From the Author: As a writer, a story can hit you any time. This one came to me while I was handling some business at the bank. I'm not sure where it's going, but here's the first installment. Please hit subscribe if you'd like to read the second part next week.
She pulled her Burberry trench around her tighter and she suddenly regretted her decision. She should have known better. How did she think this flimsy, but fabulous, trench would function as her winter coat? She is not that girl. You know, the capital “G" girl who has designer label outfits for every occasion and shoes to match. The girl whose level of coordination was so advanced that her undergarments matched her outer garments. That was not her. That was her best friend, Ricki. Ricki was that girl. Every hair on her head was always in place. Every single outfit she owned was a winner. She was the one who commanded attention as soon as she walked into a room. Whose smile would brighten that room and dim it when she left. She was just like that—magnetic. She was truly one of the best among us.
That is why I, Gigi McCloud, yep that’s my real name, was out here in thirty-two-degree weather shivering waiting for the voice from the phone. I know that sounds dramatic calling them “the voice over the phone,” but that's legit all I know about them, their voice. It was androgynous, steady, and panicked all at the same time. The main thing I remember the most about “The Voice” was how gruff it was. “Meet me at Sheldon Park at 6 am sharp! If you are just a minute late or thirty seconds, that means you don’t want to know what happened to your friend.” Click. That was it.
And here I am at Shelton Park with the time quickly approaching 6:30 am. Foolishly, I didn't grab my gloves. I was facing the water, which made the cold even more insidious. The wind was slapping me in the face disrespectfully. Feeling frustration welling up in me like a hot furnace of resentment, I spun on my heels and turned to leave, and ran smack dab into something big. I say something and not someone because the presence felt like a tree bellowing over me.
But unlike the hardness of a tree, my face hit something and had connected to something soft. Not pudgy like a marshmallow, but the type of softness that let me know I was in contact with something sentient, something with a heartbeat. I took a step back, took another moment to look up, and observed the presence before me. Although we were outside, he seemed to consume the entire space, filling it up like a fish too big for an old-school fish bowl. I’ll say “he” because the being had the feeling of masculinity, but his face was so strikingly beautiful it caused me to gasp. I saw a chiseled jawline and piercing eyes that matched the intensity of their voice. My heart began to beat fast.
Finally, I caught my breath and said the only word I could mutter, “Wow.” I instantly regretted it. I internally kicked the hell out of myself. Again, I am not that "Girl." Ricki would have said something sexy like, “Suddenly, I’m not cold anymore,” as she’d patted her voluminous mane of natural curls nonchalantly. But I’m not Ricki, she’s not here. Who was here was the tall tree of a person staring at me with an intensity that warmed me up instead of making me shiver. If my awkwardness was off-putting for him, I couldn’t tell. Finally, after what seemed like fifteen minutes, he spoke.
Thanks so much for reading.
Tune in next week for part two.