Charming Trisha

Something between romance and comedy. About two people who are cynical but in an optimistic kind of way.

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1. Charming Trisha

The man who caught her eye sat at a table. Head pointed at the table, not looking at anyone, still hot cup of coffee in front of him. There was a cheap box of chocolates accompanied by cheap flowers to his right. He looked up, sipped his coffee and put his head back down. She thought to herself 'Now that is the sourest puss i have ever seen'. A smile crossed her lips.

He looks up again planning to sip his unsweetened coffee and as he does so spots her approaching him. He isn’t sure how to react, so he just looks stupidly at her waiting for her to speak. She stands by his table. He pretends to ignore her.

"Is this seat taken?" She asks, he voice soft, confident.

"No, by all means take it." He replies, glad she wasn't going to be here much longer. He chanced a look up, to watch her walk away with the chair. But there she sat. And this time he saw her properly.

"You look surprised, usually when someone asks for a seat, they mean to sit down."

"Sadly i live in a world where a suggestion like that Implies that they want the actually chair, and not the place it inhabits. I assumed you were here to meet with your 'gal pals' to have a nice chat. Yet instead here you are, sat opposite me."

"So you were expecting me to do that thing from TV when the hopeful boy looks up as a girl asks for a seat, only to have his hopes dashed by her meaning she wanted to borrow the actually chair."

"Indeed i did." She had crystal clear blue eyes, a soft smile and dimples in her cheeks. Her hair is somewhere between vermillion and ginger, and if the man knew those colours he would have came to a similar conclusion.

"Why the long face, were you stood up?"

"In a sense."

"Now I'm interested." She leaned forward. The gloss on her lips hit the light. He could almost see his reflection in them, staring dumbly. "Go on. What do you mean by 'in a sense'?"

"I mean what i said. I wasn't stood up in a traditional way."

"Well no one is stood up in a traditional way. There is no protocol, it's not like they pass out a rule book is it? So tell me, why the flowers, the chocolates, the suit but no pretty girl hanging off your arm?"

"Because I'm an idiot." He leaned forward to. "Do you think it's possible to make yourself think you are in love?"

"You mean fake love to yourself? Sure."

"Well i did it in a bad way" He pauses. "Why the hell am i telling you this?"

"Because I'm listening." She smiled, gesturing for the waitress to come and get their order. "Coffee please, and you" She looked to him.

"My name is David. And I'll have a coffee too." The waitress walked off. David looked at this woman, no older than twenty five he was sure. Very pretty. That was the kicker.

"So, tell me about this 'false love'."

"Ok, i might as well. At least someone can get a laugh out of it. Basically, over the course of several months i convinced myself two things, i loved this woman, second, that i would die without her. That my heart would stop, that the whole goddamn world around me would shatter if i didn't have her."

"That's a scary thought."

"I started talking to her, and basically i saw some kind of reference to her thinking of me as a friend and my mind went bam." He hit the table. She watched him, her eyes glinting, a smile still on her lips.

"So there i was, sending her poetry in letter form, telling her i love her, that no one but me deserves her, trying to look for something, anything that would give me something in common with her, i was living the life of a lovelorn poet. Anyone who would listen, i told, hell If i knew sign language there would be deaf people gouging out their eyes so they didn't have to 'listen' to me anymore. Anyway, here i am, I'm on the cusp of some kind of breakdown, i decide to go for broke. I ask her to meet me here. Until exactly two hours three minutes, i was still in love with her. Though i use the world love loosely."

"What changed? How in the last two hours and three minutes did you come to the realisation you were not in love?"

"It's been two hours and four minutes now."

"So your completely over her" She laughed. "I'm only joking, go on."

"Simple. I could not think a single reason to love her. I racked my brains, i tried to think of ways to describe her. Brunette, when really she was blonde, she dyed her hair, and half of it was extensions, i thought that her eyes were fantastic, they were contact lenses"

"So what you fell in love with a shop mannequin?"

"I may as well as for all the good it did me."

"They are good listeners."

"So i wasn't in love, yet now i feel dejected, sad, and alone, for some reason, i feel worse for coming to the realisation that i am not in love, i am not some poet, dying inside. I'm just some deluded guy."

"Wow." She said. "That is unfortunate. But on the bright side, you got some good poetry out of it."

"No bad poetry, the kind my parents would have stuck up on the fridge but secretly wondered if i was retarded or something."

"Did things go up on the fridge often in your house?"

"Till i was seventeen."

"I know, so tell me, why is someone as pretty and confident as you, sitting here with the loser club?"

"This is the loser club? Not many members."

"The club has a high suicide rate."

"You're funny."

"I try." The sun came up, it hit her hair, stroking like a mother nursing a new born child. If melodramatic movie moments happened in real life, a soft acoustic guitar would be playing right now and the colours would be slightly saturated to show how deep red her hair was in David's eyes.

"The reason i am here. All on my loathsome. Well, not on my loathsome, i have you." She clinked her mugs against his. "I'm alone on valentine's day because my boyfriend of nine months left me."

"Nine months. I'm sorry."

