Late.She hated being late.It made her sweaty and on edge.Already she could feel the beginnings of a headache coming on.
She didn’t want to admit it but she was lost.The directions had seemed so simple.Take three rights,then a left.Or was it three rights,then a left?Honestly,after walking around in circles for the better part of an hour and seeing no familiar landmark,her mind was in a fog.
It was time to ask for help.”Excuse me,Sir.Can you please tell me where-“. She didn’t get to finish,as he started walking very fast,shooting her nervous glances over his shoulder.I’M NOT A THIEF,she wanted to shout,but she didn’t want to freak him out further.Besides,that was what a real thief would say.What was the world coming to if you couldn’t ask a stranger for simple directions?
Hmm. The way she saw it, she had two choices left now. She could either continue fumbling by herself, or she could follow someone who looked like they knew where they were going, at least until she saw a familiar landmark. The answer was pretty simple.
Once she started looking, she could see several people who seemed to be headed in the same general direction. She chose him at random. He wore a pair of shorts, a Hawaiian shirt with suspenders over it and brightly colored shoes. His hair was done in what she’d heard referred to as the ‘baby locks’ hairstyle. Fashion sense and personal hair grooming techniques aside,he seemed to know where he was going. If she had to guess, she would have said they were both going to the same place. She fell into step slightly behind him and tried not to feel like a stalker. Not that he would notice; he was bobbing his head to whatever music was coming through his headphones.
When she finally got there, her first impression was Vivid Color. Everywhere she looked people were dressed in so many strong colors, it almost hurt the eye to look. There were neon pinks, purples, blues,yellows, oranges and other colors she just didn’t know a name for yet. Everyone else looked like a rare exotic bird, while she, in her unrelieved black dress, looked like the ugly duckling.
It took all her willpower to not walk out again and leave, but instead go and take a seat. She had spent too long trying to get to leave even before the show started. So what if she seemed odd and frumpy compared to everyone else here?If she sat all the way at the back, in the corner, no one would notice her, right?
He noticed her immediately. Later, he would ask himself what had made him look at the door at that particular moment when she walked in.
From where he sat, he could see how tired she looked. She had that deer-in-the-headlights look that pegged her as a newbie. Although her head wasn’t moving side to side, she was busy taking everything in with her eyes. If her eyes got any bigger, they would fall out of her head and roll on the floor. She looked like a person who’d just been thrown in the deep end without a paddle.
He watched her take the very last seat, even though others were unoccupied. Did she know no one here? He was already moving towards her before he could stop himself.