Sunday, June 26, 2011

A Woman at the Mall

I'm walking toward the green expanse that is the Mall in the heart of Washington DC. The Looptroop's Last Song occupies my ear phones. I hear two women talking behind me and I continue, hoping not to trip and look stupid. I can hear their voices, but not their words. They sound like they're in their twenties.

I reach an intersection and am forced to stop. The two women stop behind me. I move my head right until I can catch them with the corner of my eye. I'm only able to see one. She's even shorter than me. Her cheeks are round with a hint of blush. She has big brown eyes. I turn my head away.
'Oh, she's cute,' I say to myself. The light changes.

The two women pass. I notice the one I first saw. She's where I white open shawl and tight black slacks. Her long dark hair rests in the small of her back.
'She's just my type,' I think.

The two women have picked up the pace. I'm maintaining my usual measured saunter. They go straight. I turn left to find suitable bench to sit and read. I turn to the right to get one last look at the woman in the white shawl.
'Well, there goes my chance. I'll never see her again.'

I pass one bench and settle in the second. I throw my eyes in the direction of the two women. I capture the white shawl. I relish the one last look. I open my book and search for place where I left off. By my gaze wanders towards the woman in the white shawl. She's approaching the intersection. That will be my last chance to see her.

But the two women turn left. 'Yes!' I exclaim. They walk at their same motivated pace. 'If I walk across the field, I can probably reach the sidewalk on the other side just as they're passing. It could be the start of something wonderful,' I tell myself. I study the green expanse geometrically. 'But, if I caught them, what would I say? It's not worth it,' I reason.

I try to tear my eyes away from her to read, but they won't budge. 'What if there's a reason they turned left? What if she'd the one person on earth meant for me. This was supposed to be our one chance meeting,' I wonder. 'Oh, to hold her in my arms and smell her hair. To talk with her late into the night. To learn everything about her. To grow together and become the center of each other's lives. What I wouldn't give,' I wax.

The woman becomes more miniscule. My heart leaks. I become paralyzed but for my eyes. 'There goes my one chance at happiness,' I pout. The woman disappears from sight. My head fills with emptiness.

Then a woman runs by.

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