I didn’t know when I walked out of the house, half thinking I should’ve stayed in, it would turn out the way it did. That I would end up laughing with my friends - talking about how hard it is to meet someone - and then, as if on cue, she’d waltz up like an actress hitting her mark.
“Hey guys!” she said as if we we’d all been friends forever which, as it turns out, was the case. I was the odd man out; the only one that didn’t know her. In that moment, I cursed myself for not coming here more often. How could I have been in this city for so long and our paths not crossed before? I didn’t even know her name.
She sat down at the opposite end of the table, five people between us as I returned to my conversation. A girl this beautiful must have a boyfriend. The two ends of the table felt like separate continents… she was so far away from me. How could I find the chance to speak to her? I wasn’t the only one trying to figure it out.
She yelled down to me, “Do you have a cigarette?’’ as the person next to me was about to light his own. Without a second’s hesitation I reached out and pulled it from his mouth – we both laughed – and I replied, “as a matter of fact, yes.”
She stood up and walked over.
This was the best moment of the night. The moment I remembered you never know what the future has in store. You can’t predict fate.
We spoke and laughed like old friends. She called me Danny, like only the friends I grew up with did; only the closest to me ever call me that. It was immediately comfortable. It was like we’d been waiting a long time to meet. Like two dancers at the ball, circling each other, staring at each other, waiting for chance to cut in.
We merged together easily, into conversation and comfort, but soon found ourselves in other conversations that again distanced us. As they announced last call, it looked like we might not get a chance to say a formal goodbye. There were too many people between us and, as the place emptied, it was too quiet for me to yell. Too much attention would be drawn to me. But she had other ideas.
She walked toward me with a purpose, sidestepping everyone in between and firmly planted herself in front of me. She stuck out her hand, while giving me the most wonderful smile I’d seen in ages, “We’ve never formally met, I’m __________. It was really nice to meet you Danny… may I call you Danny?”
I laughed to myself - and smiled to her – “Yeah, you can call me Danny. It was nice meeting you too.” As she beamed at me with eyes that held the power of the cosmos and a smile that could melt lead.
With a look of fun and mischief she smiled one last time and said, “I hope I see you again… ” as she spun around and walked into the night.
Now I lay in my bed, thinking of her but thinking even more about life. How things can change so quickly. How everything can change in just one brief instance. For the worse - yes, but also for the better. How on a random Friday night, when I thought I’d be in bed early, I decided to go out. And then out of nowhere… I saw her. I hope to see you again too. In a moment, you reminded me to keep believing in a world of tomorrows, even when sometimes I can barely make it through today.
Until next time, Daniel Dart