♥ ♥ A Little Love Story ♥ ♥
Just Another Valentine's Day
FEATURED in The Writing.Com Newsletter: Romance/Love: Valentine Inspiration - Editor's Picks by StephB aka Rona Virus , February 2, 2013
FEATURED in the WDC Newsletter: Romance/Love: Sweet, Sweet Sweetness, Editor's Picks, by Annette , February 10, 2021
Ian was driving to work on a rainy day. It had been raining since early morning. All the cars ahead of him stopped. He saw the red and blue lights of the police cars through his wet windshield, flashing little lights of fire. Something must have happened. Things always happened on rainy days. The rain drops were falling noisily on top of his red car, and rolling down the windows like nervous, twisted, little rivers. Where did all this water come from? Bending over his steering wheel, he looked outside and up to the dark morning searching for answers in the sky. Those clouds must have traveled a long way, maybe all the way from Seattle. Could clouds travel that far and all across the country to New York City?
He loved gray, rainy days but not when he was driving and not when he was about to meet a woman on a blind date - on a Valentine’s Day. Why did it almost always rain on Valentine Days? A blind date, tonight! How had he agreed to that? He still wasn’t sure, but Joseph could be very convincing at times. Both, Joseph and his wife Vicky, had decided weeks ago that they’d find him a girlfriend. It was time, they kept telling him, drumming his ears with the same story all the time; the healing period after a divorce is of one year. They were right. It was over a year now. His heart still hurt when he went to bed and saw her white, unused pillow on his bed. He didn’t miss her any longer - maybe he just missed the not ... missing her.
And so he had agreed ... because he really wanted to meet someone else. Celibacy and loneliness weren’t that good, anyway. But first dates, and especially blind dates, always made him feel awkward. There is so much you want to know about the person sitting across from you, among so many other couples; yet so little could be asked directly and openly. Dating was so complicated. Women seemed so suspicious; they worried about every little detail - even if you were silent. He liked to be quiet. He was just a simple guy who loved simple things. He loved to have a drink sometimes and listen to country songs; go to work, and to the movies on weekends. He loved beer and he could certainly get drunk with love - he was a man full of feelings but with an empty heart. He wasn't a looker but he was a tall, lean, blond, blue-eyed man, kind-hearted and good. These qualities were positive ones which ladies wouldn't find that easily. It was a jungle out there ... for men as well. He knew that he was a little weird - he sang out loud in his shower and loved Clint Eastwood's films.
After watching Gran Torino, his whole concept of life and love changed in 24 hours. No more being angry at the world, trying to comfort with your troubled, empty spaces. He loved to whistle when he went for long walks in Central Park on Sundays and before that he loved to have scrambled eggs with bacon for breakfast - with real butter, yes, real butter, not margarine. What was the problem with real butter? French cooked their meals with lots of butter and drank lots of red wine, and they were the noisiest and healthiest people on the planet; besides, they weren't fat and lived longer than any other person he knew.
His life was good and he was kind of happy but he wanted, he needed someone in his life. Someone that would ... take his breath away. Where are you? Where are you, my dear Valentine? Life is not the breath you take that gets you through the day but the moments... that would take your breath away. He needed to fall in love, again. Definitely, he was a romantic, he knew that. Where are you, my darling?
The traffic was slow. He would be terribly late. There must have been an accident ahead; there were always accidents on rainy days. There should be a law: ‘No one works on rainy Valentine Days’. People needed a break once in a while, in the name of love. A man had to be good, romantic, and polite. Was he old-fashioned? He didn’t care, not anymore. That’s why he was going on this adventure; a blind date on a Valentine’s Day.
Silence. Raindrops. He breathed deep and waited for the changes to come. Thunder came from behind him. The car shook and all the space around him and in the car was enveloped by the air. A flash of lightning crossed the sky to his right and he turned his head to look. That was when he saw her in the yellow car, right there, next to him. She was staring at the dark sky, both hands holding her steering wheel tightly, nervous. He held his breath – because he didn’t want her to disappear. She was breathtaking. A moment in time like this one only happened once in a lifetime, so he needed to capture the moment and save it in his memory. She was the most beautiful woman he had ever seen.
She slowly turned her head and looked at him. Their eyes met and time stopped. Did his heart race a little? Ian Spencer saw the deepest and greenest eyes he had ever seen in a person’s face. The little rain drops on her car’s window seemed as if they were rolling down from her eyes. Had she been crying before or was she crying right now? They stared at each other while the rain poured over their cars. Nothing else mattered now – if he was late to work, if the steady rain drummed forever on his car's roof. He was spellbound, touched by love. She was so beautiful. She was the loveliest woman he had seen in a long time. He wanted to hold her in his arms, take her home, protect her, and love her dearly. Was this love at first sight? Was this the true feeling of love in one’s heart? If so, he was in love because it was a kind, tender, and longing knowledge that you cannot exist anymore without that person – instantly changing your whole concept of life and the future in seconds. Maddening! Was she thinking the same things he was? Oh God please help me out here. What must I do now? Please, don't let her go away. Make her stay, have mercy on me.