"Nine months is nothing." She said flippantly. "But he was my first serious boyfriend, the first person i could see a future of some sort with."

"In my world an hour with a woman is worth putting on your blog."

"I'll keep this short then" She smiled wickedly, and David found hI'mself returning the smile. He was relaxed, he wasn't sweating, he wasn't trying to force a smile, he was for the first tI'me being himself. "My boyfriend left me after finding some stuff about me. I have a colourful past. I'm one of the many people who follow the rule live life to its fullest now i did all of that two years ago. I grew up. But he didn't seem to be able to take that."

"What do you mean by colourful? Andy Warhol colourful? Or Van Gough colourful?"

"Salvador Dali colourful. I'm talking wild parties, the kind when you wake in a strange house, strange neighbourhood, or in someone's living room. There is a truth to most urban legends and i bet you that when you get down to the truth of most of them, my name will be mentioned. Collage wasn't so much the time for learning as it was for stupid parties and heart breaking. Most of this, i did for attention, for what i thought was love. I did it out of the stupid idealistic part of my mind. If i do the following they will love me. Similar to your fake love, i created a world where i did stupid things. I made mistakes. And my boyfriend couldn't take that."

"What did he do?"

"Well i can show you." She took the salt and pepper shakers and arranged them in front of her. "The salt is him, the pepper is me. I'm here" She put the pepper shaker o the far side of the table. "And I'm just sitting, relaxing, reading. He comes in" She slid the salt across to meet the pepper. "And he starts saying 'my buddy told me you did this, and you did that blah blah blah' and essentially he over flowed" She knocked the pepper over, letting it fall out of the shaker. "Imagine that's his brains, on the floor, completely blown by my lack of remorse for my past."

"If you don’t mind me asking, do you regret any of the things you did?"

"No, not at all. Sure, they are mistakes, horrible mistakes, i broke up marriages, friendships, i created so many voids in my own life just to try and fill the emptiness within me. And in the end i didn't achieve anything. I lived life to its fullest. But i did so much at once that it just scared him. I can see what he means though. And don’t get me wrong, I'm not one of these new breed 'my body my choice' idiots who use that as an excuse to get slammed in a ball alley for three dollars fifty. I did it all to find myself. And yes, that excuse is stupid, it is. But its mine. I did it all to find who i was, i never felt i fit in with people. So i thought the only way to get love was through the physical. But over the last year i have understood the emotional."

"I can see how that would put someone off, as touching as your honesty is, it is very scary to hear that kind of thing."

"Does it put you off?"

"Well. No. They are your mistakes. Like you said. But i guess i feel threatened. I'm the kind of guy who has had only about three relationships that were physical, and i never did anything like wake up in someone's living room, in fact i don’t think i had a party since my eighth birthday party. I would look at you and think that every time i did anything, that you would be making notes, comparing me, if i bought you flowers are they better or worse than your last boyfriends? If i took you to a restaurant have you already been there with some other guy. But that is my fault for being insecure about my own self. And in turn my fault for not being out going in my earlier years, getting experience in people, and relationships. You have an emotionally mature outlook. You didn't bat an eyelash when i just told you all of that stuff."

"So you're saying that you are not mature enough for me?"

"I'm saying that i would never be able to give you what you want."

"What if you are what i want?"

"Then knowing my luck i will fail at being myself."

"I doubt that David."

"You know my name, so it's only fair i ask, what's yours?"

"Trisha."

He polished off his coffee and locked her way. "Well Trisha, let me ask you. In this entire room. On Valentine's Day, do you see a single other person not with someone."

"You say that like were alone, we have each other."

"i mean in the sense that they came here and planned to have a nice meal and then go home for the romantic night they have planned."

"So you mean who are here romantically?"

"Yes."

"Then i would say you and I are the only two people here with no one." She finishes her coffee and gestures for a refill. David notices she has purple nails with glitter added. He smiles, it looks like an art and crafts project, good as it was, it wasn't professional. "Your point being."

"We are being surrounded by people expressing their affection publically, the old couple over there, they making out, over there, a sixteen year old and his date are holding hands. We are surrounded by love."

"This isn’t love."

"Yes it is. Watch them. They looks into each other's eyes. They say some crap about never wanting the moment to end. Then they both melt into some kind of stodgy mess of hormones. All they are missing are overweight children with wings flying around their heads shooting arrows."

"This isn’t love." She gestured around her head. "This all around us, this is a fleeting mixture of lust, desire and atmosphere. This is what happens when the hallmark holiday makes people think they need a card, chocolates, flowers, and a suitable mate to have a good tI'me on this particular day. This is a room filled with people who don’t understand love because they haven’t tried for it."

"How can you say they haven’t tried?"

"Look at them. There in a coffee shop. If you try for love you don’t go to a coffee shop."

"Where do you go?" David sat back.

"You don’t go out. People who are in love. Traditional, real, gritty love. The kind you feel in the pit of your gut. That love, is something you want no one else to see. You want it to be private. Public displays of affection, as good as they are, unless they are also interwoven with actual love are meaningless. On Valentine's Day buying flowers, a card, some chocolates and looking for someone is the social norm. But, big but, when you are in love" he put her index fingers up and bought them together. "You want it to be you two, a shared moment, not a communal one."

