I made a soft gasp before I vigorously clasped my dropping jaw with my sweaty hand. Under the tension weighing down on me, I tried not to let a single breath came to sound. I leaned back against the wall for support as the uneasiness grew in me, spreading through my lower limbs like a wildfire, crippling them as they struggle to endure my own body weight. Even as the clock ticked, the wave of panic wouldn't stop, instead driving me mad as my mind imagined the consequences if I happened to get seized.
It was earlier this afternoon when my former classmate contacted me after a while. She was stopping by my small town I was living in, she informed me, while requesting a bit of my time to kindly accompany her during the visit. Working as an independent fisherman at the local lake gives me plenty of time to spare. Granting myself a day off of work would not be too much to ask, after all. I agreed with a slight nod reflectively in front of the wired telephone I was holding on as I picked up her call.
Putting back my fishing equipment, I then sat on a nearby wooden bench, relaxing my figure, just for me to realize how rarely I take any break from my routines. I stretched my frequently used limbs to an extent until the joints made pop sounds. Immersing my spine deeper onto the bench only let out another sense of comfort raining down on me.
Right before I sunk into a deep slumber, I came up with an idea to present my old pal with a little souvenir for her to take home. Flowers could be decent, but it would be too generic the more I thought of it. I got up from my lying stance and tried to gather myself before rethinking about the options for the gift. Putting on a proper outfit, I let my future-self decide what to give once I went to the town square.
With the motorbike I used to go to the plaza parked, I explored the marching stalls on both sides as each of them offered─ what I wanted or didn't want to be─ the item of my seeking, despite not knowing what in particular, until a middle-aged lady approached me with her imposing figure.
Her build stood as high as my nose. A red bandana wrapped around her forehead, and with a full-black attire consisting of a culotte and oversized sleeves that could easily be confused as a robe, I could've just mistaken her for a seer or some sort and no one will blame me.
“Vaguely looking for something, there, kid?” she disrupted, startling me for a second and making me come to a halt. I couldn't help but getting a mental chuckle as someone mentioned me as ‘kid’, despite being in my late 20s.
I subconsciously furrowed my brows, “ H.. how did you know?”
“A merchant's sharp eyes wouldn't miss that,” she retorted as she shot me a wink, gesturing me to follow her inside. “Must be for a girl, right?” she continued.
“Uh.. yes.. technically,” I admitted. We stopped at the nearby counter. She extended her hand to grab something I couldn't quite speculate under the desk.
“Please, let me give you this for however much money you're willing to pay,” she offered, handing me a piece of scarf.
The scarf was coated in black with fog gray scratch motive over here and there. Although it looked very elegant, at least to me, I doubted if it would fit the style of a woman. Still, I was still very tempted to grab it as she was willing to give me the item no matter how much I pay.
“What about 10 dollars?” I bid as low as I didn't feel guilty trading in the money for the piece.
“I say you're very considerate, dear,” she gave me a warm gaze. Reaching out for another object, she continued, “Receive it, and take this pendant for a gift as well.”
“Huh? Are you sure??” I attained the necklace and held it firmly inside my palm. It appeared simple in a circular geometry, yet prominent with a silvery outer and what looked like an obsidian black orb in the middle. A metallic gray string attached to the pendant completes its extravagant appearance, making it look pricey wherever you saw it from.
“Entertaining as always, seeing a young man happy with my giving.” she ended by giving a heartfelt smile on her face, shooing me away as it's getting late.
Unknowingly three hours have passed since I made a call with my friend. We've agreed to meet at the fanciest restaurant in town, located near a hotel where she will stay. Since I have no mobile phone, and she couldn't determine her arrival estimation, we've only told each other to meet when evening just around the corner. With the sun set, I reassured myself that it's about time already.
I walked into the restaurant and was welcomed by a warm environment with yellow light coming from every side where dimmed lamps hung on the ceiling and walls. The ambient coming from the warmth of candles on each table contributed to creating such an atmosphere.
I turned my head around a couple of times in search of my friend's presence, in case she arrived ahead of me. As I didn't find any sign of her, I sat on a couple-table in the opposite corner of the one occupied by a band singing to bring along the soothing mood.
While I was relaxing for a moment, a waitress approached and brought me the menu. She asked me whether I came here alone or would there be any company coming. I spoke for the latter, therefore she offered me some couple menus.
I was afraid would she not like what I was going to pick for her, so I decided to merely order mine and let her order what she wanted thereafter. Being too often surrounded by fish, I was eager to eat some nice meat this time, thus that was what I ordered.
I peeked towards the entrance a few times as I waited nervously. To my surprise, a familiar figure yet unfamiliar at the same time showed up not long after. It was her.
Her look was enchanting every pair of eyes that gazed towards her direction. In contrast to her pale ivory skin tone, covering her was a long-sleeve black sheath dress just above the knees. Standing on top of a pair of glossy rhino high heels and holding a purse of the same shades wrapped up her charm.
I couldn't help but admire her awe-inspiring appearance. Her narrow eyes glanced side by side, looking for something until they fixed on mine. Her expression lit up once she saw me. She raised her right arm and waved in excitement as she approached.
I stood and pulled a chair for her. We shook hands as we sat back in our seats.
Comments (0)See all