She wiped a tear that was rolling down her cheek and shyly smiled at him, lifting both shoulders a little. Their eyes never lost contact and wouldn’t, shouldn’t. Had a Cupid’s arrow struck his poor heart amidst all this rain and dark clouds - this very minute? He once thought that a revengeful angel had stolen all the bows and arrows and had hidden them behind dark clouds up in the sky somewhere, so people wouldn’t fall in love anymore. He would not miss this chance, this opportunity. The Mighty had given him a second chance after all because lately they had fallen on him so hard. He had been lonely for too long, even before the complicated divorce.
He stretched his long arms and opened the car’s window. The wind blew cold drops of rain on his face. He blinked his eyes, wiped his forehead, and when he was about to open his mouth, another lightning flashed across the sky and struck a tree some cars ahead of them. He didn’t care. He didn’t care if his suit and tie got wet. He was looking at the woman that he wanted to live the rest of his life with, through an open window, on a rainy day. What was it that made you know this ... intense feeling? He smiled at her. She opened her car’s window, too, stared at him for a long time and curiously smiled back. Ian saw the face of recognition and of future. If only he could touch her face and feel the warmth of her smile.
“I’m sorry for staring at you," he said, "but I can’t stop looking at you.”
“I can’t stop looking at you, too.”
Her sweet lips parted and she smiled childishly, melting his lonely heart forever. His hair was wet and the rain drops were running down his neck. He blinked and tasted the cold raindrops in his mouth.
"Could we meet tonight?” he said.
“I’d love to meet you but I can’t tonight. Tomorrow … maybe?”
Lightning struck again near the trees by the highway and the cloudy, furious sky was immediately bright. Her face and hair were wet and covered by tiny drops of rain and he loved her already for allowing this to happen to her on a Monday morning.
“Be my Valentine! I know it will be wonderful. I just know it. Can you feel it, too?”
“Yes. The moment I saw your face and your blue eyes staring at me across from your window, I felt a rapture, a warmth, a deep feeling of knowing you ... forever. I forgot everything else. Is that possible? Oh my God, here I am, speaking to a perfect stranger in the middle of a highway, on a rainy Monday morning! Do you believe in destiny?”
”I believe that nothing happens without a reason.”
“Does your heart feel as if struck by a Cupid’s arrow?"
“Yes! Have you been reading my mind?”
They were completely taken by one another. They were wet from the insisting rain, their hair, damp, dripping wet, and glued to their faces. They looked at each other and laughed. Little damp stains were now visible on her dress, her Monday’s dress.
Another lightning crossed the nervous sky but to them it was like a sunny, beautiful Monday morning. They gazed at one another, mesmerized, not wanting to break the magic moment, afraid it would be all taken by the wind.
“They say it’s good luck, you know?" she said.
“If it rains when you meet someone … special.”
“That’s a good sign then, I mean … for both of us, right?”
“Why can’t I meet you tonight?"
“Because I have already accepted and confirmed going out on a blind date … tonight, of all nights! I can’t do this to him, whoever he is.”
“I am going out on a blind date, too! This has been troubling me so much. I don’t want to go anymore and ... but I cannot be rude, not show up, just as you.”
“You, on a blind date tonight, too?”
Her car seat was completely wet, and water was rolling down her legs and pouring into her red shoes. Tiny drops of water were dripping down her shoulders and down her back and she shivered but ... It didn’t matter. She was looking at the man of her dreams. The raindrops were cold but her heart was so warm that she was numb with happiness. Another flash of blinding light in the dark sky. Was the Mighty sending them a message?
“Yes. I am supposed to meet someone at Chez Gérard at 8:00 pm but I don’t want to go now after…. You.”
“Wait a minute. Me too! It’s the same restaurant! Chez Gérard at 8:00 pm. I am supposed to meet someone called … Estela there tonight!”
“My name is Estela!”
"Really? Estela? Who were you supposed to meet, Estela?"
"Someone called Ian."
"My name is Ian!""
"Your name is Ian? Are you my blind date?"
"Oh my God!"
“It’s ... us! Oh, just look at that!”
“Oh my God!”
“We were meant to be, Estela! The world does conspire in our favor, after all.”
“Oh yes, Ian but only if we pay real attention to the signs.”
“Isn’t life amazing, huh? Perfect?”
“Oh yes, it is! It’s awesome, it's ... breathtaking!”
They just sat there, inside their cars, leaning forward and smiling; shivering and staring at each other, marveled with life, with love, and coincidences - completely wet from the rain. They didn’t notice anything else. They were head over heels in love. Love was in the air and all around them.Their eyes were glowing little love sparks that danced right into their needy hearts. Destiny had changed their lives in 24 seconds. Love loves back. Love is invisible ... but it's a burning fire.
♥ ♥ ♥
Two small, chubby, pink, and sweet Cherub Cupids were trying real hard to keep their tiny wings open while struggling against the wind and the rain and flying over Ian and Estela's cars on that cloudy Monday morning. They had finally succeeded in one more mission! The Cupids' checklist was full of names of soul mates, given by the higher planes. Estela and Ian were love-stricken and their little red arrows of love would melt and stay forever inside their hearts. Mission accomplished! They giggled happily and flew away as they knew that there was still much work to do, carrying their many bows and arrows in little red bags. A smiling rainbow finally painted the stormy sky.