I was waiting for coffee at the bodega down the street from my office when I saw his eyes blazing back at me from the cover of the New York Post. The cheap metal prongs of the newsstand were blocking the headline, and most of his face, but the eyes alone tipped me off. I hadn't seen my husband in five years, but I would recognize those limpid brown headlights anywhere. Making sure that none of my fellow lawyers were in the shop watching me pick up a tawdry rag, I walked three steps to the newsstand and, breath quickening, took a copy.
Ethan's face had thinned out since I last saw him. There were severe hollows in his cheeks where there was once a downy roundness from one too many weeknight beers. In the photo he had a full beard, and his curly dark hair, which he had always trimmed close to the scalp, now fell in dreadlock-style tendrils across his brow. He had aged considerably in just a short time, but not badly. He had a smattering of sexy crow's-feet ringing his eyes, the kind you get from hours spent outside. His skin had taken on a tan, faintly leathery quality.
It took me a minute to realize he wasn't alone on the cover.
She was there, too. Amaya's clean olive skin still glowed as if it were backlit, the product of a diet based primarily on kelp. Her dark-blond hair was pinned back in a dancer's bun. Both Ethan and Amaya had their hands pressed together as if in prayer.
The photo appeared to be a promotional image from one of their videos. Ethan and Amaya had made instructional videos for married people who want to be "cosmically connected through the ancient practice of yoga." Each video opened with Ethan and Amaya locked in a ball of intertwined arms and legs — some ridiculously complicated pose that made their limbs look like braids of lanyard. After they unfolded, but before the opening titles rolled on-screen, Amaya bowed to the camera and said slowly, in an even, condescending tone often used by preschool teachers, "We want to teach you how to share each other's consciousness. With our help, you can have the closest marriage."
I committed that line to memory after watching and re-watching every video on their YouTube channel — even the one that was just a dog nosing around a pile of sand. In those bitter months after Ethan left, I had a Google Alert for his name, and for Amaya's name, and then for their names together. The videos popped up about six months after they ran off together. At first I tried to figure out where the videos were made. It had to be San Francisco, right? Isn't that where people go when they leave their wives for yoga instructors? But I never could find any trace of Ethan or Amaya in my public records searches. There was no evidence of an apartment, or a new driver's license, or even incorporation data for When Two Become One, the name of their "company," according to the videos. Ethan had shut down his Facebook account right before he left me and never reactivated it. The videos were the only real thing I had.
Ethan's face looking up at me from the cover of the Post brought everything welling back up. I was so wrapped up in searching his new crow's-feet that I had missed the headline splashed in luridly enormous type across the Post's front page: nama-slay: yoga couple found dead in new mexico cave.