Gentle Look

By mgaft1 | Short Stories | 7 Sep 2019


"Cute, but not my type!" This evil definition, which had been branded to me by a popular girl, haunted me through high school and college. And although later in life many women didn't find me cute, I never met one whose type I actually was. Don't take me wrong, I did all right, but ifs and buts were always attached.

My wife? I wasn't her type at all. She married me because I was a good person, had a bright future, was pretty good in bed (she even expressed it in more flattering terms) and, honestly, because it was the right time for her to get married. We had a decent life together for a while but then she met a man who was actually her type and..., well I don't blame her too much, in fact, I understand her if you know what I mean. So, I was going to settle into my life path until SHE came along.

She was a receptionist in the company I flew to for a couple of weeks of consulting work. I approached her with the request to page my contact person, and there it was - she looked at me. What color were her eyes? I guess they were brown if noticing the color made it any more descriptive.

 

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I love it when single's ads say, "I am 135 lb., 5'7", brown hair, brown eyes, I love to have fun and travel." There are millions of women with brown hair and brown eyes who love those things. How does that help to describe her shade of brown? How does it explain what her look did to me?

It went right through me, making an incision in the layer of my protective cynicism, like an oyster knife thrust between shells of the mollusk. But this penetration wasn't painful. I felt her touching my head, my heart, my stomach, and yes, she did touch me there too, and yes, it was very pleasant. I experienced such a meltdown I couldn't even think straight.

I made a banal comment about her working here when she could have been an actress. She told me I was silly, she was a biology major and work here only temporary while planning to make a career in a company like this one doing some blood-related research. She was quite knowledgeable on the subject, which I was completely unfamiliar with; I didn't even know my own blood type. Presumably, I was saying something funny or stupid because she kept smiling and looking into my eyes, and I kept melting.

My contact had already arrived and I went along to get familiar with the system I was supposed to work on.  But her eyes followed me through database schemas, tables, and stored procedures; they looked at me during meetings, overlaying the eyes of other people.

***

My time with this company was surreal. On one side, the workdays were usual, filled with phone calls, meetings, going through labyrinths of spaghetti code, arguments, deadlines, and demonstrations. On the other hand, there was the constant presence of her look, above, below, behind, and all over me. We’ve met several times every day. I made sure that happened. And each time, I couldn't remember what we said, for words didn't matter. They were only particles of the dotted line that connected our auras.

I constantly argued with myself. One part of me, the voice of reason, said, "You're an old fool. What are you doing? She is at least twenty years your junior. And even if we were the same age, she’s not cut out for you.  Where do you think it's going to get you?"

Another part, the child who never got the candy was saying: "She is the ONE, given by God or Providence. She is the part that cracked away from your mold when it was thrown into the boiler of destiny. She is the one whose type you are." Neither one was able to pin down the other. So it was decided to do nothing proactive and just accept destiny.

***

As the week came to an end, so did my participation with this company. At five o'clock on Friday, I stopped by the front desk to talk to her for the last time.

"Is it really your last day, Mr. Ross?"

"Yes."

"I bet you miss your family."

"Not really. I don't have any family. Not anyone close anyway. Not someone who'd miss me."

"So you're flying home today?"

"No, tomorrow."

"Really? And where are you staying?"

I told her the name of the hotel.

"I've heard so much about it," she said, looking straight into my eyes with a meaning that I couldn't interpret.

"I am not sure?" I confessed. "It's a nice hotel, but I wouldn't say it's anything special."

"Which side does your window look out on?"

"Eastern"

"Which floor? I just want to know if you have a nice view."

"Twelve."

"So you can see a lot of the city."

"Yes, I guess I can, huh."

And then she asked it. "What is your room number?"

I told her. And we kept on looking at each other for a long time. I was trying to think of some pretext to ask her out, but my wits had left me. All I could do was to say goodbye and leave.

***

I was lying down on my bed, frustrated and blaming myself for being indecisive when I heard a light knock on the door. Thinking that it was room service, I opened it and then gasped for air. It was her. She looked at me and broke into laughter.

"You're such an idiot!" she said, between the gusts.  "At least, you could have pretended your hotel was something special, let me save the face."

I couldn't believe this was actually happening. I felt like a boy who had just gotten lots and lots of presents.

***

I felt light-headed and sleepy; so sleepy everything that followed seemed half-real. She came out of the bathroom walking lightly and quickly as if sliding through the air, then, jumped on the bed, sat on top of me. At that moment, I was surprised to notice that the color of her eyes seemed changed. They sparkled in the dim of the room like Christman LEDs. She bent towards my neck as if to kiss it. Instead, she poked my neck in two places.

 

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It wasn't very painful. I felt as if a very experienced nurse was handling my case, doing her job as well as it could be done. At that moment, I understood the nature of my young and beautiful soul mate, but I didn't resist. I didn't mind what she was doing, at least, not at the moment. I knew there was no such thing as a free lunch and a moment of happiness is worth a lot. This was the way I paid back in a currency that she accepted.

Suddenly, her body shook with revulsion. She rose away from me, sprung up and landed on the floor standing upright. A bit of pink that was left after her tongue licked the edge of her upper lip could have been applied with an artist's brush. 

"Cute," she looked at me very gently and condescendingly, "very cute indeed, just not my blood type."

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mgaft1
mgaft1

How do you know that you know what are you doing? By not doing what you don't know how to do. )


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