The girl’s face caught Eric’s eyes immediately when he saw her walking by in front of him. She had one of those pretty faces that made a guy think about how he’d like to hang out with her. It was nice to fantasize but what was he actually going to do? He couldn’t approach her – he didn’t even know the girl.
She lay out her blanket and then sat up a beach chair not too far from him. She was there by herself. He couldn’t help but continue to look over at her. She didn’t seem to notice as she was just looking ahead at the water. Eric was almost 27-years-old and he was still single for a reason. This girl looked a bit younger – maybe 21 or 22 – but he knew if he didn’t talk to her he would regret it.
He thought in his head about how he was going to approach her. Maybe he’d tell her how pretty he thought she was and that he just wanted to talk to her. Or maybe he’d would just start with some small talk about the weather on the beach and go from there. He had to stop thinking so much about this and just go over there. He always did a good job of thinking what he wanted to say in these situations but when it came time to do so it was a different story.
He approached her, looking at her light brown hair under the sun, her smooth skin that was already tanning, and the light blue bikini that she was wearing. She didn’t notice him until he was standing right in front of her and she acted like she was startled. That embarrassed him at first until she cracked a smile.
“Oh sorry,” she said as she put her hand over her heart. “You scared me.”
She looked up at him waiting for him to say something but no words came out for him. What if he said something stupid and made himself look like a fool? What if he did tell her how pretty she was and she told him that she didn’t find him attractive? When he had thought about approaching her, all of those things he had thought about saying seemed good, and he thought something would naturally come out, but now that the time had come he was at a complete loss for words.
“Um, you want something man?” she said to him a bit impatiently. “You’re staring at me and freaking me out.”
He thought about the things that he had wanted to say so he figured he should say something. But his words got jumbled as he spoke and it just came out as a bunch of mumbling. She leaned forward like she was trying to hear him but now she looked annoyed. He managed to stutter his own mumblings as well.
“Alright well if you have nothing to say, why don’t you go back to what you were doing?” she said.
If he had one last chance to save face at that point he didn’t take advantage of it. He walked away, his head down, his face blushing. He had blown yet another opportunity with a woman because of his inability to speak his mind.
He sat back at his spot watching her sending text messages on her phone. He was sure that she would have liked some company and if he had only been able to say anything to her, the two of them would probably be enjoying a good conversation. Instead, he was back to sitting by himself like usual.
A few days later at the beach, Eric watched another woman who looked maybe a year younger than him, set up a towel about fifty feet in front of him. She lied down on the towel on her back, stretched out her legs, and he admired her beautiful feet as they rested on the sand right where the towel ended. He looked at the soft and smooth tops of her feet and her pretty little toes that had blue nail polish on them.
Her feet looked so beautiful just peacefully resting there with the clear water of the ocean behind them. They swayed back and forth a bit and she wiggled her toes. He wanted to approach her and he thought about what he might say. Did he just walk up to her and tell her she had pretty feet or did he point out how nice they looked with the ocean behind them? He couldn’t mess this up again. He got up to approach her.
He stood in front of her and now it was the bottoms of her feet that were looking at him. He admired the wrinkles of her soles and how clean the bottoms of her feet look, with the exception of the ball of her left foot and the arch of her left foot, which each had a small clump of sand sticking to those spots. Her feet looked just a little bit thick and he guessed that they may be a size 8.
Just like he did any other time he tried to speak to a woman, he froze as he tried to talk to her. While he thought of so many things he could say to her in his head, nothing came out except some mumbling. The woman looked closer at him like she was trying to hear what he was saying. Feeling humiliated, he stopped talking and was about to walk away.
“Don’t worry,” she said to him compassionately. “You don’t need to say anything. I know what you are trying to say. You are trying to say that you like my feet.”
He said nothing but he nodded.
“Would you like to massage them?” she said.
He nodded. She smiled at him.
“Go ahead. Be my guest. Only thing better than getting to relax on the beach is getting my feet massaged while I do so.”
She spread out her toes, inviting him to sit down. He got on his knees, still without saying a word. He took her left foot in his hands and began massaging it. This was the best possible outcome he could have hoped for. It occurred to him that maybe he didn’t need to always express himself with his words.