Invisible Love Letter(2)

By: Callie Anderson

He had eyes that would haunt me the rest of my life.

They were a shade of greenish gray I had never seen before, like storm clouds on a hot summer day. His skin was tan, mocha.

He was perfection.

Jesus, apaga a luz. Jesus, turn off the lights.

The world around me moved in slow motion and everything was silent.

I swallowed hard.

I had been staring for too long, but I was frozen, trapped under his spell. His lips moved as he spoke, but I heard nothing as I continued to gaze at the most beautiful creature God ever made.

I shook my head. “I'm sorry, what was that?” My words trembled with anxiety.

“I said I was sorry for trying to take your drink.” His voice was a sweet melody, soothing my palpitating heart.

My head nodded slowly as I slid my cell phone into my beach bag. I opened my mouth to tell him he could have it when the barista placed another passion tea lemonade beside mine on the bar.

“Alrighty then.” I grabbed the cup and twirled around to head for the sugar and milk counter. Alrighty then? Who the hell says alrighty then?

Someone, please shoot me now.

I needed a moment to catch my breath; a moment to wipe my sweaty palms. I wove through the hipsters, college students, and surfers until I reached the back tables. The coolness I felt earlier was gone, replaced with suffocating heat. My phone began to ring again, but I ignored it. I was too busy locking his picture in my mind.

I wanted to remember his perfection.

I wanted it to be a permanent mark in my brain.

If his shirt told me anything about his taste in music, we already had something in common. But his face … His appearance had caused me to tremble. His dark brown hair was buzzed short on his head, a fine line tracing his hairline. His high cheekbones overpowered his face when he smiled at me, and the dimple … Oh God, the dimple. It appeared on the right side of his cheek when he smiled at me.

“Are you okay?”

Shoving the straw between my lips—to keep from saying something stupid again—I pivoted so I could see him once more. I nodded as I stepped forward on shaky legs, but he lifted his free hand and laid it on my shoulder.

“Wait.” I looked up at his stormy eyes. “Can I have your name?”

I pulled the plastic straw out of my mouth and brushed a few loose tendrils behind my ear. “Emmy,” I responded. “My mother gave me the nickname when I was a child. She named me Emilia, after her grandmother.” I kicked myself internally for babbling.

I didn’t ask his name; there was no point. I would never see him again. And if I knew his name, it would haunt me for the rest of my life. It would probably become an obsession, like a grade schooler who doodles her crush’s name into a book over and over again.

The smell of coffee wafted through the air around us, but when I passed his long body and inhaled his scent, I only smelled leather and cinnamon.

“Alrighty then.”

I heard his voice through the chatter as I continued towards the exit. I pulled my sunglass over my eyes and smiled.

Alrighty then.

* * *

I drove the whole way home with a goofy grin on my face. I imagined what he did for a living, wondered whether I had passed him in the hallways at school. I had become completely smitten over a guy I would never see again.

When I walked through the door of our shoebox apartment, Leslie ordered me straight to the shower and barked that if I weren’t ready in fifteen minutes, she would have my ass. Though she bitched and rapped on the bathroom door repeatedly, I couldn’t wipe my smile away because his face was still on my mind. His scent—leather and cinnamon, etched in my memory. He had affected me so much that I applied my eye shadow three times.

“What did you put in your lemonade?” Leslie asked once I finally emerged. I looked at her through the wall mirror we had hung in our shared bedroom. She stood behind me, her arms crossed over her chest. Leslie had raven hair, curls wild and hard to tame. She was built like me, short and busty, but my hips were wider. I had my mother’s Latin roots to thank for those.

“You look buzzed.” Her hands moved from her chest to her hips.

I shoved my makeup into my bag and tucked it in my carry on. “Nothing.” I shrugged, a goofy grin still on my face. “I just bumped into this guy at Starbucks.”

I gave myself a look over in the mirror, pushing my auburn curls off my shoulder. I was dressed in black strappy sandals, white shorts and a camisole top with lace trim. It was a daring choice since my boobs looked like they would pop out at any moment, but it was my going away party since I was heading out to Brazil in the morning, so why not go out with a bang? Or a potential wardrobe malfunction.

“Wow.” Leslie shook her head in disbelief. “You’ve been here for almost six months and you’ve never even looked at a guy. That whole love sucks spiel you’re always going on about—”

“It isn't love. It is a physical attraction. I don't believe in love, but I’m not dead.”

“By your lack of sex, I for sure thought you were dead,” she joked and I stuck my tongue out at her. “Ready?” Leslie tossed my clutch at me.

“One second, love. I need to make sure my passport is put away with my suitcase.” The last thing I needed was to misplace it hours before my flight. I wouldn’t need it for the night since I wasn’t twenty-one yet, but my friend Axel knew the bouncer, so I wouldn’t need to show ID at the club. Of course, wearing a low cut top also helped.

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