A boy in a striped shirt and folded jeans asks as he holds up a strawberry-printed handkerchief. Which incidentally isn’t mine. But I linger on quietly, trying to get a good look at his face. I pretend I didn’t hear him. Stupid, I know. That’s just the way I am.

He smiles awkwardly, as if he just realized he’s been trying to talk to an idiot all along. “Not yours, then?”

I run out of ideas to stall the “conversation”. I was never good at making up things. Perhaps, this is why I became an accountant. Numbers are definite things; there is always an answer. Yes, I am that kind of person.

The way I am secretly ogling at this boy is quite uncharacteristic of me. I have never been in a relationship and have never been curious enough to even get involved in silly flings.

"Damn it!"

Damn these trains and their grand entrance. The strong wind that signifies a train’s arrival causes much inconvenience when it comes to my hair. I fix it like a loony before I leave the house, always fixing it so obsessively. I guess it’s because it’s the only part of me that gets complimented on so frequently. And despite knowing that standing at such close proximity like I always do can cause this kind of annoyance, I carry on with it everyday. I fix it, the wind ruins it, I mend it. Repeat if the train’s too full that I would have to wait for another one to come along.

I look up at him alarmingly. “Damn the train and the wind, I mean,” I say as I furiously finger through my messed up locks. “Not you.” I smile.

He nods and waves the handkerchief at me.

"It’s not mine, sorry."

With eyebrows raised, he nods and steps into the train. I stand there frozen, feeling stupid and all too ordinary. Too normal. That’s just the way I am.

As the doors close, I get back from my momentary withdrawal from this world. I stupidly knock on the door, eyes still locked into the stranger’s. Then I realize that it’s too late. The train hisses as it prepares to leave.

"Damn it."

There goes the strong wind that signifies the train’s departure. And my stupid hair’s ruin.

Posted at 12:26pm and tagged with: missed connections,.

Let me tell you about my days: They’re not interesting. I don’t go out that much and when I do, it’s just to read a book in my favorite cafe. I don’t like coffee and I never will, but I like the warmth of being in a quiet place that brews coffee nonstop, with people who seem to have fooled themselves that a $5 coffee is any better than the cheaper kind.

Sometimes, I watch people do the common things done in a cafe: read books, abuse the free internet, hold hands, talk on the phone, cry in front of friends, cry in front of significant others, get lost in their thoughts, leave coffee stains, wait, hope.

I never get particularly interested in anyone because no one is usually interesting enough for me.

Well. Until it happened.

A boy, or a man but he looks so much more like a boy to me, walked in. He bought the smallest and cheapest coffee in the house, settled in a corner table and started reading. What interested me at first was the book he was reading because I had read it before and loved it immensely. The second was how he left the cafe without even taking a single sip of his coffee. Third was how I sort of whispered to myself, because I am weird like that, that maybe he was meant for me. Finally, after years of patronizing this cafe with shitty coffee (I’ve taken a sip or two), the higher power had taken pity on me and had decided to give me some sort of loyalty award.

But no. That’s not what he meant to me. Not a reward, not a consolation. More like a discovery. A gift.

Why do I feel like I’ve found something irreplaceable? Something real?

It pained me as well as surprised me that I was capable of such infallible hallucinations. I didn’t know I still had it in me after so many disappointments and broken promises. I’m kind of an old-timer, but I’ve stayed strong. Look at me now. You won’t even notice the thousand scars of my heart.

These thoughts drifted me away from my book completely. I was so engrossed with my imaginary love story that it made me realize how much time I’ve wasted on involving myself in other people’s lives, stories, and heartaches. All the people I’ve watched, all the characters in the books I’ve read — they live the life I once wished for myself. And maybe it’s not too late.

But I was. I let him slip away. He never visited the cafe again. It must have been the coffee, or maybe he was just visiting. I will never find out.

Posted at 11:49pm and tagged with: love, missed connections, fiction, CRAP, lonely beings,.