This is one of the first stories that I ever wrote. It is, therefore, very special to me and I hope it makes you feel something.
Jasmine. That’s what she smelt like. My nose was overpowered with the fragrance until it became the only thing I could focus on. Not that I was complaining. I could breathe this in for the rest of my life and be perfectly content. The perfume she exuded, however, was just the icing on the cake. Even without it, she would never fail to win my undivided attention.
I was never one to dote on girls that I liked, what with the minuscule shred of confidence that I have. I could never muster up the courage to do more than admire from afar because they were all so out of my league. Chelsea was no different. We stood on diametric ends of the spectrum. She was gorgeous, witty, and out-going whereas I was, well, nowhere near any of the above. With plain brown hair and plain brown eyes, I’m nothing special. Even if, magically, I managed to form a complete sentence and talk to her, I feared that she would be indignant towards me and that would just do wonders for my self-esteem. Therefore, I figured it best to remain behind the safety of my cubicle where I can still steal a few quick glances, or 10.
Frankly, my friend, Jonah, was getting sick of this behavior. My nonexistent love life seemed to have upset him more than it did me. According to him, the inculcation he gave me on how to approach Chelsea was going in one ear and out the other. Since I wasn’t doing anything, he threatened to take matters into his own hands and stir up a diabolical plan to get us together. Seeing how his last plan had almost cost me my legs and gotten us fired, I didn’t want to take any chances. He would most likely cause defamation to my name, permanently deleting any shots I had with Chelsea. So when she entered the elevator with me this morning, I thought it was as a best time as any for me to suck it up and speak to her.
Believe me, I had every intention of saying ‘Good Morning’ out of deference but when she stood a mere five feet away from me, my mouth went as dry as the Sahara. The fact that she looked exceptionally perfect today and that we were the only two people in the elevator didn’t help much either. She was wearing a simple blue dress, which made her complexion look vibrant and her red hair stand out. Be still my heart. Literally. It was palpitating as if I just finished the 100 mile dash. My lungs also decided to stop working at this moment. Either that or someone vacuumed out all of the oxygen leaving us in here to die. I figured it was the former though because Chelsea didn’t seem like she was struggling to breathe.
The temperature got really hot and my hands started to sweat but I also guessed that it was just me. Our office for The Boston Globe was on the fourth floor, I didn’t know how much longer I could take this. I tried collecting my saliva so I could moisturize the inside of my mouth and wiped my palms on my pants. Fidgeting with my tie, I thought to myself, you can do this, Kyle. On a scale of 1-10, you’re about a 4 which is at least better than a 1, the way I see it. I mentally rolled my eyes at my fail attempt at boosting my confidence level. Compliment her. No. That’s too risky. I might end up saying something like “I like your fingernails.” I rather not come off as some creepy guy with a weird fetish for women’s fingernails.
The number 3 lit up signaling that we had reached the third floor and my time was clearly running out. Just say hello! It shouldn’t be this hard. Don’t think. Just do it. Do it. Now! Right now! “Hi Chelsea.” I suddenly blurted out. Instead of a calm, easy greeting, it sounded like someone performed the Heimlich maneuver on me and those words were what I threw up. Either she ignored it or she didn’t seem to notice because she twisted her neck, laid her gray eyes on me and offered a sweet smile.
“Hey Kyle. How are you?”
Her smile could easily light up a room and her eyes were so intense that I was captivated, rooted to her gaze. She asked you a question, idiot. “I’m good and yourself?”
She shrugged one shoulder. “Can’t complain.”
The elevator doors finally opened on the fourth floor, releasing me from the enclosed space. My nerves began to relax just as Chelsea stepped out with me close behind. She told me that she didn’t mean to rush but she had an article to write. With one last smile and a flip of her hair, she left me in the hall. The scent of jasmine was gone and I found myself missing it. Although it wasn’t much, that conversation could have gone a lot worse. I was quite proud of what I accomplished. That’s six words more than yesterday. Maybe this isn’t such a lost cause. Maybe I’ll try six more words tomorrow.