I know it’s a stupid decision, yet I took it. Why do I always do things, which embarrass me in the end?
Sitting on the sidewalk, seeing faces that are strange to me, is my favorite pastime. On top it’s the Valentine season, young love blossoming, couples rolling their tongues into each other, making fake promises. I adore this drama, also I used to be part of this whole brainwashing stunt some years ago, but right now, I am single ready to mingle.
First, I needed a stable job, and money to pay my rent and bills. The pandemic ruined our company, which took a toll on all the employees. I did not get my salary for the last few months and my company shut down. So, I am jobless and soon will turn into homeless.
To start afresh and to bring out some change. I considered perming my silky straight hair. I wanted luscious locks of curls falling on my forehead, but the perm turned out to be a disaster.
Now, my hair is looking like noodles, and it’s ruined my whole look. I spent 100 dollars on the whole process. Still, it did not come out as I expected.
I have rent to pay, bills, and study loans over my head. Then why did I invest it in such a childish whim? Sometimes, I have to consider rethinking before making impulsive decisions.
In this whole lockdown, I watched Oparah, you know, to get the boost of motivation you need. Instead of getting excited about my life, I got driven to mimic her hairstyle. I think my brain is wired differently, I always see the world in rose-colored glasses.
I was also kinda hit away by the new trend of #NewMeInNewYear. But why did I choose my hair?
I could have chosen a weight loss or fitness regime. Why did I choose this stupid yet expensive hairstyle? Even I don’t have answers for my stupid actions.
My stomach rumbled, signaling me about my hunger. I check my wallet. I have only 4 dollars with me. I can buy some donuts and a diet soda. I rise from the bench progressing towards my favorite bakery, but a strange smell stung my nostrils. I turned a whole 360 degrees to whiff the source of the smell but could not find it. I gazed at the sky and the ground to see if the source of the smell is nearby. I couldn’t find it anywhere.
“Put on some deodorant, miss,” a blonde girl shoved me from the pathway. While spitting the words on my face. I smelled my hair, and bam my nose burnt. The chemicals were still lingering on my hair, and now it was blazing the nostrils of people surrounding me. My style goes with a rule. I am told not to wash my hair for the next 48 hours. I think I should try to murder my landlord with this smell and solve my problem of rent debt.
I smiled upon my immature idea and marched down to the bakery.
“How much for the donuts, diet soda, and cookie.” I haste my words because my hunger was at its peak.
“It's 6 dollars and 50 cents,” said the cashier.
“It's Valentine's day, isn’t there any discount and donuts are 4 dollars, right?” I ask her with dismay.
“It's our policy when we put the discount board that means that there is no discount. We have these special donuts, not the regular ones, so it's expensive.”
“Just give me the cookie and the soda.” My stomach made an upset groan, even it was expecting the sweet donuts.
I turned from the counter with consternation and a growling stomach, when something icky got spilled over my shoulder. When I saw the source of the cold coffee spray, my eye's balls rotated 360 degrees. Its Max. Max Taylor, captain of the football team, a serious jock, an A grade student, a handsome hunk, a model, and whatnot. He still has those fox eyes with ocean color in them, his jawline was still in shape like it was 6 years ago. My heartbeat raced, blood rushed to my cheeks and a smile popped on my face. Do I still love him? I don’t know.
“Miss, I am sorry, this day is going worse for everyone,” he speaks with a honey voice while handing the tissue.
But I was gazing at the Greek god in front of me, feeling the butterflies like I used to 6 years ago.
“Are you going to gaze at him, like a raccoon for the next two hours too?” The voice interrupted my flow of thoughts bringing me back to reality.
I flushed more and apologized to the cleaning lady. The cold coffee was spilled on his navy blue suit and it stained his white vest.
“I apologize miss, I was not looking where I was going,” He had a sour tone in his voice.
“It's your habit, it can't be changed,” I murmured to myself.
“What?” He tensed his forehead while asking.
“Nothing, it's just…” The cleaning lady interrupted our conversation, even before I could continue.
“If you don’t want your parcel, can I take it?” the cleaning lady taunted me with fire in her eyes.
“Sorry, I will take it.” I took the package without even looking into her fierce eyes.
“It's just a cookie and soda. Can I buy something from you? Like a coffee or a donut.”
“I would love it,” I say without thinking.
We took a small table and he ordered a black forest pastry and warm chocolate milk.
“So, miss can I know your beautiful name?” He asked with a selfish grin.
“It's Rose, Max.”
“Ok, wait how do you know my name?” His body postured tensed.
“Max Taylor. Student of St, Joseph. A valedictorian with a famous personality. Had more medals than the hair on the head. Loved his girlfriend Veronica like Romeo to Juliet.”
“How do you know all that?” He flashed a charming smile.
“I was your batchmate. The girl who wrote a poem for your birthday.” Tears swell in my eyes while recalling the incident.
“Ya, that’s why I felt that I have seen you somewhere before. I remember you had an amazing smile and such beautiful eyes.”
“You used to tease me about my braces and once called me owl because of my specs.” I correct his narration.
“Ahh…” he paused a bit.
“I think, I messed up your description. But I remember you used to have these awesome grades and topped our English class always.”
“I flunked most of my subjects, and once you called me a donkey for getting the least score in the class.” Why am I recalling this and yelling in the public?
“Ohh, I think I messed up again,” His body language changed.
He continued to stuff his mouth while I kept talking.
“Let it be. The past remains past, by the way, how are you?”
He lifts his head and gulps down a huge chunk of my cookie.
“It's great, how is your life going?” A few pieces of cookie fly out of his mouth and land on the table.
“I am good. Are you still dating Veronica?” I don’t want an answer, but still, I ask.
“We kind of broke up a few days ago,” His face drops.
“It's ok, time will heal it. I think you may now feel the effect of my heartbreak. Just like I had felt 6 years ago.”
“Excuse me, what instance are you picking on?” His brows tense.
“It was your 16th birthday. I composed a poem for you and gathered some courage to sing it in front of everyone. But you poured a whole bottle of Mountain Dew over my head and made fun of my feelings. It's ok, it's not sensible to dig the past.”
“Umm, I hate girls with curly hairs,” he vaguely points in the direction of my hair. “ That’s why my behavior was kinda odd to you.” He again flashed his selfish grin.
“Wait, I had extra straight and smooth hair in my high school. You don’t remember me, right?”
I looked into his eyes with fierce emotions and balled up my fingers.
“It's tough to recall you. But I am trying,” he ate some of his words and spoke some.
“ Why did you buy me food if you could not recall me,” I gave him a confused look.
“Well, sorry to cut in your chit-chat, but it's 8 dollars in total,” said the waitress.
“I forgot my wallet in-home, can you pay?” he asked me without a pinch of shame.
“ You sat with me. So, I could pay for you, am I right, Max?” I stand up and place my hand on the table and fix my eyes on his face.
“Its.. n-o-o-t wh-at y-ou thin-k” he stammers.
“You know Max, you stammer when you lie. Am I right?” I want to punch his face, but control my senses.
“N-o-o, its n-o-t-t lik-e t-hat..” Before he could complete his sentence, I threw the water from the jug on his face.
“ You kinda deserve this.” A heavy feeling took off from my chest after doing it. I feel I took my revenge for his past deed.
“Excuse me, I think you forgot, but I am standing right here. So, who’s going to pay for the bill?” the waitress is controlling her laughter, and the whole café is recording, and having a good laugh seeing us.
I just don’t want this to go viral now.