when one least expect it... romance
It was Valentines Day, just barely, for it was only moments after midnight. Someone shouted joyously, drunkenly, "HAPPY FUCKIN' VALENTINES DAY!" Cheers and murmurs went up around the patio, and people checked their watches just to make sure. Hugs, kisses, Valentine wishes and rendezvous were exchanged. All of this I watched from the bench where I sat to cool off after a couple of hours of vigorous drinking and dancing. I got up and returned to the bar; I'd had enough of watching other people's romantic exchanges. It made me feel the loneliness I'd been trying to blot out all night more acutely than ever. When I walked back into the bar it was more of the same. No, it was worse; people hugging, kissing, and dancing together as if they were the only people on the planet. I couldn't take it. I had to leave, go home where loneliness was tolerable only because there were no loving couples around to remind me of it.
I turned to leave and then I saw her; the girl that had danced with me for most of the night. She was beautiful. The image she presented was unforgettable. She wore a black dress that clung to her every curve. She moved like a snake charmer; fluid and sensual. She was beautiful and I was a fool.
I had consumed so much alcohol that I danced with her through a drunken haze that barely permitted me to acknowledge that I knew her. She was an acquaintance. We had met before, more than once, on days that I was sober and incapable of believing in myself, incapable of saying more than a few unimportant, rather forgettable words to her.
She danced with me and I was almost too drunk to notice. She danced with me and I walked off the floor without saying a word to her. She danced with me and I almost left without saying good-bye.
I saw her. She was sitting with her back to me, facing the dance floor, watching the loving couples. I walked up behind her, touched her shoulder and whispered "Happy Valentines Day," in her ear, then I kissed her lightly on the cheek. Before I could draw away from her she touched my cheek and held me in placed. She turned to face me and we gazed at each other over a distance of only a very few inches. Without thought or consideration I kissed her lips. They were soft, tender, and incredibly sweet. I could taste the drink she'd had on them. It was an exquisite kiss and she returned it to me with equal ardor.
I walked out of the bar that night alone but far less lonely. And even today, months later can look back on that night and remember the kiss.