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This did not happen. 

For the purposes of storytelling, I—I mean the character—will be Jenni, and he will be Tom.

Spring in NYC—or is it?

It was one of those spring days in Manhattan that catches you off guard. I had declared it to be spring last week after my first sighting of a Mister Softee ice cream truck. Typically, Punxsutawney Phil has nothing on a rainbow sprinkle, so I immediately rushed home and packed away 80 percent of my winter wardrobe.

Apparently, my trust in Mister Softee was misplaced, and to top it all off, it was laundry day. All of this justifies why I was trekking to grab a coffee on a Saturday morning in the blistering wind while wearing what can only be described as a hodgepodge of clothing that had been strewn about my apartment. 

Stretchy leggings, a 20-year-old family reunion t-shirt, sneakers, and my green peacoat (the only coat that had survived my winter clothing purge). This was the best I could do with my pre-coffee brainpower. 

At the last second, I grabbed my hand-knit checkered scarf from its nook on the side of my couch. I had finished it two days before and, at the time, was bummed that I’d probably have to wait six or seven months before I could wear it. 

reenactment, with a fierce red lip

I averted my eyes as I passed my hallway mirror because I desperately needed coffee and was too lazy to change my clothes before making the five-block journey to get it. Instead, I wrapped myself in my Rambouillet scarf and hoped to make it there and back without having any run-ins. 

What they don’t tell you about New York is that it’s the largest small town you’ll ever live in. I can go years without seeing a neighbor. Yet the minute I look even the slightest bit unhinged or the second I do anything embarrassing, I am almost guaranteed to run into the last person I would want to see. 

He spotted me in line placing my order before I saw him, so there was nowhere to hide nor time to pull out the wedgie that had formed just as I crossed the threshold into the coffee shop. 


I knew it was Tom because only three people on the planet still called me Jenni instead of Jen, and I always predicted that I would run into him one day while looking ridiculous. 

What I hadn’t predicted was that he would be standing there with her

I first saw her a month after our breakup during a late-night Instagram deep dive. She had commented on a picture he’d posted, and I instantly knew. 

She was precisely the type of girl my insecurities imagined Tom being with. While my chaotic love of color and patterns had clashed with Tom’s suits, her effortlessly put-together classic style fit him like a glove. 

I could barely speak as they made general conversation with me about the weather, their recent vacation, and her brilliant job. Instead, I began hyper-focusing on how her crisp white cable knit sweater perfectly balanced his black fisherman rib turtleneck. My checkered scarf felt distinctly like the black sheep of these three knit garments. 

I should’ve waited ’til fall to wear it. Now, the scarf’s bound to them.

After the weather conversation had run its course, we eased into a moment of silence that seemed to last forever. Then Tom asked, “Did you make that?” 

A grin that I once thought I knew like the back of my hand crept across his face as he gestured towards my scarf. 

I felt a little stung that he hadn’t recognized it from my WIP pile and slightly disappointed that he even needed to ask. Did he know me at all? But I was also grateful for the opportunity to launch into a topic that I could shine in. 

After putting up with my wool diatribe for longer than she needed to, she politely walked away to grab them a table as Tom and I waited for our respective orders. It would be easier if I could find a flaw in either of them, but the truth was I couldn’t. 

He was better than my memory had allowed me to remember, and she better than my imagination had allowed me to dream up.

“Jen!” the barista shouted just as I reached the limit of what I could bear. 

I grabbed my cup and Danish (because gosh, dang it, I earned it) and rushed towards the door. But not before Tom gently reached for my scarf and discreetly tucked in an end that had been missed because of my skipped mirror check. The grin flashed across his face again before he let me go. 

Maybe we did know each other after all.

About The Author

Samantha Brunson is the owner of, a knitting and crafting blog that chronicles the crafting community with stories from a diverse group of makers.

A self-proclaimed elderly millennial, Samantha is always looking for new ways to share her love of knitwear and crafting with the world.


  • Cute story!! Thanks for sharing ☺️

  • … and great scarf! Love those colors!

  • I think his smile should let you know he was remembering!
    Your creativity and great use of color being foremost! If you’re going to “tie” that scarf to memories of him, know he was remembering you too and he was wistful and couldn’t keep the smile from reaching his face. Your scarf is beautiful! Wear it often and proudly!

    • Love the story and love your scarf! We all have those “quick duck outs” that we pray we don’t run into anyone we know! I loved that he asked if you made your scarf and tucked it in for you! Obviously he Remembers!!!❤️

    • I agree!!!

  • Nice writing – enjoyed it!

  • Loved it!

  • Aww. Nicely written. Clever, in fact.

    • Made me cry.

      • Brought tears to my eyes, too!

  • Outfit looks fine to me! Then again the story reminded me of how when I worked for a police department I only ran into cops I knew at the grocery store on Sunday morning while wearing my coke bottle bottom glasses, my hair sticking up in 20 directions, and wearing clothes that were barely this side of not pajamas!

    • Now that’s funny!

  • His loss!
    Great scarf, great story…

  • Love! loved the story, love the scarf. More please.

