Kid in a ridiculous shirt is looking. The man with a man bun is looking. Woman in red is looking. Even her baby is looking at me. Seriously, I got chills. That is hell of an ugly baby.
I remember thinking, is this a nightmare? Am I naked?
I looked at my clothes, nope, fully clothed.
Then why on earth all of the city is staring at me?
I was just walking for a job interview in the 5th avenue, completely lost in my headspace and trying to suppress my social anxiety when I bumped the guy in front of me. I screamed…. Ok made a weird mice noise for he was staring right through my eyes. Looked around to see other people’s reaction but they were also staring emotionless.
It has been more than 5 mins and I’m just standing still.
Then my brain took over. I jazzed my hands, jumped up and down, they were just staring like one of those creepy portraits. Watching my every move without any facial expression.
Then my inner child took over. I took the guy’s hat, no reaction. Punched his arm. Nothing. Made weird eyes to the baby, partially scaring that it would make a move, thankfully nothing.
So i thought, what’s the point of the interview. Let's see how long this’ll go.
Now its been 4 years and 53 days, 6 hours… kidding its been an hour.
First, I went to Starbucks. Living the dream. Skipping the lines, drowning on that caramel topping ( cause they never pour enough!), I lost myself to caffein. Broke one of the arms of the machines accidentally, which made me realize that time haven’t moved on . Its been 10 mins since I last checked but security cameras were stuck 20 min before. And yes I was in security computer because I had to delete that footage of me - no one wants to see a dude choking on toppings and tapping his own back to breathe.
This meant the dawn will come soon and I had no idea why and how this… pause was happening. So I had to move fast. Think of your craziest wishes.
I robbed the bookshop. Yeah. I’m such a rebel. Just grabbed a huge backpack and filled it with my To Be Reads.
The silence started to annoy me so I grabbed a huge JBL and placed it in the middle of the road, turned Bohemian Rhapsody full bass and walked till I couldn’t hear anything again.
Animals seemed to not affected by it, which was a good thing. Then I wondered if anyone else was around like me. Walked a few blocks, yelling and singing, then I saw you. You know the rest…
She looked confused. ‘ Ten points for imagination pal. You robbed a bookstore.’
‘ Said the girl whose first action was to rob a gun store!’
‘Hey! I don’t know why this shit is happening, haven’t you watched The Walking Dead?!’
I laid my hands and said ‘ Look, I can’t harm you with ‘Midnight Sun’ so can you put the rifle down, please?’
‘You rob a bookstore and get Twilight trilogy?’ she laughed.
‘Shut up’ I groaned. ‘ You know it's a Twilight, that says something.’
‘Ok’ she said, lowering the rifle. ‘ Now what?’
I shrugged. ‘ Let’s rob a museum?’
But she continued, ’How long this will last? I mean… this is hell if we stuck like this forever.’
I was having fun without thinking for the first time in years so I couldn’t do with any more planning. ‘If there are more people, they will eventually find us. Till then, I really don’t give a shit.’
She looked surprised. Then she hanged her rifle to her shoulder and said ‘ Which museum?’
The museum was crowded, yet we squeezed through them as if they were mannequins.
Her name was Allie with an ‘A’ and she liked peppermint ice-cream. Had a little brother and father. She was working at Barnes and Nobles and admitted that she ran to the gun store after she saw me throwing all those books to my bag like crazy and dancing in the middle of the street. ‘ I thought you did this. ’ she said, ‘ Gassed the people with some chemical or something to stop them intervene.’
‘To stole a Twilight book?’
‘Fans can get crazy, you have no idea.’
She had the prettiest smile I have ever seen.
She was a space enthusiast, so I made a necklace for her out of a moon rock I found from the museum. Sorry, humanity, but the world kinda stopped for me to find love.
After talking all night, we fell asleep at the museum and went to see her brother next morning. He was standing in his pj’s with cereal at hand, watching the news anchor who was also frozen. She took the cereal and replaced it with an apple, cause his diet was way unhealthy lately.
She asked if I wanted to see anyone, my parents were out of town so we skipped that idea at that moment.
We went to shore, swam in the ocean, ate pizza on the top of the Empire State building. It was hard to get around for the traffic was stuck, walking was taking time so we spend the night in strangers’s houses mostly. Or in a Movie Theatre. Or on the grass of Yankee.
After 5 months I knew every bits of her life just like my own.
We fought. Mostly for little things. She even shot the rifle behind my back that one time. But then again, we saw nobody else in motion. Coming to think of it, even if we did, I would still stick with her.
We laughed, tons. We decided to visit my parents in Ohio, it was after a year and a half I suppose.
She found my yearbooks, she was crying from laughter as she made fun of my mohawk phase.
We walked crossed the whole country, then Canada, then Mexico. It took a while for us to go somewhere but everyday was like an adventure. Everything was remaining still so the food was not a problem. Made a burger? You can keep it for years in your pocket. We weren’t aging even though seasons were changing. After a while, we stopped questioning why’s and how’s and just lived.
