Not a member? Sign up now
The Scavenger Hunt
I can’t lie about the fact that I’ve seen Amelie one too many times. I have an irrepressible whimsical streak and so was delighted one crisp November morning to be struck by inspiration: I knew what I was going to do for the birthday of the then-object of my affection (who I’ll call Casey). Said inspiration was well-timed, because his birthday was the following day. I awoke after dreams of overturning Parisian cobblestones to reveal clues, photographs and lipstick, and called him.
“I have a huge birthday surprise for you,” I said. Casey seemed charmed. I was not usually the take-charge-of-your-birthday type. I assumed my most authoritative voice as I instructed him to show up the following morning at an East Village coffee shop wearing comfortable shoes.
I then proceeded to scheme giddily. I was about to join the ranks of those who had executed a classic maneuver: the romantic Scavenger Hunt. The next morning came with some intense negotiations. Could I please stash a clue in a bin of lube at Babeland? Would Economy Candy abide by a love note hidden at the bottom of a heap of wax lips?
After a long day of clue-hiding, I went home and dressed to the nines. I imagined Casey skipping through the Lower East Side, finding shreds of my love under hot doughnuts, next to mugs of steaming coffee, nestled between sheets of poetry. It was extra-cold out for November, but in the Amelie version of this particular fantasy, Casey was rosy-cheeked, ecstatic and on a mission. Eventually, I went to Paladar, where the final clue was to lead my love to share one sublime mojito with me before heading home.
I waited. I sipped my first mojito through a tiny straw and felt charming. By mojito number three, I felt a bit more tragic. Where was he? I hadn’t made the clues that hard, had I? I went into the bathroom, freshened up. I was determined to be utterly dazzling when Casey walked in.
And walk in he did. Though, to be fair, it was more like a defeated stagger. I leaped up. There were no rosy cheeks, more of a greenish pallor. He could barely speak, but rasped something about migraines, vertigo, and the inability to breathe, and to the hospital we fled. It was, as it turned out, pneumonia. As we approached our third hour in the fluorescent waiting room, I sheepishly apologized for the scavenger hunt. How was I to know it would result in grave illness? Casey managed a wan if chartreuse smile.
These days, I just make mixtapes. I usually include a track from the Amelie soundtrack for good measure. — Temin Frutcher
Have you ever done something totally crazy in the aftermath of a breakup? Experienced temporary post-relationship insanity? Tell us about it! Submit your 300-500 word true story to email@example.com or click here for more information.