"So then, have you tried for love?"

"Yes. Very hard. I lost my best friends, boyfriends, everyone i new back in my home town because i was searching for that one person. But sadly i was searching with the animalistic lust, not with the open heart. And i think, that even though you said you don’t think it was love, i think you now understand love."

"I don’t, i do not know where to start with love. I even hate saying it. It's too broad, it can refer to anything, and it does. I love this iPod. I love this suit" – Trisha giggled slightly at that – "shut up. I love this coffee. I love the films of Johnny Depp, i love my mum and my dad. I love everything. Yet the one that is the most fulfilling inside is the one i cannot find. I can buy an iPod, and love it. I can buy another coffee and love it."

"You can have a woman and love her."

"No i can make love. I can attempt love. I can reference love in a carnal explosion."

"Explosion?" She cocked an eye brow, he blushes tentatively.

"Okay...in a carnal snap, crackle and pop." She laughed again. "The fact is i will never understand love."

"But you do understand it. I think you were in love, but not with this girl. You were in love with the idea of being in love. You wrote poetry, you cried, you told everyone, you did things typical of the angsty Shakespearean love. You did all of this, and what's more, you know that. You wanted to have love, so you forced it onto the first thing you saw."

"I'm still not convinced." David laughed and so did she.

"So here we are."

She sat back. The floral patterns in her dress seemed to dance as they creased around her curvaceous frame.

"Look at us both. I hope you don’t mind me saying this, but we seem to be both failures."

"I have no objection to that." They clinked their mugs together. Then she sat forward. She brushed her hair from her eye. She smiled, but this time it was less wicked and more vulnerable, like she was about to let lose a flood of beauty instead of nonchalance from her lips. "I like you David."

"I like you to."

"No i like you."

"Is this the fleeting, valentine's day, flowers, chocolates, card liking, or the real, gritty gut wrenching like?"

"The second."

"I see."

"How about you."

"I like you."

"In what way."

"In the way that i want to do the whole cheesy take you to a movie, and have a montage of us in an arcade, laughing and having fun, you playing a trick on me while i read a book or something like that, we go and get ice cream and you drop yours so i give you mine, you know, all that cheesy crap from a feel good film."

"This is sounding like an 80's movie."

"Yes, and in the movies there is all ways that moment, that moment where the male protagonist looks at the object of affections and he says the magic words and bam the second act begins, with the two trying to figure out how to fit each other into each other's lives."

"So you want to do all of the typical stuff? None of that is real. Giving someone the ice cream? What are you twelve? You go back and buy another one. What kind of romantic gesture is worth missing out on ice cream? If i dropped my ice cream i would never in a million years expect you to give me yours because then i would feel guilty."

"Ok fine, ill buy you another ice cream if you drop one."

"That doesn't change the fact that you still want this." She waved her hands around, some people look from their date to observe the crazy red head flailing her arms.

"No i don’t. I want real stuff, and all of that is real."

"No its stupid stuff put in a film so men can take their date to the film so they can get lucky later on in the night, it uses all of the crap you expect to see, attractive lead actors, humours supporting cast of friends of both characters, there is a misunderstanding, a dance scene, the woman cries, and man puts on a brave face and then they get back together, role credits. You want the montage in the middle, when everything is right as rain."

"No, i want the whole damn movie, and so what if it is like a romcom, so what if in my mind the entire thing is like that. Love is about drama. You said earlier you want the gritty real love. That is possible, but you have to work to it. You don’t just get to that secret place, that private little Valentine's Day, away from prying eyes in one day."

Trisha smiled for a long time then stood up. David looked surprised, he went to get up as well but she pushed him down. "You said you didn't understand love. But from what i just heard i could say that you defiantly do understand it."

"So why are you getting up? You said you liked me and if the emphasis on like was anything to go by i assume that more than just the friendly like."

"Now i know." She says. A wicked smile back on her lips. "Now i know you are serious, now i know i was right when i saw you."

"Right about what?"

"When i saw you, i saw the flowers, the chocolates, the suit, and i put two and two together that you had failed in your love life today, your expression screamed it. But now i know, from all that stuff you said, you will work for this. I hope you would anyway, and if you are willing ill be waiting. I'm going to walk away, and you won't follow, you will find me, somehow, i know you will."

"But that's stupid i have you now."

"No, it's love, and love is kinda stupid." She blew him a kiss then went to the door. Stunned David could do little but sit there, stunned by the entire thing. He caught the kiss and touched it to his lips. Even though it was imaginary it still sent a shiver down his spine. "Happy Valentine's day David." Then she was gone, a whisper in an otherwise slight wind.

"I have to find Trisha." He said out loud. People looked at him. He got up, left money on the table and tried to work out what the hell he was feeling. He had to find her. But how? His heart was beating. His palms sweaty. He meant every syllable of every word he had said. So now he just needs to prove it. "God this is stupid." He said out loud again.

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