I still search for him


Brynn Schanski

One of the many roses he left on my lap

The September day was scorching despite it being towards the end of the month. I felt sweat dripping down the back of my neck. Luckily, I left my hair down that day so no one would notice. 

I sat beneath a large, crimson umbrella, the color of what the leaves should have been at the time. Wondrous smells wafted from the restaurant’s open door causing my stomach to rumble. 

I looked at my watch a bit longer than usual since the heat caused my mind to be a bit muddled, and I couldn’t quite catch where the minute hand was. 

He’s ten minutes late, I sighed. 

The waitress had already brought me three refills of my lemonade and asked me twice if I was ready to order. I am, of course, but it’s rude to eat before whomever you’re expecting arrives. I just wished he would show up soon. 

“Excuse me, miss,” a voice said, standing above me; could this be him? “Are you using this chair?” He gestured to the seat across from me. 

“Yes,” I said. “I’m waiting for someone.” 

“Oh, my apologies,” he said, walking back to his table. He sat with his back facing my direction, but I could tell he was talking about me from the way his wife kept looking over. A drooling toddler sat balanced on her knees trying desperately to free himself from her grasp. 

I sighed, feeling guilty for forcing the child to sit still, but I needed the chair–he needed to show up. 

“Maybe see you around sometime,” he said slinking into a nearby alleyway, the last glimpse of him were his pearly teeth illuminated by the moon and as wide as the Cheshire Cat’s.

I gazed out at the street, watching the cars dash by. I didn’t even feel the time pass until my waitress came up to me. 

“Miss, you need to buy something if you are going to continue to sit here,” she said. “We have other customers waiting.”  

“Oh, alright,” I said. “I’ll have the deli sandwich, please.” 

“Coming right up,” she said. “Would you like a refill?” 

“That would be great,”I replied. 

The sun was low on the horizon now, threatening to disappear at any second. At least I wouldn’t have to worry about being a sweaty mess if he finally managed to show up. 

I watched the cars again until I heard my plate being laid in front of me. 

“Thank you,” I said before digging in. It wasn’t the best sandwich I’ve ever had—about average, very forgettable, and the taste disappeared right after I took a sip of my lemonade. 

Finishing my meal made me lose all hope of meeting with him, so I slapped a twenty on the table and left. I made it a few blocks until my shoes made walking difficult—I should never wear heels when I plan on walking home. I sighed and sat down at the bus stop to wait. 

While I was waiting, a man sat down next to me. He had a bouquet of roses—limp, probably from being in the heat without water—dangling out of his right fist. 

“Bad luck?” I asked. He turned to me and smiled. 

“You could say that,” he laughed. “I got stood up, again.”  He was handsome, that’s for sure. His blonde hair flopped into his eyes giving him more of a boyish appearance. Dimples appeared when he smiled, transforming his face, making him more irresistible. 

“Whatever girl stood you up sure made a mistake,” I said. “You seem like a sensible-enough guy.”

“Yeah, well it was a blind date so I didn’t exactly know the girl.” 

“Well, if it makes you feel any better, I got stood up too.”

“Then I guess you need these more than I do.”

Standing up, he placed the bundle of roses in my lap. I looked up to see him smiling at me. 

“Thank you,” I whispered. 

“Maybe I’ll see you around sometime,” he said slinking into a nearby alleyway, the last glimpse of him were his pearly teeth illuminated by the moon as they were angled up into a smile as wide as the Cheshire Cat’s. 

To this day, I will see him lurking around the city, just a glimpse and gone. The light in my darkness, but always out of reach.