And it is then, as I hold my drink up to my eyes to inspect it, that our eyes meet. I am seeing the world through rose colored alcohol and at that moment, I wonder why I have never tried it before when clearly it brings good luck. I lower my cocktail glass slowly, staring intently at the spot where those eyes had been. There they are, still intently staring at my own. How long have we been looking for each other, I do not know. It is just then—our eyes locked in a gaze neither of us dare break, nodding vacantly at the prattling chatter of the people at our elbows—that I know. It seems so simple, so against all that I’ve learned that I laugh out loud, startling the stranger whose sentence flow has just been interrupted. I mumble an apology without looking, without thinking, the taste of cranberries and rose petals in my mouth.
And just as suddenly we are moving towards one another, dodging between the bodies that sway to the beat of a band I had been so excited to see and now can’t remember the name of. I hear the outraged voice of the person I have so rudely abandoned calling what I vaguely recall as my name. Everything else is blurring and blending together like an out of focus photo except for the one I am walking towards who is as clear as the moon on a cloudless night.
And then there we are, standing inches apart and touching each other only with our eyes. We stand perfectly still, the eye of the storm that is this crowded club. I know I am smiling, can see it reflected in those eyes. Silent and motionless we stand there for an eternity, eyes the only things that roam from head to toe and back—always back—to the other’s own. Slowly I raise the glass that throughout my giddy journey still has every drop of liquid in it. I hold it up between us, and together we lean our foreheads against the rim of the glass and stare at each other through pink hued vodka and Triple Sec.
And I am distantly wondering why I ever hated the color pink for it is truly the most beautiful color I’ve ever seen when the glass is taken from my hand. Forehead to forehead, nose to nose, we stand. I can hear breathing and a heart beating but I don’t know whether it is my own or this person’s standing so close to me or if somehow, when I was mesmerized by the way the light danced in those eyes, that I lost myself and found we, so that it is our breath and our heart that I am hearing. I want to see if that mouth, so close to my own, tastes like the color of love and I see the same thought reflected in those eyes as our lips brush.
And I am staring at the ceiling, morning light filtering in through blinds that never have closed properly, even when new. My arms embrace no one and I am cold. It is silent in the house. I am alone with only the shadows of dreams for company, the taste of cranberries and rose petals lingering on my tongue.
Leah Wickman is better known as Queen Leah (to her friends) and Know-It-All-Over-Achieving-Mumble-Grumble (to her even closer friends). She enjoys making elaborate plans for simple things; participating as an attorney in her county’s Teen Court (Juvenile Justice) program; taking over the world; playing various instruments; writing (en español) about top-hatted opera-going fish named Cinderpez; driving The Silver Arrow; and getting in odd positions to read. Leah will be ecstatic if she is accepted into Brown University for the freshman class of 2007. She is currently attempting to write a novel, but occasionally finds it difficult without her muse (who ran off with her invisible friend, Fred, to Atlantic City, in the summer of 2005).
© 2006, Leah Wickman