Charlie and me, p.1
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       Charlie and Me, p.1

           Jarrett Yap
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Charlie and Me


  The Meeting

  She walked down the street in a flowy white summer dress and beautiful Bohemian braids when she caught my eyes, and more, my heart. That was the first time her fragrance of orchids fill my nostrils as she walked past me. Her glowing olive skin and piercing green eyes looked past me as she gave me a little smile, a smile of an angel. Taken aback by her beauty, I could do nothing but smile back, an awkward smile actually. She burst out laughing as she walked past me. And I couldn’t help laughing at myself despite my embarrassment. I covered my face with my palms to hide my cheeks, both turning red in this crimson sun. Were they turning red because it’s hot out here in the summer heat, or was it because I was flushed in embarrassment?

  It wasn’t till I heard a thud. I lifted my face to see, the girl, the very same girl with the flowy summer dress and romantically Bohemian braided hair on the floor. She must’ve tripped on the cracks along the sidewalk and fell. That’s when I saw that she wore these beautiful chunky wedges with beautifully designed straps that could match the famous Jimmy Choo. With a small gasp, an “Oh!”, I quickly ran towards her. While helping her up, I could not help it but apologize, feeling as though her trip could be my fault for distracting her. That’s when our eyes meet. Hers in a shade of green, deep green, almost jade green I could say, and mine, my not so interesting dark brown eyes. Those eyes, I could remember them till this day. Something struck us there. Could it be that the ever popular myth of love at first sight, the one I’ve brushed aside since my previous lover dumped me for another man, is actually true? Did I tell you about her hair, her romantically braided hair? Up close, I saw her hair. Her hair was wavy, chestnut brown in color, and the feature that struck me the most, the smell of orchids that could not be from anything other than the bottle of Herbal Essence that I’m all so familiar with. Perfection, that’s the only word I could describe her.

  It felt as though time stopped but we soon snapped out of it and I helped her up. Embarrassed, she gave a small chuckled as she shook her head and covered her face. I laughed as I looked at her. Slowly, I grabbed her wrist and slowly pulled down her hand. I gave an assuring smile at her.

  “Sky.” I said as I pointed to myself.

  “Can I buy you a drink? It’s the least I could do.” I continued.

  She nodded with a sweet smile. We walked to a nearby Starbucks and she had an iced Cappuccino whereas I had a Java Chip Frap. We parted ways after we got our drinks. Her name was Charlie and that was all I got to know. No number, no e-mail, no way of contacting her in the future. But that girl, Charlie, took my breath away. I wonder when I will ever see her again. I gave a long sigh as I walked back. I wondered what I was supposed to do for the day for a moment and realized I was supposed to meet a friend in Central Park. Looking at my watch, I realized I had to be there in less than 10 minutes. Hurriedly, I ran towards Central Park, with my Java Chip Frap in hand.

  There she was, under the tree, looking at her cellphone, a worried look plastered on her face. That was Katie, the friend I was supposed to meet. We go way back. You see, Katie was a friend of mine. She used to live down the block and now, she stays a few doors away in college. Dark curls with chocolate brown skin, wide eyes, a brown beauty. I ran towards her, panting. She turned towards me when I was running towards her wording the words “Sorry”. She has that look on her face again, the kind of face that I know too well which meant I’m in for another round of lecture. I finally reached her.

  “I could explain” I said.

  “You better come up with an exceptionally good reason to be late again, Schuyler Abernathy Lee!” she said, using my full name which I know too well meant she was not happy.

  “But for now, we have to go. Hurry!” she said in a hurried tone.

  “Okay, Katherine Helena Rosewood.” I said, mocking her.

  She gave me a stare which clearly defines “We’ll settle this later.”

  We ran towards the center of the park, where we’re holding a surprise birthday party for our friend, Ted. It was his 21st birthday and we wanted to make it special. You see, Ted is a jock. He runs around the park every single day, even that day on his birthday. Our plan was to throw him a surprise party as he ran to us in the park. As we reached the center, we were just in time as we saw Indie, waving frantically to us to hurry up as she saw Ted not too far away. Katie and I picked up our pace and got there just in time.

