The third and final Romantica installment. Part 1 and Part 2 are still up.
Stories by me based on sketches by Christine Norrie, dating back to 2001.
I like how this first one is like the response to the sketch, the audience getting info from the cartoon that the boy in the prose does not have.
Where was she? Every morning, when Neil got to this corner, he usually saw her--the pretty girl with Asian eyes and long black hair who made things appear more alive just by passing by them. He looked at his watch, and as far as he could tell, he was neither early nor late, but there at pretty much the same time as always. Generally, as he’d approach the intersection, she’d cross in front of him, and Neil would catch just a glimpse of her. He couldn’t imagine a day without it, without the hope that maybe she would notice him this time, maybe smile, give him the chance to finally speak to her and maybe, just maybe, ask her out. Did she not come by this way anymore? Had he waited too long to make an impression, and he’d never get the chance? Where was she?
Veronica woke up around 3:30. The room was dark except for the sliver of neon that came in from between the curtains. Its blue light fell across Jessie’s face, illuminating the corner of her mouth, a nostril, an eye. He breathing was soft, and her hair was damp with sweat. Veronica felt it with the palm of her hand. Jessie was warm. Veronica liked having a warm presence in her bed.
It was only seven hours ago that Veronica had been alone. She had gone out for a quiet meal, a quick drink--conspicuous on her own. Wait staff always paid less attention to a single diner. An empty water glass was a symbol of solitude. Veronica was about halfway through her Spanish coffee when she saw Jessie, also alone, eating a spinach salad. Jessie caught her staring, and Veronica smiled and waved. “You want some company?” she asked her, and Jessie said yes.
Things went quickly from there. They talked about books, traded stories about family and pets. Veronica complimented Jessie on her skin and how nice it must be to be able to go out without make-up; Jessie, in turn, said she wished she could do her make-up as well as Veronica. Coffee turned to champagne, the champagne led to a taxi cab, which went to Veronica’s front door. The key, the lock, the bed.
Veronica didn’t know if Jessie would be around after breakfast, but it was all right. She took Jessie’s hair between her fingers. The hair was soft and nice to hold.
When she thought of him, he was something different. Something tender, something sweet, something that knew she was alive. In her head, it would just take a moment--he would see her the right way, perhaps the way she laughed, and his heart would be moved. It would be like she always imagined, the way they told her it could be when she was a little girl, the way it was in pop songs, long ago and worlds apart. In her thoughts, passion replaced his indifference. They would kiss, and she wouldn’t have to think about it at all anymore.
Current Soundtrack: Christina Aguilera, "Keeps Getting Better (VMAS 2008 performance)"
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All text (c) 2008 Jamie S. Rich