I watch her. Shoulders bare, exposed, blessedly white. That skin of hers a milky hue, virginal, alluring, and all too tempting. She moved to taunt at my desires. Hips swaying and dropping to each side with small strides she walks away from me. It’s this dance, it calls me straight to her. I see her every day like this, and nothing about it has ever seemed monotonous, only beautiful. But I’ve never told her this. Breaking that silence, leaking that tempted desire, it would weaken me too much I think, so I hold my tongue, and I remember the night I met her.
The fall had just peeked into the weather. The trees hadn’t even noticed yet save for a stray leaf falling to the ground unnoticed. The nights had grown very cool, and I was lazying about downtown, sauntering between bars with friends arm in arm. Holding each other up, pushing each other around. It was at the moment the sway was falling my way when I caught her eyes, blissfully brown, and heavily trimmed by a wipe of deep black lining. I was stuck on them when the wave of my friends hit, and like that we were in one another’s arms, only she was not elated by it as I was.
“I’m so sorry,” I stuttered out after a moment of catching my balance and acting like I was trying to catch hers.
“Yeah, looks like you got away from your friends there. Well, have a nice night.”
I watched her loose from my grip, and realized I’d never been in hers. She was gone to the next block, gone, for good, at least for now. I was taken back in arms by my red rover gang, enveloped in the jovial laughing of good times and spirits, but now my time was elsewhere, traveling behind me, but I could not follow now.
“What time is it?” I asked to any one of my fellows.
“It’s 10:53, why?” Came Brian’s busty voice.
“I just wanted to know, that’s all.”
We continued on, my fellows becoming more rambunctious with every flowing drink they poured down their throats, but I didn’t touch another the rest of the night. I just didn’t see a point.
The next weekend came up far after it should have, and on that Saturday night, I found myself on the street, just where I had been before when I lost my footing to my hearts great fortune. I checked my watch, 10:58.
I’d been here since 10:00 on the dot. I’d been called out to again romp with my fellows, but I cancelled saying I had plans. Fifty-eight minutes later and I had developed the sense that I had been being a fool. To think that the same person would be in the same place two weekends in a row. A fool indeed, but tonight, a lucky one.
There she was again, her friend still by her side, but I didn’t care. Just to see her again, here, in this place, our meeting spot forever after, it was simply poetic.
I straightened up as she drew near, made sure my shirt was as neat as possible and as she came close, I smiled and looked her way, but to no avail. She did not even look my way. Whatever her conversation with her friend it continued on without ever herself allowing a glance back. I could have said something again, but like before I failed to speak, or even to announce any small word just to call attention in my direction. Again she was gone, I would have to wait until next week.
This week was even longer than the last. If I could have found a place to find her at any time in the day I would have sprinted there. But all I knew was our spot. That place of our meeting. But I didn’t even know her name. What could it be? I would ponder this until I was standing in that spot again on Saturday night at 10:15.
Forty-eight minutes passed by until I saw that stern gate of hers fasting my direction. The same friend from the previous week was again by her side. She would pass by in moments, I turned on my smile, but remembered that this didn’t work, no, not with her. So as she passed I called out her name, at least the one I’d thought of for her.
“Maya, hey Maya!” I called in her direction.
The first time flew past without a notice. But when I did it a second time she spun around, eyes on me as I had so desired them to be for weeks not. I stared by, and simply said hey Maya.
“You must think I’m someone else.” She said.
“No, Maya, I think you’re you. My name’s Jason by the way.”
“My name’s not Maya.”
“Then why’d you call me that name.”
“Because I didn’t know how else to get your attention.”
“You could try my real name.”
“You could give it to me.”
“I could. Good night, Jason.” She said turning around and leaving once again.
Another week would pass by begrudgingly before I would be found in our spot again. 10:00.
I never saw her that night.
The next week was murder. I was anxious, anxiety ridden, and my chest was filled with ache. I’d lost her and never even learned her name. I had to find her again. That much I was certain about. My friends would call, but I had stopped answering all together, and night after night I would be found in our spot. Still I never saw her.
The next Saturday came, and I was perched on our spot well ahead of time. At 9:00 I watched as flocks of people parked and headed to their desired bar. The bars filled up, bands played, and finally as the music died down around 1:00 there she was. Hazed from her night out, but still so beautiful. Again her friend accompanied her.
“Do you know what time it is?” I asked as she passed by.
They stopped, and she spun around.
“Ellen.” She said before turning around and disappearing again.
I’d been given her name. A name for those piercing eyes. That wondrous face. Ellen. Hair that flowed to her shoulders, straight and perfect. Ellen.
The next week was long and arduous. Work took my steam out of me, and I found that the week before of staying out late had just left me exhausted and worn for this week. I caught up on what sleep I could, and when Saturday came about I found myself in our usual spot ready and staring at my watch.
I was staring at my watch when the footsteps stopped in front of me. There she was, her friend in tow as usual.
“What are you doing here?” she asked annoyed.
“I was waiting for you.”
“If you say so, I personally think it’s endearing.”
“How do you figure that?”
“Because for over a month I’ve been waiting here just to see you every Saturday night.”
“Still sounds pretty creepy.”
“If you say so.”
“Do you want to come with us?” She asked suddenly.
I was shocked. It took me a moment to realize she’d asked me such a question.
“Yeah, of course.”
“Then let’s go, I’m tired of seeing you here. It’s like you don’t have anything better to do.”
“This was the best thing I could think to do.”
She blushed somewhat. “Jason what?”
“Oh, Smith. Jason Smith.”
“That’s the most generic last name ever. You sure that’s real. “
“It’s plenty real for everyone with the last name.”
I followed along as we traveled to a bar down the street.
We spent the whole night getting to know one another, talking about politics, well, arguing really. Music, movies, books, most of what she read being stories I’d never even touched. We talked about the tv shows we each liked, and eventually, after her friend had grown quite bored, I finally asked for her phone number.
“Sure,” she said giggling as she scribbled it down on a napkin before getting pulled out by her exhausted and bored friend.
I looked at the napkin. Ellen Pierce, 555-3434. Ellen Pierce. Beautiful magnanimous Ellen Pierce.
I called her the next day, made coffee plans, and talked for nearly an hour on how great a band Creedence Clearwater Revival was. She was intriguing.
We had coffee that Wednesday after work. I had three cups that night and didn’t sleep a wink. But neither did she and we spent most of the night on the phone with one another talking about Frank Sinatra’s acting career. In the end we agreed it wasn’t very noteworthy, sighting that any of Elvis’ films were far superior.
That Saturday night, instead of standing in our spot, she invited me to her place at 541 E Goyer St. I brought roses and wine. She made spaghetti. The night ended with a simple kiss, and I was off to home. I knew I was in love that night when I went to bed.
For five nights now I have come by, watching that dance, that tempting alluring grace of hers swaying just beyond the window and those thinly opened blinds. It’s 8:15. It’s always 8:15 when she dances around with the thought that no one is watching. I know I have been in love with her since the moment fate brought me to her. Tonight I will finally act out fate’s wishes and immortalize her beauty. I love her. Now and forever.
Forgive me, Ellen Pierce.