Title: My Valentine
How long had it been already? That before it was only by coincidences that I saw her passing by – a stranger once at that – a few times before. Now I was having lunch with her. At this very moment. Over steaks and pasta. In this quiet cafe away from noisy passerbys.
She was, to put it a clearer sense, a walking art. She wore clothes that portrayed her interest in dark fashion and leather. She wore her white headphones all the time, music blasting through the speakers and songs that couldn’t be mistaken as Japanese lyrics. Her locks were kissed by sun and sand, noticeably blonde and short. She didn’t look like most girls.
She was unique.
She stood out among the crowd while she walked. She was strangely beautiful.
And I wanted to know more about her.
Because among the things I said, there was one thing I always, always noticed about her: she’d habitually stare down the floor. As if trying to avoid the people’s eyes.
Trying to blend in.
Trying to be invisible.
I wondered at that.
Because there was no way she’d be unseen from people’s eyes; she was simply special like she was illumined by a single stage light. I saw her. I always saw her. She shone with chromatic hues.
I mustered enough strength to finally approach her, asking her about time. She seemed disinterested, more alerted however. Politely, she answered me and that was that.
Uh, oh. I needed to keep the ball rolling or else I’d lose the opportunity altogether. This was no coincidence, this chance I meant. The universe had given me this, surely.
And I happened to blurt out the strangest thing I never had imagined saying next, “I kinda saw you a lot of times before…”
She stared at me; her attention now piqued.
“Err, I mean. You do kinda… uh… stand out…?”
Could the floors swallow me now? I bet I sounded the freakiest guy on earth.
“Oh. Uhm, thank you?”
And her smile was not missed. She shyly tucked away a lock behind her ear and finally settled her music player to Off, it would seem. I had her full attention now and the surroundings sounded so distant and away.
“Would you like to have lunch together?”
I damned hope I didn’t sound like I was pushing it though.
She checked her phone first and then turned to me for a nod of approval.
Wow. Just wow. Was this really happening?
It turned out that she spoke a lot, freely sharing her thoughts and could easily change topics to one another. She wasn’t a bore to converse with. In fact she shared simple things, and the next to meaningful ones. When she finally noticed she was talking on and on, she placed the glass down and sighed.
“Ah, there I go again. Babbling. I really tend to do that.”
I nodded and had that look of evident interest. I wonder if she was getting the idea that it didn’t bother me at all.
She didn’t and apologized profusely, saying things like I might find her strange and all and just babbled like an idiot.
“Ah, no no. Please continue. I really like to listen. You said something Art right? What else do you illustrate?”
She once again shyly smiled and told me more of her interest in religion-based themes, parallel universe, cooking and her pet dogs that were close to demons every now and then and more.
This cake, in this quiet cafe with just me and her, oblivious to the world around, had never tasted this good before.
“Thank you for today. I really had a good time. I didn’t even think to celebrate a pre-Valentine lunch like this, really.” She laughed as she was starting to pack her things.
And I kinda forgot that today was the 13th of February. How could I miss that.
“Thank you really.”
There was certainly a hint of separation and parting, almost a warning sign of telling me to go for broke or just let her walk away without even asking her number.
Should I dare to even ask…? She’d give it to me if she really wanted to see me, wouldn’t she? I didn’t know what to do, honestly. I didn’t want to look too eager and impatient.
But I did want to see her again. And again in a different time but at the same cafe. Or the same time but at a different place. Whichever. Let me talk to you again please. I really wanted to tell her that.
She seemed listless on her chair.
And we both spoke in unison next.
“Would you like to have lunch again?”
“Can I ask you to have lunch again?
We both stopped and stared a moment. And laughed a good, hearty laugh.
“Yes,” she smiled and keyed in her number on her phone before showing it to me. I hoped I didn’t look like a weirdo with the goofiest smile on his face as I was taking my own phone. “Let me know when’s convenient for you, alright?”
She bowed – one of her innate habit, as I was told by her earlier – and started walking away, not before looking back at me and greeting, “Happy Valentine’s Day~”
“Happy Valentine’s Day too.”
It was going to be a start of a good valentine indeed. I’d make sure of it.