  • 5 blocks till your first morning coffee??!!

  • You sound lovely.

  • Samantha, I loved your short story. Partly because I love knitting, but also because I love reading. Your characters are real and your descriptions of the plot and events believable. I will probably check out your blog.

  • I think this is probably a familiar story – beautifully told – to many of us. Murphy’s Law, the way the stars align, Shakespearean tragedy, just another episode of Friends. You are More than all of that. Your writing has the elegance that you may see in their sartorial style. And the essential You counts more than the sleekness of a black turtleneck sweater. You probably deep down know this already. Hope that that “sting” has lost its power by now and you can go forth, focus on what Karen E. just said, and enjoy being You.

  • Now the scarf’s bound to them. Perfectly put. I thought this was brilliant, Jen.

    Sue Carney

  • She might look perfect, but can she knit? Love your story!

  • I was just in NYC this week on the upper east side – cool in the morning – I could have used a warm scarf. Your city outfit is beautifully styled!

  • What an inspiring story for a Monday morning. I love your scarf and know that Tom’s smile was about how much more interesting and fun than a cable knit sweater. We must all be bold, brave, and beautiful in wonderful colors.

  • So much to love about this. “New York is the largest small town you’ll ever live in.” SO True! Your scarf is stunning as are your fierce lips. Knit on, warrior. There is someone else out there who is waiting to tuck those ends in for you!

  • You looked better in your scarf. I guarantee it!

  • Now your scarf is bound to US – this beautiful knitting community that shares life’s ups and downs. Thank you, Samantha.

  • I love your colourful scarf, why be bland when you can wear all the colours all together! I really loved your story and have great empathy for Jen, please write more and knit more beautiful things to share with us!

  • Awwww….loved your story….and your look. Feeling kind of sorry for him!

  • HA! Your generous spirit is matched only by your creative flare. Tom can take his crisp tidy life and his crisp tidy GF and go pound salt. He was never meant for you but the scarf – that’s all you. DO NOT GIVE IT TO TOM! lol. Great story. Love the scarf, too.

  • Love your story! Give me color any day. I must admit, I wouldn’t be able to leave the house until I have had my coffee.

  • She was probably wondering why Tom ever left you.

  • Great story, and I am not a big short story fan. I went to re-read it, and saw that I had missed the first two lines because the photo caught my eye (I love older buildings). Those lines made a big difference in how I read it. Interesting The scarf is great, btw. I, too, will be checking out your blog! Thanks!

  • Beautiful, all around.

  • Enjoyable and superbly-written!
    Thank you!

  • There will be more adventures in the neighborhood with Jen, right? I’ll be watching for her.

  • Loved your story! Your scarf is beautiful, wear it with pride

  • Oh my goodness that is a wonderful story. And a wonderful scarf.
    Thank you for sharing your gifts!

  • I love the way you write! This is a nice story, and I love the scarf.

  • I love your story, but I love the scarf!!!!! It’s beautiful. As one person below commented, you and we are more than how people see or feel about us. I just about cried when I read that. Thank you Chloe for your comments. We so often sell ourselves, others, and actions short, so knit on!!!

  • I am sure you looked fabulous and the spotlight was on your beautiful, hand knitted scarf! Be proud of who you are and your beautiful knitwear that took you hours to knit!! Saturday morning is Saturday morning, no rules, anything goes!!

  • ❤️

  • Don’t let him ruin your beautiful scarf. Wear it for years, because you made it, it’s beautiful, and deserves to be enjoyed.

  • I feel fairly sure that Tom will have a relatively happy life, but I also feel kind of sorry for him. He’s missing a lot in life.

  • Killer story! I could empathize so much.

  • I lived in the West Village in the 80’s. So what you said about NYC being a small town really rings true.

    Your tiny love story is excellent. And the scarf is beautiful!

  • Great story to which I can absolutely relate. I’m usually so put together when I leave the house (pathologically, perhaps), but that one time in a 100 that I’m not? BAM! I run into someone I’d rather not see. Thankfully, it’s never been an ex. LOVE the scarf, BTW.

  • And Isn’t that always the way! What a charming story, and when I think that most of us can totally empathize with. You’re Knitting is wonderful.

  • Just love your story, your beautifully knitted scarf and your style! I hope we get to read you again soon in MDK, and I’m off to read your blog.
    I grew up in NYC and remember waiting for a bus for forever one freezing winter night. Of course an ex was sitting near the front as I got on with red eyes and a dripping nose, no gorgeous scarf to distract either of us.
    Thank you for sharing!

  • That’s a great story. Thanks for sharing.

  • LOVE your story and NEED THAT SCARF PATTERN!!! Can you share?

  • Sounds like a scene out of The Way We Were. Love your scarf.

  • Better than a neutral! I need to make this scarf. Shine on!

  • You should publish this in the NYTimes, mini love stories. It may have to be shortened but it’s good.

  • I just love this story! I was flinching when you heard him say your name; groaning when you saw her & compared yourself to her. And grinning at the end. Happy knitting!!

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