You know what’s worse than breaking up with a boyfriend of two years? Breaking up just a week before Valentine’s Day!The breakup didn’t come as a surprise to Natasha, but she wasn’t prepared for it either. The couple had been having arguments and disagreements for quite some time now. Each passing day the “I Love You’s” were getting occasional and the “I told you so” more frequent.
“We are completely opposite Natty. You know that, right? We no longer enjoy doing anything together. We have nothing in common,” He had explained and all Natasha had to say was, “You know I don’t like being called Natty.”
“See, that’s what is wrong with our relationship.” He had bellowed and left in a huff. The fact that he was already seeing someone else didn’t matter much. Not until it all started sinking in.
As Natasha sat on her favourite couch, watching a travel show and eating leftover Chinese food, she wondered where things went wrong. She was an intelligent and good looking girl. One might say the glasses made her look geeky, but she thought that it added character to her face. Her makeup free skin was a rare delight and the raven black, straight but short hair was envied by many.
Yes, she wasn’t an extrovert. Loud music, loud people, clubs, pubs… anything which would disturb her peace of mind wasn’t her idea of having a good time. Jeans and a tee were her comfort clothing. Tight hugging dresses and short skirts weren’t. Facebook and WhatsApp was nuisance according to her and the friends she had were very few but extremely close. It was as if Natasha was an old soul in a young girl’s body. When she looked back at things she knew why her boyfriend broke up with her. HE really wasn’t her type.
Natasha believed that she had taken the breakup very well, but her friends started panicking when she didn’t reply to their calls and messages for five days in a row. When the dreaded Valentine’s Day arrived her friends landed on her doorstep.
“We are going to a party tonight.”
“I hate parties.” Natasha had argued.
“You are not staying holed up in this apartment on Valentine’s day” they had ended the discussion.
With hardly any choice given, Natasha surprised her friends by saying, “I need a new dress if I am going to a party.”
Since a “Dress” was new in Natasha’s dictionary, her friends were over the moon. Natasha was glad to have them around because nothing cures a lonely heart than time with your best friends.
The shopping was quick and fun. That evening when Natasha got ready her friends helped with the makeup bit. The glasses were replaced with lenses, the lip balm with red lipstick. Her hair was groomed and tied up high with a few soft curls kissing her face. Sneakers were replaced with high heeled sandals and an emerald green; knee length dress hugged her body like second skin. Natasha felt weird, but good.
The private party in a posh high-rise apartment was everything that Natasha was expecting and so she was prepared to see hundreds of heart shaped balloons floating everywhere, couples snuggling up and singles openly flirting. It surprised Natasha on how comfortable and confident she felt amongst strangers. The fact that many appreciating eyes followed her since she had entered the party worked wonders on her self-esteem.
Abe stood by the bar counter with a couple of his friends. For a long time now his eyes were wandering towards “The girl in the green dress.” He thought she looked cute playing grown-up for she certainly wasn’t. He almost laughed when on being called ‘sexy’ by the host, she felt insulted and her cheeks turned flaming red.
Natasha had felt the stranger’s eyes gauging her. He was handsome in a rugged way and Natasha had found herself looking at him more than once. When out of decent social manners, she smiled at him; she was in for a rude shock for he stared right through her. Turning her back to him, Natasha swore to hate him till eternity.
“Excuse me,” said a deep voice and Natasha instinctively knew who it was. She turned around and stood face to face with the good looking stranger.
“Hi. I am Abe. Care to join me for the next song?” he asked and Natasha saw how smug he looked as if expecting her to be swooned by his request.
“I am sorry, but I am a bad dancer really. Oh, and by the way, I am Natasha.” Natasha replied sweetly and turned her back to him… again. A couple of minutes later, however, when another guy asked her for a dance she obliged.
“She is good at playing games,” Abe thought to himself. Soon he was on the dance floor with a girl who was practically clinging to him.
Abe and Natasha, though dancing with their respective partners couldn’t take eyes off each other. They both were acting stupid and soon realized it. This time when Abe went to Natasha again, he didn’t say a word, but just held his hand out and Natasha walked into his arms. Abe danced with Natasha but kept his distance, for he was unsure of his own intentions. Natasha tried her best to avoid the handsome strangers’ eyes since she wasn’t sure she was ready to open her heart to anyone yet.
They danced in complete silence. Natasha could feel Abe’s heart thudding against her palms whilst she was sure he could sense the shiver that ran down her body at his every touch. When he inched closer and bent his head, Natasha froze only to relax when Abe placed a fleeting kiss on her forehead. The song soon came to an end and so did a promising night because Natasha hurriedly picked up her little handbag to leave the place. She wanted to be alone – to think clearly. She was about to dash out when a hand held hers.
“Looks like you were about to leave?” Abe asked, but Natasha just shrugged her shoulders.
“Well then, I hope we will meet sometime soon again? Here is my card. Promise you will call me?” Natasha was non-committal again.
Taking the card, Natasha left the party quietly. Out in the open night, under clear skies, on an empty street, she could finally relax and calm her wrecked nerves.
“Stupid. Stupid. Stupid! Who leaves a guy like that? I am daft. That’s what I am.” Natasha muttered to herself. She looked at the card in her hand, ran her fingers against the name, closed her eyes and remembered the way she felt in his arms – warm and secure.
With a jerk she bought herself back to reality knowing why she left him. In her heart she knew that what Abe saw wasn’t the real Her. Natasha stood there staring at the card. It took her a couple of minutes to come to a decision and then she tore Abe’s card into pieces, letting them flow down from her palms. She then took off her lenses and put on her glasses, the bob pins were pulled off and she let her hair down. Kicking off her sandals and holding them in her hands, Natasha walked down the street looking for a taxi.
At the balcony of the apartment Abe stood mesmerized, witnessing the scene that unfolded in front of his eyes. He knew then that The Girl in the Green dress would never call him, but he hoped that the Girl wearing the glasses wouldn’t forget him. Not until he found her again… soon!
Written By : Jyothi D”Mello. A Book Lover, storyteller, dreamer, foodie, mother and a writer (an Amateur one albeit). Writing is her way to express fears, anxieties, inner demons, bottled love, guarded feelings and cherished memories. She writes because that is what she loves to do, that is what keeps her sane.