  The party went on from the park to the club where we had a little drink before calling it a day. After the party, Katie dropped by my room. Could she have remembered my wrongs for the day? Could she have remembered that I have some explaining to do?

  “Now, talk.” Katie said.

  So she did remember. In a way, I was nervous to tell her but I think it’ll be good to tell a friend. I told her about Charlie. I think my cheeks grew red a few times as I spoke of her, as I remember how she looked like, her dress, her smile, her hair. I’m not too sure if it was the Vodka Lime I had earlier but my cheeks grew hotter by the minute. Katie laughed at me a few times but I knew that she was genuinely happy for me. She gave me a hug and she left for her room. That night, I smiled my way to bed. As I closed my eyes, I could only think of her, of Charlie, the girl who will soon be my everything.

  Every day, for almost a week I went to the same newsstand where I first saw Charlie in hopes of bumping into her again but to no avail. Maybe my time this time is not right. Maybe I’m not ready for a relationship yet. Maybe God is sending me a sign that I may never see Charlie again. Days gone by and months pass, but no Charlie, no girl with the orchid scented hair. I gave up searching for her as the new semester is beginning and I will not have time to be idling at the newsstand. Autumn is coming, leaves are falling and classes are starting.

  The Wait

  It’s been three years now ever since I last saw Charlie. I graduated from NYU in film making, got my own place in Brooklyn and got a job in an office. Yea, every aspiring film makers dream to get a degree and work a 9 to 5. The days passed by pretty routinely. Wake up, get to work, take a walk around the park, get home, watch some television and sleep. I was getting bored and not to mention lonely. Every once in a while, I would think if Charlie, if I could see her again and if she could even remember me. I wondered, how did this stranger made such an impact in my life. I hardly knew her.

  As I walked home from work one day, on a Friday evening actually when I decided to take a walk along Central Park. It was there that I’ll meet Chuck. There was this adoption booth being put up by some animal shelter. I was getting tired of coming home to an empty house every day and decided to take a look. The volunteer there, Penny I think her name was, greeted me with a happy smile. She showed me some of the dogs. As I was looking at these bubbly Pomeranians, I couldn’t help but notice a pair of eyes staring at me. I turned around and looked and saw what I could only describe as a pup fit for me. Quiet and charming at the same time, with a beautiful caramel coat and dark brown eyes that seem to pierce through your soul. As I walked closer, the beautiful pup lied flat on the floor, his eyes gazing at me up and down. I bended my knees and looked at him. His eyes followed mine and gave a soft woof. A charming Border Terrier he is, not too big for me and not too small to threaten my masculinity. I reached out my hand to him and immediately, he sprung up on all fours, tail wagging and tongue waving at me. I scratched his head and by his closed eyes and a decent smile on his face showed me we are becoming fast friends. I waved to Penny and pointed at the Border Terrier mouthing “He is the one”

  Penny came and asked me again, pointing at the Border Terrier. I nodded. She was about to pick him up when I asked if I could do it instead. Happily, Penny allowed me to pick him up.

  “Hi there, Chuck.” I whispered as I believe that will be his name from now
on.

  Chuck licked my face in glee and a soft bark lets me know he’s comfortable with me. I followed Penny to the counter to finish up some procedures. I got to know that he is just in time for his vaccinations and wondered if I could do it myself instead. I just nodded, not thinking of the costs as I finally have someone or rather something to keep me company and no longer come home to an empty house.

  Chuck and I went home and I could see that he is happy as he ran around the house, barking away, his tail wagging high in the air. I shook my head and gave a small chuckle. He was about to pee on the couch when I quickly grabbed him and ran to the bathroom. I think since then, after a few tries, Chuck learned that the place to dispose his waste would be the bathroom. I cleaned him up soon and turned on the tap for a bath. I left the water running as I went to my room to undress. Chuck followed me around like as though we grew up together. I didn’t mind it at all. In fact, I love the new company I have. I walked back into the bathroom, towel around my waist and slipped into the bathtub. Chuck looked at me with his curious look. Slowly, I came out of the tub and grabbed him. I allowed his feet to touch the warm water and he doesn’t seem to flinch at all.
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