I saw her walk leisurely out of the Chinese restaurant, and I was instantly entranced with her. The way she carried herself had more depth and personality than I did in my entirety. Just seeing her, I could tell she was comfortable in her clothes but not in her body. There was an air of insecurity that surrounded her, even though she seemed to be made entirely of perfection. The way her body moved as she glided through the door was truly fascinating. Her face read sadness and her eyes almost screamed at me to rescue her, but her most prominent feature was the polite smile that she wore that somehow lit up her entire being. I didn’t mean to goggle at her, but I was unable to tear my eyes away. She was beautiful, and I was mesmorized by her.
For a split second walking past, she looked at me, and the rich brown of her eyes seemed to swallow me whole. Her wavy, dirty-blonde hair reached half-way down her back and was held away from her face with a bandana folded into a two-inch headband. A charcoal pencil slightly peeked out from behind her left ear and grazed her smooth, pale cheek. Slits on her wrist told me she wasn’t perfect, and her life clearly was not as appealing as she was. Her scarf was colorful wool, and one end was very off-balance with the other. A plain black, baggy t-shirt hugged the hips of her boot-cut jeans, leading down to her floral flats that could have doubled as slippers. She was an artist, and she was intoxicating.
The bell on the door rang as it closed, and she disappeared comfortably into the depths of New York City. Her exit from my life was as quick and abrupt as her entrance into it. My gaze lingered after her as the brief memory of her face imprinted itself permanently in my mind. The harsh voice of the cashier ripped me back into reality. “Sir!” She had clearly been trying to get my attention since the last customer, the most beautiful creature in the world, had left. “Sir, may I help you?” The lady was bitter and impatient, probably tired.
“Oh…yeah.” I said. My brain was working its way back into full awareness. “Sorry. Could I have a pu pu platter with an extra order of pork-fried rice?” I ordered more than I needed or could ever eat. Truth is, I was embarrassed for even the random Chinese lady behind the register to know that I would be eating alone. I would go back to my single apartment and watch a movie while eating my dinner. I would look around and see all the pictures of me and Christy that I was still unable to get myself to take down. I wasn’t ready to take them down yet. She and I had been together for two years, and putting away the photographic evidence would make it really over.
Not that it wasn’t really over already. Christy would not be coming back any time soon. I gave up on that hope about three months after the break-up. But removing her face from my home would be as if I was removing her from my life completely. That was such a serious and terrifying step. Instead, I would suffer internally at my apartment’s decor until I was mentally stable enough to rearrange.
I stood awkwardly at the counter waiting for my order to be ready, not very anxious to start my uneventful night. Tapping my fingers on the counter, I looked at the decorations around the room. My eyes flicked to the counter, where something red caught my eye. A purse. I looked around and saw that no one was concerning themselves with my life. I had privacy in such a public place. Using this to my advantage, I unzipped the bag. My goal was to find the owner, not to invade any stranger’s personal life. Sifting through some cigarettes, faded photographs, and a Pooh Bear key chain, I found a wallet. The drivers license had a picture of a stunning woman with dirty-blonde hair halfway down her back and brown eyes as deep as the ocean. It was her.
Fraintesa. Her name was Fraintesa Morello. The name of an angel, which fit the face of an angel. Just holding a picture of her gave my stomach butterflies all over again. My heart skipped a beat as I realized what I held in my hands. This was my ticket into her life. I saw my future flash before my eyes, and the potential with this beautiful stranger was more promising than everything that I had planned through my life up to this pathetic point in it. I slowly inhaled once, and then again. Each time seemed to waste another second that I could be spending with Fraintesa. Before spending that next breath without her, I shoved the wallet back in the purse, grabbed it tight with both hands, and suddenly ran towards the exit.
I heard the cranky cashier call after me, saying my order was ready. I had no need for dinner when I was about to meet the beginning of the rest of my life. I sprinted through the glass door and was gone before I could even hear it close. I ran away from the restaurant, away from being lonely, away from unhappiness, away from my past. My eyes were fixed on the next corner, where the fluorescent street lights lit up someone with dirty-blonde hair halfway down her back and deep brown eyes I could see from one and a half blocks away. I ran until I got there, to my goal, to the redecoration of my apartment, to my escape, to my future. And I greeted her with a smile.