It started with an offer of water and getting to know. She was that tipsy girl across the crowded room. The light was green then, neon to productions made minutes prior. She looked so pretty in her red clothes. It didn’t even make sense, the deal was that single people would wear blue and I heard from your friends that you were nothing but.
It actually probably started way earlier. It might’ve been that time waiting for the bus in that dark parking lot. No one the wiser, everyone strangers. Hers was the face I saw, and instantly, my fears recede and the mind fluttered.
It was like the sun was meant to rise sweeter that day. As if it weren’t its job and it wasn’t expected to pass night to day. It was like the sun chose to rise that moment, so I could better see her face.
Then I return to our little moment. I was fuelled by an insurmountable amount of palm sweat and awkward utterances. The light changed red the moment you looked at me, as I was asking if you’d want water. I said something stupid like “I thought you needed water.”
Of course she did, she’s a human being for heck’s sake. I thought blindly and through a gritted smile.
The lights then turned crimson, somewhere along maroon and purple, and she said “No, I’m okay.”
I fumbled and placed the glass of water over by the table near her side.
I asked her, If I could get to know her. She smiled softly and then averted her gaze, that thing she did when she’s flustered or uncomfortable, balling up her hands and covering the side of her lips. She motioned to utter something.
…and it might’ve been the buzz of the drink that left the bitter metallic taste of coins and pineapple in my mouth, but I did not seem to hear her reply.
I did not hear it, but I sure did feel it.
Like a twig that broke under the weight of a giant that treads the world.
Like a deep gash, however inflicted, that hurt so much that it stopped hurting altogether.
Like a storm that raged on my world that was trodden to begin with.
She said, I think, for I do not remember the words, that “I’d rather not” and I felt, at the beginning of an eternity of feeling, that though the word ‘rather’ implies a set of circumstances so perfect in nature that she might’ve said yes, that perhaps, in the midst of the four syllables uttered between singing music so loud, that she probably never will.