Not For Me
by Vanessa Richardson
The sun was at its zenith; its ray's blessing the earth's inhabitants. The clouds were soft and billowy, beckoning to be touched. The echoes of youthful laughter could be heard from miles. The barks from family pets, carried across the sound waves. The ponds water was calm not single ripple could be seen as the wind denied its presence. The trees were a beacon of reprieve to The Park was highly populated that day not a strange phenomenon.
Roller skaters, rolled by, joyously jubilant that spring had finally arrived. The winter had been terribly fierce that year. Jogger's with their walk-man in their ears labored on. Lovers were holding hands oblivious to their environments activities as they gazed lovingly into each other's eyes. A plethora of bees were dancing merrily, landing on a near by bed of roses. Vendors smiled with anticipation, at the many customers they had.
All these happening's taking place all went unnoticed. She was distracted and she did not like it one bit! Focus! "She scolded her for the nth time. It was of no use she was just out of sorts today. Her eyes were warring with her mind. It was if they had suddenly become possessed. "Focus. You little girl." Little girl was what she called herself when she was upset with herself. She was by far no little girl. Once glance would revel that.
She was often times mistaken for a famous breakout actress, who starred in a classical musical, and went on to win several awards, for her performance. She had skin the color of dark chocolate. Dark piercing eyes said to distract a man for days. Long lashes that last for days. She was a sister well proportion and proud of it. She took good care of herself mentally, financially and physically.
Argh. It just was no use. She was totally, completely, shamefully, intriguingly distracted. What is the matter with me? She irritatingly questioned herself. Suddenly she found herself becoming angry. Angry at the source of her distraction. Discombobulated, at her feelings she found herself wanting to take flight.
He was distracted. She was stunning. Simply stunning. There was something different about her. He found himself wanting. Needing to hear her voice. Was is soft and caressing like that of a gentle breeze. Was it sultry and beckoning as a soulful love song? Laughing he was embarrassed about the direction his thought were taking him. He continued to watch his lady. That was she felt like to him. This beautiful woman. Was his lady. Legs braced apart arms folded across his chest. He watched his lady.
She was an artist he took note. He was awed. This only happens in movies. Stunning. I must know her name. Could this be divine providence? It was uncanny. Today started out unusual. Being a creature of habit, he was comfortable with a routine lifestyle. He questioned today's turn of events.
There was nothing routine about today. As it was, he should right now be sitting in a stuffy boardroom meeting pontification over company decisions offering of policy suggestion no one were remotely interested in. Deciding at the last minute to cancel (unremorsefully), he grabbed his coat and sunglasses and answered the compunction to go to the park. At this very moment he knew he made the right decision.
I cannot focus! Deciding that she would not accomplish anymore touch up to her drawing she began to pack up her materials. Sensing a presence behind her. She turned abruptly tripping on her handbag. Feeling strong hands supporting her she gasp as she looked up at the source of her distraction. His eyes were mesmerizing. They were the color of chocolate chip. Bazaar as it was it was as if she would found security and home. It was warming to her.
"Careful." He could not release his hold on her arms.
"I am sorry. I didn't see you" Looking into his eyes, she felt it. Ridiculous. If her friends were, there to see her she would be the laughing stock. However, she could not shake it. Home and security. Silly little girl. He is a stranger. He is probably lost and needs directions. To my heart, I hope. Let me direct you, honey. Honey! Did she just think that? It felt right somehow. He was her honey and he and the world may never know it. It would be her wonderful secret alone…
Not wanting to waste time on pleasantries he queried. "Pardon me. I did not mean to startle you. I am a lover of the arts and I saw you painting." His voice trailed off. His look was intense. This he knew yet could not stop it if he could. He wanted to know her faults and all. What was wrong with him?
"Don't look at me like that." Shaking her head her ebony tresses fell over her shoulders. She was beginning to fidget.
"I don't want to frighten you. Please forgive me." He wanted to touch the soft texture of her locks of hair that rested on her shoulders. He wanted to be apart of her. This moment was surreal. Was God mocking him? Was it true? Is there such a thing as love at first sight?
"Please, I must know your name." It came out like a plea. However, he did not care. He was a man who knew what he wanted. One did not become the CEO of a Multimillion Accounting firm not knowing what he wanted. In addition, right now more than the Title of CEO, more than the millions he makes, more than free flyer miles. He wanted his lady.
"Olivia." She did not have to think about it. The response was automatic. Why had she done that? He was his eyes. She felt captured. He eyes were asking no needing something from her. Something she did not think could give.
"I can't give you what you want." She was a novice at love. She had only one serious relationship its demise was a constant reminder, that she was not capable of loving. She wished that there were a manual on how to love a man. She was horrible at showing her love and at being loved. Love was not for her.
"I count myself blessed having met you today. I hope you believe in destiny because I do. Well, now I do anyways". He smiled and stretched out his arms. I believe that you and I are destined to be. My name is Michael and I believe you are the only one who can give me not what I want. But what I need." His voice was deep with a hint of command.
"For the sake of clarity, Michael. What is it that you want?" Olivia challenged.
"So that there is no mistake. Mike shook his head advancing forward. What I want is to be loved by you."
"I am sorry Michael. I cannot give you what you want or need. Olivia whispered. You see, Love is not for me." She could see herself loving Michael. He was calling her home. Into his heart. She could not allow her heart to take residence with him. She would only hurt him. She was just not good at loving.
"Besides you don't know me. How can one love a stranger?" Excuse me. She made to step around Michael. Sidestepping her Michael was having none of that. It was obvious that his lady needed convincing.
"If you leave now with out giving me a chance to know you. With out giving us a chance? I will go crazy." Olivia looked up sharply, shocked by the declaration.
"Would you want that Olivia?" Mike captured her right hand in his. "Would you want me to go crazy, knowing love presented itself only to leave me with what it's. I couldn't take that. Mike was so close Olivia she could smell his cologne. "I would go utterly insane," Mike continued. "Don't make me go insane, Olivia."
"I am scared. I do not want to disappoint you nor myself." Her voiced came out in a whisper. "Love is not for me, I am not good at it," Olivia reiterated.
"Forget the past. Let us focus on the present. Let us begin our future. Your love was reserved for me. Your love Olivia is for me as my love is for you. I never thought that love at first sight existed. However, today I have been made a believer. Give us a chance."
"Interesting word. Chance. My last name is Chance." Smiling into Michael's eyes, she felt her heart leap with joy. It came again. That feeling. She felt as though she had found home. What a wonderful neighborhood to live… making her decision. She accepted residence in Mike's heart.
"Chance given." She smiled.
Fatefully at that same moment, the sun burst free from a warring cloud, baptizing the couples with its illuminating rays.
An octogenarian African American woman walking her dog stopped to look at the couple and smiled. "Ahh, Rudolph she spoke to her pet poodle. That young couple looks to be in love. Ahh, young love. We know a thing or two about that don't we boy?" She laughed huskily. "Young love needs nurturing. But somehow, I feel those two are going be just fine. Just fine."
"You won't regret it."
She looked at him trustingly. His heart leaped in response.
"I won't regret it." Gathering up her bag and his briefcase. He leads her toward their destiny.
"I will not regret it. No regrets. So, Michael what is you favorite food?"
"Any Restaurant's cooking. I am disaster in the kitchen," Mike glanced sheepishly at Olivia.
"That will all change now," She smiled, thinking to herself, love is definitely for me. She was going to love cooking for Mike.
Their voices began to fade, as they began the inquiries into each others lives. Walking into the sunset they were oblivious to their surroundings, as they only had eyes for each other.