Her: Golden curls, with the front locks of a hair a smooth silky wave around her face. Her cheeks a bit red from the January temperatures. Her lips large, but her eyes larger. Her eyes were blue, not like the frost of Chicago, but the exotic frost of Antartica. Her smile was large, and there was plenty of it as she offered it to each passing stranger, man or woman, showered or not, cold or not. She smiled like she would never run out of a reason to.
Him: Expensive suit. Wrinkled suit. Late for work. He wore a burgundy tie that he didn’t much care for. It was wrapped around his neck. Tight. His hair was gelled back in a hurry, gelled back unsuccessfully. More than a few stubborn strands stood up the way his mattress had mischievously intended. He had an abnormally large nose, lips pale from the cold, and thick eyebrows that had the ability to lower over his eyes and protect him from giving away any one emotion too obviously.
They passed each other on the wide sidewalk. She smiled at him as she did with all fellow pedestrians. He looked away as soon as he saw her…and then dared to look back again. Her eyes were so blue, and yet he felt nothing but warmth. They crossed paths. They continued on their path. And then the young man stopped. He turned around. He hurried towards her, jogging just passed her so as not to scare her when he spoke up. He stopped and so did she:
“Hi,” he said.
“Oh, hello,” her smile disappeared.
“I’m sorry. I don’t mean… This is weird. This um…” He scratched his itchless head.
“Can I help you?” her voice was soft, slower.
“No. Maybe? I don’t need… You know. Shit — .”
“Is everything alright, Sir?”
“This’s even weirder to do than I thought,” he said under his breath to himself. Then to her, “Look. You know. It’s unfortunate.”
“What is?” she tilted her head down, catching his eyes that had been lowering slowly with embarrassment. He gained a little bit of confidence once her eyes lifted his own.
“It’s unfortunate that we’ve been taught all of these things that go against everything I want to do and say. That Tinder is okay, but saying you’re beautiful right now isn’t.”
“Generally, it’s frowned upon to comment on a stranger’s looks,” she nodded.
“But what if I never see you again? What if this is my only chance? I’m late for work. I was kind of in a hurry…But after walking passed you. I don’t care.”
“ — And complimenting a stranger on her looks is creepy. I get it. But you know when you just see a girl and you think bitch. Or you see a guy, and you think sleezebag. Well, I saw you and I thought… I thought angel. Is that creepy? Is that bad to tell you what I thought? I mean, if I thought bitch, then it would be bad. But because it’s based on your looks is that bad? And it’s not that it’s because of looks. I don’t know how to explain it. Yes, I think you’re aesthetically pleasing, but it’s not just looks. It’s how you made me feel in the few seconds that we had, when you walked, when you smiled, it wasn’t a look. It was a feeling. I wanted to feel it again. I felt… Did you…?”
The blonde stared at him for a few short moments. She tilted her haid slightly to her left. She shrugged her shoulders, laughed, and threw her hands into the air. And then she said, “Fuck Tinder.”
“You’re kind of a mess.”
“Can I buy you coffee sometime. I’ll just. Here. I’ll write down my number. If this was totally weird and creepy for you, don’t call. If maybe…If it was somewhat acceptable by your standards, call. 8–0–1… Here. Maybe I’ll see you again. I’ve done my part. It’s up to you now, I guess.”
“I think you’re something else,” she laughed.
“I think you’re everything.”
“You don’t know me well enough to say that.”
“That’s why I look forward to your call.”