Written by Vanessa Bowen
She was one in a million. An average person with an average life. There was nothing special about her, nothing that made her stand out from the never-ending public. She felt invisible to everyone around her. People walked past her, always in their own little world.
She wondered what they thought of. If they were more than average, if they stood out from the crowd, how different they were from her…How they lived in this world. Some stared in her direction, said hello, and started a conversation. Others avoided eye contact and ignored her. She stood where she was, still as a statue, looking at the chaos around her.
The noise of their steps was deafening in the silence of her life. She could hear their every huff and puff from miles away, as if they were breathing down her neck. The rustle of their clothing, and the screech of screaming children all became part of her daily life. It didn’t take her long to become immune to any of it.
With a blink, noise seized to exist, the world stopped moving, and people became still. And… she began to live. No longer a statue, she was alive. She unfroze herself from where she stood in the mayhem and explored the still forms of individuals around her.
Their stories unfolded themselves without her knowledge. The way they held themselves, their style of clothing, and the way they stared out into space told her a tale. She listened to it. She understood it. She wasn’t alone in the way she felt. It wasn’t fair to judge others for what plagued her.
With a snap of her fingers, the world moved once more. People scrambled every which way, not ever realizing they stood still for just a few moments. They rushed past her, walked past her, all minding their own business. She stood in the middle of it all.
The noise became deafening once more. She could hear their mumbles beneath their breaths, hear the zippers of their jackets beginning to zip up in a crutch to fight winter’s cold hands. She wasn’t paying attention to her surroundings and bumped into a brick wall.
A small yelp escaped her at the same time she heard a clatter, like a phone had just broken on the asphalt. But it didn’t do her any good. She bounced off whatever she had hit and scrambled to catch anything to halt her fall. She touched what felt like a muscular chest but failed to grasp onto it. She cried out once more, tightly closed her eyes, and prepared herself for the pain that would have surely followed if strong arms hadn’t encircled her waist and brought her flush to his chest.
Another small sound escaped her at the same moment that he spoke. “Are you all right?” he said in a concerned voice. Still snuggled up into his chest, she murmured her answer in embarrassment. He gently pried her away from his chest and looked down at her with the darkest brown eyes she had ever seen. They reminded her of dark dark chocolate and had an effect on her body. Her body…took notice of his striking features and started to heat up. She was attracted to him.
She licked her suddenly dry as her mouth opened as if she were about to speak…but nothing came out. His lips twitched in amusement at her muted state. The concern was still there in his eyes, but she could tell he was enjoying her mishap. It was then that she realized he still had his arms around her and was mostly holding her weakened knees up.
“I-Um…yeah. I’m fine. Thank you,” she finally breathed out after closing her gaping mouth. She was about to push herself away from him, but his arms quickly tightened around her, bringing her flush into his chest once more. She sagged on him and held on. His arms felt solid and safe around her.
“I’m sorry. I should have been paying more attention to where I was going,” he whispered in her ear, making her shiver in pleasure. “It wasn’t your fault,” she said in a soft voice as she lifted her head from his chest and looked up at him with forest-green eyes. He gave her a sweet smile that made her heart skip a beat. She could see he was as affected by their proximity as she was. His dark chocolate eyes had darkened even more, which she had thought impossible.
His hand lightly caressed her cheek, and she leaned into his touch. Silence fell between them, a silence only ever felt with that one person. People traveled around them as they stood staring into each other’s eyes. It was the start of their beginning. Their forever ever after. Kindred spirits who were meant to be.