘excuse me.’ Halfway through the gallery I give up. I don’t have the energy to fight the crowd. I turn but just as I do a careless patron takes a big step backwards, knocking into me. I stumble, my latte slips from my grip and careens into the tweed covered shoulder of another patron.

“Shit,” I gasp. I yank my hand back and knock the rest of my latte onto my own sweater. “Shit, shit that’s hot.”

“I’m aware.” A hand lifts the latte from my clumsy grasp. The British accent catches me off guard. I look up and find myself staring into the bright blue eyes of a man who looks like he was pulled out of a novel.   

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