Had I known what I was in for, I would have done my best to -- well, I wouldn’t have been the same without this experience so I most likely wouldn’t have done anything differently. The older me had hoped she wouldn’t have said anything as she sat next to me, but I knew she would and boy am I glad she did but I was scared it might have been because of my staring. Only a brainless zombie of some sort would not have noticed my glaring.“Hi!” she tried again.
I looked up. None of the thoughts that I just went through didn’t appear at this point. They are only there as a part of my flashback on this memory, this treasured memory of mine, as I rediscover, take it apart, examine the good bits with a smile, put it back together and remember it with a smile.
As I looked up, I was approached by a gleaming smile. Not one of those Colgate smiles they want you to have, but rather a shy, genuine smile. A smile that, if directed at you, make your stomach want to fly off somewhere that isn’t here.
“Hello?” I cautiously said. I was sitting on a bench on a rather busy route doing pretty much nothing than think deep, pointless thoughts. She smiled wider at the acknowledgement. The more I looked at her, the more I realized I had seen her around - but just in fleeting moments. She was one of those girls who you would get images of when you close your eyes, someone who stands out well enough to be remembered but still ordinary enough to be consider humane and reachable. The stupid poet I am would probably describe her as a human angel.
"Mind if I sit down?" She asked, making a move to sit down. I scooted over a bit and figured that the conversation was over. I was entirely too shy to try anything and the 5 minutes we sat in silence (it was probably more like 10 seconds), I couldn't think of one word to say. Thankfully, she did.
"I really like your t-shirt!" She said, turning towards me and looking at my t-shirt. I looked down, having forgotten what I was wearing. A girl in navy blue hair winked at me. I figured she was being sarcastic, since it kind of stood out with it's colours and not many agrees to seeing a scantily clad girl on a t-shirt in a public area. I told her just that: "Thank you, I really enjoy it too." I then started ranting "But don't you think it is a bit too much? Ya know, the colours, the half-naked girl etc?" I actually said etc. It was me trying to sound smart when I had nothing more to say. The sentence could have been formulated so much better, had I thought more about it - but it's when you think about it, you don't say anything.
"No, it's nice. I like the colours, makes it prettier. I agree it makes you stand out, but is that such a bad thing?" I thought she winked at me, but that was most likely just nothing. It usually is. I smiled a bit, a natural smile. It was a compliment and I knew it was. She smiled back, as if it was contagious. "I suppose not," I began, trying to think of what to compliment on her. It was just about everything, I had to admit, the more I looked at her. The self-confidence came up and I thought I was in control of the situation. I could either compliment all of her and come off as an awkward romancer or play it safe, as a new acquaintance. I go for the latter, since the first can be creepy, but little did I know, that I was not in control. "I really love your hair", was what I ended up with. She smiled and pulled on her dark red hair, probably trying to look at it. She was just as nervous as me.
"Really? I am not a fan of it, myself." she admitted. "Why not? It compliments everything about you." She tilted her head puzzled "Err, what I mean is that you wear it really well. It makes you look very cute." Her hair was shoulder length and quite thick. Her face had spots of freckles, which looked like they come out mostly in the summer. She looked, well, cute. Amazingly so. She even managed to blush deeply from the compliment. She stood up and reached her hand out.
"I'm Clara, but my friends call me Rah". she said, smiling. I stood up and took her hand. "I'm honoured, but my name is Simon and you can call me whatever you want". She giggled from my cheap joke and smiled wide, while still holding my hand. "I think I will call you just that, then - that okay, Simon?" she said with a wink. "Then I shall call you Rah, if that is okay, Clara." I said. Her acknowledgement of my jokes had given me a huge boost, a healthy kick to the stomach that really had me up on edge. She let go of my hand and put them together in a nervous manner, one that can not really be described.
