Judith called his name for what felt like forever, and when he finally took notice, he couldn't believe it had taken him that long, considering the unmistakable way she drew out the a in his name like no one else did. "You finally heard me," she said, running to him, "Hi, James. Can you believe it? Running into me here?" She was panting for air, but smiling in that big way she always had. Ten years hadn't done a thing to her smile or her eyes. After she hugged him – during which he felt his face flush a little, having a sudden flashback to a dark booming gymnasium, slow dancing with her, her body warm – he asked what she was doing here. A conference, she said. Was she here long? No, just a few hours more. Her flight back to Colorado left that afternoon.
As she spoke, he moved his grocery bag behind his legs, obscured from her view. He hadn't really thought about it, until he parted from her and realized that the baby food jars were sitting at the top of the bag, and he also hadn't, somehow, really gotten around to telling her much about his life these days. He had even kissed her on the cheek before they said goodbye, a detail, of course, he would omit when he was at home that evening telling Cecile about running into his old high school girlfriend. At the end of his story, Cecile only responded by holding up one of the tiny orange jars and saying, "You bought squash. James, you know she doesn't like squash." And for a moment, he thought that Cecile meant that Judith didn't like squash, and he laughed, and then the baby laughed, and Cecile sighed and put the little jar back in the bag.
"Well, maybe one day she will," he said, and looked over at the baby.
"And she doesn't like peas, either," Cecile said, holding up another jar.
"Just hold onto them," he said. "She could soon change her mind."