The Lonely Girl
Short love stories are all about that skip in the heart, but could you actually have been in a romantic love story all along, and not know it? Rick Hawney reminisces about his walk into the world of love with a girl who didn’t even want to know him.
I’ve heard a saying, that “life is a surprise”. Call me a sceptic, but I generally scoff at lines that scream something that leaves us expecting so much.
My short love story may be short on words, but it’s a story that’s filled every thought and day of my existence with happiness.
I’m a guy, a 26 year old guy who works in a job he likes. A guy who hangs out with his friends when the sun goes down, and one who, when the story begins, is still single.
I’m single, not because I want to be single. I think it’s weird to be single. Or maybe that’s what all guys think.
I’m just a guy who’s been looking high and low for that girl who can make things happen inside me.
You know, your heart stops beating just for a second, your throat goes dry, you get gooseflesh, feel a bit dizzy, and the works.
I haven’t experienced that. Most of my friends haven’t experienced that too, but they’re all going out with someone. According to them, such things happen only when you’re suffering from a high temperature.
Short love stories and my life
The story of me falling madly in love didn’t actually go as I had expected. My throat never got dry, ever. But then, I liked a girl. Of course, it wasn’t ‘love’.
Actually speaking, it wasn’t even ‘like’. As a matter of fact, I have no idea what I felt. I spend my evenings at a café, next to a huge television display they’ve now acquired, and whether I like it or not, I end up spending my time staring at it. And it bloody hell annoys me! Can’t they just junk it?
Well, and just like me, there was this cute girl who would come to the same café, and stare at the same display every day. Well, sometimes she read a book.
Or sometimes, she used to light a cigarette and look at her fumes take shape, and then disappear into non-existence. She was fascinating and pretty. But there was one difference between both of us. I came to the café with a couple of friends. She came alone. I have never seen any girl do that. Who has?
Love stories and stolen glances
We used to glance across each other now and then, but there was nothing more. No jolt. No sweat. No knots in my stomach.
The days turned to weeks, and weeks turned to a couple of months. That’s a long time once you picture the scene outside the world of literature. Long, long ago seems so cute in a book, but an hour in a suffocating conference hall? Murder! Without actually knowing it, I was attracted to this girl. I actually admired her, and her calm, comfortable, cool as a cat persona that she brought along for company every day. Could it be love?
And then, I started the staring game. I stared at her now and then, discreetly, but in a way she knew I was glancing at her. But no deal. She just wasn’t bothered. Ouch! My ego was crushed.
A rainy evening – The perfect setting for short love stories
One evening, it rained cats and dogs, and a few frogs and fishes too. I was in the café, she walked in with an umbrella. The place was packed, and there was one seat that was empty. That was facing my table. I had half a mind to get up and call her over, but before I could make up my mind and inflate my courage, she walked to a corner table that just got cleared.
An hour later, it was still raining. In the midst of all that rain and thunder, I contemplated and coined her name, “The Lonely Girl”. The Lonely Girl had walked out a few minutes before I decided to leave. When I got outside the café, I saw her standing by the sidewalk, waiting. I walked up to her quickly, and before I knew it I had asked her if I could drop her to her place. As it was raining, I added.
She didn’t smile, she just looked at me, turned around and walked away in the rain! Under her umbrella.
My friends laughed at me. Yep, it was completely embarrassing. Even the bum on the street held back a grin. I hadn’t even heard the Lonely Girl’s voice. Pathetic, I say. The next day I saw her at the café, she was sitting by herself. Perhaps she was Calvin, and she had a Hobbes around to keep her company. I was invisible. Her smoke rings were fascinating her. She couldn’t even leave good smoke rings, what was the deal with staring at it? This happened everyday for a month.
Night out clubbing – The second chance in my love story
On another great day, I was out at a club. And wonders of wonders! She was there, with a few girl pals. Perhaps it was fate. I looked at her, she saw me and then she looked away. I walked through the crowd of dancing drunks and walked right towards her. I walked up and wanted to speak to her.
She saw me and flashed a big grin. I was shocked. I was numb. I didn’t know her mouth could move that way! And before I could think of anything, she grasped her friend’s hand and walked away to the ladies room! And I didn’t see her again that night. But I couldn’t stop thinking about her for hours after that. Perhaps even days. Because she didn’t show up at the café the next day, and many days after that. That was shocking. I started wondering if she had changed her hideout because I was stalking her.
