There she was, standing in her red dress on a lonely rainy Saturday night. I saw her from my store window, she looked all confused and lost. Usually, I close the store at like 9 pm but I got so caught up with what I was doing that I lost track of time. She looked so beautiful that I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. Her hair was wet and sleeked back , her mascara was drooling all over her rosy cheeks and her red lips were smiling in my direction as if they were calling me over. I closed the store before midnight and I stood behind a pole watching her reject every cab driver to drive by. I wonder why. Maybe they were just too awkward and creepy or she is just picky. “ Too drunk, too awkward, not a proper car, not going my way…” many reasons could have rushed into her head but one reason should have made her get in a taxi “ going home”.
I stood there stealthy and watched her checking her phone every thirty seconds to be exact. It seemed she was waiting for an important phone call or a text message, looking around the empty streets and searching for something,,, or was it someone? That woman is a mystery that I was too excited to reveal, she was a work of art that I was delighted to observe from far behind. She paced around anxiously still looking at her phone, there was a corner just down the block and my store with a tent right In front of her yet it seemed as she was enjoying the pouring rain. The droplets of rain were like holy water rushing over her. The idea of messy mascara due to anything but tears must have been satisfying.
Five minutes have passed and she’s still there and I’m still anxiously waiting for a sign. A sign to guide me to her, to show me that maybe she there is magic behind her mysterious self.
Another five minutes have passed when she sat on the stairs of the building behind her, shivering and trembling. Should I go? Should I tell her I’ve been watching her for almost 10 minutes?
No that would be weird, I don’t know if she even realized that there is a lonely thirty year old man admiring her gorgeousnesses from far behind.
As she got up, I decided there’s my chance I couldn’t let it blow like that. She stared at me creepily as I introduced myself “ Hey, I’m Damien”. A moment of silence before I continued. “ I saw you standing here and I was wondering if you need any help or a ride home”.
She didn’t answer me, she probably thought I am some stalker or a serial killer. So I stepped away, I couldn’t corner or force her to do anything with a complete and utter stranger.
“ Wait, I’m Monica”. I was very relieved to hear her say her name. “ What are you doing here and who are you”? She wondered.
“ I work right across the street, I’m a photographer. I was working late on some photos and I lost time. I saw you sitting here alone and I didn’t feel like it’s right for a lady as yourself to be abandoned which is why I’m offering my help”.
“Well I don’t know anybody here”. She actually refused to get in the car with me right away, I guess she has something again male drivers, so we walked around the block until she felt comfortable enough. I never quite understood why I wasted my time on her but I did. She told me how she desires to be a fashion designer which drove her away from her family and loved ones. After being away for six months, she decided to come back and make amends with her boyfriend. What a bummer!
“ What happened”? I questioned her about him. Then she shyly expressed “ He didn’t want to come with me and felt like I was ditching him to find something better and decided that we need a break. I called him but he never picked up the phone so now here I am. All soaked up and wet”.
I did not know what to say , a beautiful lady like her is waiting for a man to acknowledge her existence after a while. If it were for me I would never let her go.
“ Come on let’s get you home”.
We got in my car which was parked right on the corner, she was staying at the 27th street while I lived on the 25th. Just two blocks difference, it’s like it’s faith. A few minutes and she stared at her phone, she stared at it in shock and held a choke in her throat. One tear sneaked from her eye and suddenly it wasn’t just rain that drooled on her cheeks.
I asked her if everything is alright but she didn’t answer, instead she nodded” so Damien, what got you into photography”?
“ When I was a kid I used to take pictures using my dad’s camera, I loved observing scenes and people but images were the only way for me to really capture them. Whenever I see a photo I don’t see what’s in it, I see what’s behind it too”.
She smiled and took a picture of me “ well now you get to see what’s behind your own image in my view ”. Somehow, she was broken yet she was able to mend me. We spent our fifteen minutes ride listening to music and laughings on the silliest things. Although we didn’t really know each other, we felt we related in different aspects.
“ Damien, can I stay at your place”?
She rejected me like twenty minutes ago and now she wants to stay at my house. “ Sure”. I just blurted out.
I took her back to my place without a word, I have a complete stranger in my room at the moment and I have no clue what to do.
She took some clothes to try on, until she ended up with a baggy hoodie after her shower and may I say, I don’t think I’ve seen a prettier girl.
“ so do I look okay”?
“ You look perfect”.
She sat on the floor with a smile on her face, twirling her hair locks and looking up at me. I gave her some water and fruits and stared at her eating them with a long desire . “ My boyfriend texted me, he told me he doesn’t want to see me anymore and he is busy with some girl. I didn’t want to go to the apartment because it’s his and that would be awkward”.
I don’t think it would be any more awkward than the fact I have an engagement ring in my drawer that goes back to six months ago.
“ Why did he leave you”?
“ he didn’t want to be with me, he wanted to stay right here but I had to follow my dream and that was not good enough for him”.
It was good enough for me, it would have been more than enough for me. She stared into the ceiling as I got out of bed. Suddenly she stopped me and asked me to stay and sleep right here with her. Monica tucked herself in my bed as I laid right beside her admiring her gorgeousness, thinking how a girl could be so vulnerable yet so strong at the same time. She deserves love that consumes her, passion and adventure. I could offer her all of that.
I whispered in her ear “ I was rejected six months ago by my girlfriend, we both dealt with love problems after all”.
She turned around and looked me in the eyes “ I don’t think anyone can reject a guy like you”.
In that moment, I knew that somehow my ring will not go to waste. It will be on the hands of an amazing woman someday. ***
The alarm starts ringing
There was a picture of Damien hung up on the wall, the one that Monica took a year ago. “ Monica ! Monica!” I screamed only to find out I’m all alone with my memory of the girl in the red dress.