She let go of my hand while smiling at me. I wasn't sure where to look, but my confidence took over and I looked into her eyes. "I love your eyes" I blurted. Before I knew what I had said, she had looked away. I thought I had blown it, that this interesting human being would now disappear without a trace. A sudden rush of panic appeared and I felt a need to explain myself before she thought me a creep. She looked back at me.
"How do you do it?" she asked, her head tilted in confusion. "Hold eye contact, I mean. I am a complete stranger, yet you hold eye contact." Bewildered at such a forward question, I just shook my head and said what was the truth. "Normally, I couldn't -" I shrugged, "but something about you just.. you know, gave me the confidence to do so, if you know what I mean?" I hoped to fuck that she did. I smiled as she nodded, getting what I meant.
"Well, I am different, I think. Your compliments make me blush and make me want to look away. I wonder why that is". The last bit she muttered to herself, while looking down. She then grabbed my hand and held it firmly in hers, not like a handshake but a handhold. "Courage?" I asked, looking at our hands entwined. She smiled.
"I went for it and it felt right." she loosened her grip, looking a bit scared at me, but I kept it firm in my hands. "It does feel right" I said, nodding. She started to walk and I followed her, holding her warm hand in mine. We talked a bit back and forth, why we were here, what we are doing, what is going on in our life - general getting to know people stuff - but it felt so right and so amazing. I clicked instantly with this girl and I think it was the same way the other way around. Several hours later, as the sun set, we were still holding hands and chatting, making each other laugh and smile. I was amazed at how her straightforwardness have led this to be one of the best experiences I have ever had with another person, almost like a rush of adrenaline together with keeping each other's confidence up. Nothing was sacred to talk about - it just felt like we were in tune. She was open minded, I was open minded, she gasped at the right places and smiled at the right places, as did I. It felt magical, but yet it also felt right. We were both being as humane as possible and didn't let social boundaries keep us apart. No subject was holy, nothing was taboo. We were human and the best kind, the direct one where there were no lies, no second though after you spoke, no fear of rejection, just connection.
Before I knew it, we had walked for 5 hours. The sun was far gone and the moon glared at us and lit us up. I could barely see her, but could feel and hear every facial expression she'd pull. I had gotten to know this person better than any of my life-long friends over the course of half a day. Heck, I hadn't even seen her before in my life until just a few days ago. We had just walked at random and we didn't really know where we were but she was leading me up a hill. When we reached the top, she let go of my hand and sat down in the grass, looking out on the beautifully lit landscape. She patted next to her, I sat down and she immediately grabbed my hand again and rested her head on my shoulder. We had, from what I could see, walked very far. We were well outside the city we met in. It was such a gorgeous landscape,even at night, and with such an amazing companion, I could help but let a few tears stroll. Even thinking about it, makes me weep happy.
"What are you thinking about?" She whispered, as we both studied the landscape. I thought a bit, then said: "Why did you say hello?". Such a simple question. 5 words ending in a question mark and the answer defined a life philosophy for me. "Why? Because I wanted to and I went for it. Have you ever thought about all the meaningless shit that is going on? The games that people pull on each other for attention. The countless ways that one can indirectly say something and then it is up to the receiver to decipher it? Wouldn't this world be a better place if people were more direct. What I mean is if people said what they meant, so much more would get done. There'd be so much more love and feelings would be worn on the outside rather than hidden away. There'd be less uncertainty." She sighed and looked at the distance. I wasn't sure whether or not I should be apologizing about my question, but I followed her example and said a direct question that had troubled me. "Why me? Why not someone else you ran into?"
"You were.. are like me. I saw you, I looked after you, I saw you looking and I saw myself. Someone alone, but someone who also wanted to be outside and try to be social with people and challenge yourself, even if you're shy. I was so sure that you had thought the same thoughts I had, so I had walked past a few times -- thankfully you didn't notice -- and I said hi. The simplest of words and look what we have now." She leaned over and kissed me gently, my lips wet with tears. "Hi.." she whispered.