Two whole weeks later, I walked into the café and there she was, all radiant and bright. Gosh, I had missed her! I sat down at a table a few tables away from her. I knew I wanted to talk to her. And thank God, the café was quite empty. It was a bit too early for the horde of coffee addicts to make their entrance.
I waited until her coffee arrived. And then, I waited for her check. When her check was on the table, I walked up to her. My throat was lumpy and tight. Each step I took only made my walk to her feel further away. But I walked on. The café was empty. No harm. I could always change my hangout if she slaps me. What was I thinking, dammit!
“Hey, you can’t run away from me today. You’ve got to get your check”, I quirked.
“What?” she exclaimed before she realized she actually replied.
“I said you can’t just avoid me like this, you know…”
“What are you talking about?”
“Can I sit down with you?”
“No, you can’t.”
“Oww… c’mon, just for a minute, okay?”
She took out her wallet, and wanted to dart. I couldn’t help getting mesmerized by her voice, but there were more pressing things at hand. I had to talk to her.
To cut a long jittery conversation short, I convinced her to talk to me for a few minutes. And that’s when everything started breezing through. We started talking, and the minutes stretched on at a really fast pace. I got to know so much about her, and I also got to know that she had a great sense of humor. We had a great time talking to each other, and soon, she said she had to go, as it was getting late for her.
We exchanged numbers and I asked her if we could “bump in” again tomorrow. She just smiled and walked away. Sigh! It was bliss. As I stared at her walk away, my eyes were distracted by an alphabet bracelet she had forgotten behind. It said “life is a surprise”. Wow! Maybe that was true. I slipped the bracelet into my pocket.
Feeling the love at night
I lay awake that night and I stared at her number on my cell phone. I wanted to call her, but settled for a text. The very minute I texted her, I got a call from her. She too was contemplating over whether or not to message me. Sweet!
We spoke and spoke until the wee hours of the morning, and I just wanted to see her again that evening. We met again at the café and it felt so good. She was smiling the whole time and we were actually flirting back and forth. I asked her out for a movie that evening.
All of a sudden, she looked offended. She declined. And then, there was silence. That calm, deadly silence that makes you feel worse than getting yelled at. I asked her what was wrong, but she didn’t mention it, and our “date” was cut short that evening. I got home and looked at her bracelet. “Life is a surprise”. Simple words can be a confusing affair at times.
Rekindling my love story
That night, I called her again and we spoke. At first she was distant, but she seemed fine after a while, and then I asked her why she got so offended in the café. She didn’t tell at first, but as the hours went by, she told me that she hated guys and the worst thing she ever wanted to do was go out on a date with a guy.
Apparently, she had been hurt one too many times by guys whom she trusted with all her heart. We spoke until five in the morning, and she told me a lot more. I just wanted to hug her, but even the thought of giving her a telephonic hug scared me. But we decided to meet again. Same bat place, same bat time.
We started hanging out together all the time after that. At times, I picked her up from her workplace, and at other times, I dropped her back home. Soon, weeks turned into months, and this time, everything felt just like a fairytale.
Time stood still when it was just the two of us. One evening, when we met up and went to the café, it was too crowded for space, so we decided to go for a drive to while away the time. It was a long drive, and somewhere along the way, the sun was shining mildly at us, it was a huge red ball that made the whole world around me glow. It was the most romantic sight, or maybe I had never noticed the sun at that time of the day. Nevertheless, it was beautiful.
She said the sun was beautiful. I said it couldn’t be compared to her. She smiled. I smiled. I clasped her hand. It felt tense. And then, we locked eyes. Thank God, the road was deserted. And then, her lips split into a girlish grin that I still can’t forget. That was the moment. It was indeed beautiful. I felt warm and fuzzy. And I wanted the drive to last forever. We got to her place, and I hugged her goodbye. That was the first time I ever hugged her. As we hugged, I knew she didn’t want to let go. Neither did I.
A short love story that lasts a lifetime
The next evening, we went to the café. We sat next to each other for the first time. And we held hands. We spoke less, and smiled more. I told her that I liked her. She smiled a lot more. And then, she punched me in the arm, and said that she liked me too. And just then, I slipped her bracelet out from my pocket. “Life is a surprise”. I couldn’t agree with that more. I smiled. She saw her bracelet. And she laughed. That tinkling, sweet laugh that is so intoxicating. I was a happy boy with the perfect present, all over again. And she was a happy, lonely girl. Just lonely no more.
One can never tell how love can come into your life, or how you can experience your own short love stories out of the blue. But a great love story awaits all of us, and it’s just around the corner. After all, didn’t someone once say that life is a surprise!