I don’t how, but it happened at night. We woke up exactly the same time and realized that this should be over. Sudden as it came.
Now I’m anxious again. We drove back to New York. She putted the rifle back. I, the books. Even tried to fix that machine in Starbucks. Then decided to make a coffee for everyone on the line. They’ll be very happy when they wake up.
We kissed and hugged as if we’ll never see each other again.
She couldn’t find her old clothes, neither did I, but no one would notice. I’ve said something like ’I AM NEVER GOING OUT WITH YOU AGAIN’ just to look though a bit, in reality I was about to cry. But she just chuckled, punched my arm jestingly and went inside the bookshop. I to the Honeywell Avenue.
I placed myself a bit further than Frederick. Ah yes, I’ve checked his name, even found his house. I got to know everyone’s lives in this street over the years. He seemed like a good guy. Wish he just looked in front of him rather than his phone.
Then took a breath. What was I doing 42 years ago today? Right. Interview. I had a lifetime of experience now… maybe should write myself a note? Don’t. Go There. That’s a bloody waste of time. Find the girl in bookstore, she’ll make your life thousand times better. You’ll finally find home.
But no. Some things happen for a reason, and we already lived a life. Plus, I’m sure my shy ass wouldn’t even find courage to talk to her. I’m just… upset that all the things she taught me will be lost. We both became whole different people over the years… Now I’ll go back being that workaholic guy with dreams limited of owning a 3 bedroom house with a Mercedes parked across.
Another breath. I know, when it hits 4:13…
Then Frederick hit me… I think? I don’t know how I know his name.
‘Check where you going, would you?!’ He yelled.
‘Oh, yeah, sorry.’ What time is it? 4:13. Seriously? I had almost two hours and anxiety was eating me up. Suddenly the thought of sitting there with all the other candidates seemed a pointless torture, I wanted to keep a little time to myself, free of thought. Then I saw Barnes and Nobles, maybe reading something would help? I could sit at Starbucks with a book and kill some time there. So I went there. Just like that.
Now, when it comes to choosing something I am extremely in between. So I picked the cheesiest book I can find, Twilight: Midnight Sun.
And regretted immediately for the cashier was cute as hell.
I was about to change my mind, choose another book, grab a Bible, anything, think brain, THINK!
‘Hey? Are you gonna buy that?’
Hey, Allie with an A, yes, unfortunately, this would only happen to me.
‘Um.. yeah.. my niece… just… birthday…’
‘So it’s a gift? Want me to wrap?’
Great. Now I have to unwrap a Twilight in the middle of Starbucks.
She had hazel eyes. Cute hair bun. Her face though, was looking like ‘ Ask my number and I will shoot you.’
She wrapped incredibly fast, my hands kind of was shaking as I gave my credit card. She was wearing a kind of... rock… necklace?
‘Nice necklace!’ Aiden what the fuck? Where the hell have I found this courage? ‘Umm..does it have a meaning? I asked hesitantly.
‘I don’t wear any… oh… I… don’t know.’ She was looking at it as if it was her first time seeing it. ‘I honestly have no idea how I have this.’
‘Hangovers’ I said smirking, me, the guy who never had a hangover. I could just die there.
She smiled too. It was really pretty. ‘Yeah I guess…There you go.’
Stupid, stupid, stupid. I had a chance to ask her out, would be weird, but she smiled, like I cracked up a smile, and what would happen like its not the end of the world, what would she…
She was walking towards me, have I forgot my wallet or something?
‘Wanna grab a coffee or something? My shift is over in half an hour.’
‘ It’s just that… I really am having a bad day, and you seem like a harmless person… I don’t know I’m being stupid…’
‘Oh no not at all!’ I said. Enthusiastic much? ‘ Although, you have no idea how us fans can get crazy.’
She laughed. ‘ So it was for you…’
Shit. ‘Yeah… actually I only got it because…’
‘Oh don’t. You can tell me about it on coffee ’ she smiled.
‘Great. I’ll um… I can wait in Starbucks round the corner?’
‘Perfect. See you there in 30min.’
She smiled again. She has to stop that, my heart had enough for the day. I mean.. the hell with the Interview, right?
As i was stepping out, I had a feeling, like these ' butterflies in my stomach' kinda thing . Was I in love? How could this be? Me, the introverted shy ass guy who have never dated anyone in his life, one day finds the most beautiful girl in NY, completely by sheer recklessness and THEN she accp-
I look behind, my head hurting and took the book in charge that hit my head. Then saw Allie charging towards me, her cute little brows were frowned and-
‘You. COULD HAVE. SAID ANYTHING.’
‘I will love you forever Allie.’ She knocked down a pile of books. ‘ You were the love of my life Allie.’
I was completely blank and then… necklace….oh no.
‘AND YOU CHOOSE I’M NEVER GOING OUT WITH YOU AGAIN?!’