the gods are watching

I was standing outside the building where she lived, it was 7 p.m. That was the time we had agreed to meet that Friday. We had been neighbors for several months. Although from my room’s window, I could only see one corner of her building, and her balcony faced the opposite direction of mine, I always had the romantic dream of exchanging glances from our apartments. In the end, it didn’t matter, the mere possibility of seeing each other more often naturally and spontaneously justified all the romantic scenarios of reunion in complex and unlikely moments of everyday life.

While I was waiting, I watched the cars on the avenue, observed the traffic lights changing, and tried to guess what was inside the white bag of the recycler passing in front of me, until I heard her say my name from behind.

She has always been too beautiful. Neither her coat nor her wide trousers could hide the curves her body. It’s easy for me to act indifferent when I don’t see her because I deny my mind a clear image of her. But when she’s around, my heart swells and overflows with emotion.

When she greeted me, she looked at me intently for a few seconds. “What does she think of me?” I wondered during that moment until she suddenly exclaimed, “I like how you look.” I could only manage to give a gentle smile and ask her if she was ready to have a drink or eat. “Let’s go”, was all she said after a moment of silence. I felt there was something else going through her mind, but she lacked the words to express it.

At the bar, they didn’t receive us as strangers, separately we had spent many nights there. It was close to where we lived, cheap, and the fact that you could sit outdoors made it a perfect place to linger. Next to it was a restaurant where one of the waitresses always greeted me in a very friendly manner.

Sometimes my girlfriend gets annoyed at how that waitress treats me. She always looks at me with her big brown eyes and speaks slowly and softly, reciting slowly and gently each lunch selection of the day, almost as if she’s waiting for an excuse to extend the conversation.

I’m sure that if my girlfriend saw the man with whom that waitress comes to open the restaurant every day at 11 a.m., she would think of the situation more as a necessary flirtation to ensure maximum customer spending than seeing me as someone of value.

My mind may be messed up, but it’s straightforward, and the fundamental condition in which that waitress finds herself makes it impossible for any kind of interest to reach me. Neither her gaze, nor her smile, nor the sweet words of welcome, nor the soft and warm touch of her fingers on my hand could overcome that fundamental barrier by which I evaluate those I involve in my life. Sometimes I wonder what my girlfriend thinks of me.

As we had our drinks and touched on all the topics that needed to be discussed, the tension between us increased. The more time passed, the harder it was for me to take my eyes off her. She hated that about me.

“I feel like you like me too much,” she complained. “I’ll never meet your expectations; I’m not the woman you’re in love with. You don’t see in me what you don’t like, and that makes me feel like you don’t want to get to know me.” I have no response to her words. It’s impossible for me to tell her she’s wrong.

The silence was interrupted by an incoming call from my girlfriend. I took her left hand with both of mine, approached her, and said, “Let me take this call, I won’t be long.” She poured a little more anise into our glasses, and I slowly moved away.

Even though that call became the third guest at the table, I quickly thought of a conversation I had with my girlfriend earlier, where she told me something that I could recycle to finally bring the conversation back to the point I wanted.

“You have to understand that good things can happen to you,” I said, looking straight into her eyes. “You want to believe that there’s no way I couldn’t be as in love with you as I always have been, if I really knew you. But why don’t you consider the possibility that I genuinely see so much value in you?”

She gave me a tender look and a small smile. That’s when I understood that I had said the words she wanted to hear. “It’s true that I made the mistake of projecting an ideal woman onto you who wasn’t you, but you have to understand, that woman already rejected me, and it was through that rejection that I finally got to know you and fell in love again.”

A deep understanding filled our gaze, and with that, a pulse brought our souls closer. Time stood still for a moment, and finally, our lips touched.

A knot formed in my heart, and the waves of emotions that emanated from it collided with the walls of reality. For a moment, I thought I had finally achieved what had always eluded me, Validation, but as the kiss continued, I realized that love, as each of us imagined it, would not blossom between us.

When I finally got home and could gather my thoughts, and that emotional storm began to calm down, I cried myself to sleep.

Category: story