It was cloudy that morning. I was walking the halls of a beautiful museum I had found when I moved to the city. A man was following me. He had dark hair and he was pretty tall – well, taller than me. I fixed my hair a bit and messed with my sweater, and I tried to tell myself that he wasn’t following me. One day off from work, one nice morning at the museum, it was all I wanted. Of course, this was happening.
“Excuse me?” Was I supposed to play nice to my stalker? I turned to him, realizing his eyes were a calm green and not to mention, he looked pretty caught off guard. “You either have great taste in art or you’re following me around.” I added a soft laugh, realizing I just put myself into a situation I never wanted to be part of.
“Is there an option to choose both?” I didn’t expect him to answer so confident, so sure of himself.
“Why are you following me?” We were the only two standing in that large, marble room, only a few pieces of art to witness our conversation.
“I, um,” He pressed his lips together; “I kind of wanted to tell you I think you’re really pretty.” He hastily found my eyes again and I felt my cheeks become hot. I needed to pinch myself.
“Oh, oh my gosh, I’m so sorry,” I smiled, “I thought you were following me. I’m sorry.”
“I apologize. This city is already a scary place as it is. I was just trying to build up the courage to talk to you, you see, but I obviously kind of messed up already. I don’t know how much worse I could have done.”
“You could have been a legitimate stalker.”
“There’s that,” we shared a gentle laugh and met eyes for probably the longest moment in my life. It felt like forever and forever was suddenly very beautiful.
“What’s your name?” I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I wondered how his life was and what his dreams were. Then again, those were my usual thoughts on most people who passed me by on the street.
“Carson. And yours?” His eyes were perfect, his hair looked perfect, and he was wearing a super cool sweater. My heart started to flutter against my chest as I tucked my hair carefully behind my ears.
“Look, I was going to say some stupid pickup line when I was brave enough to talk to you. But, do you want to just go hang out and look at some Monet’s together?”
“Hey, come on. Now you have to tell me the pickup line, that’s not fair.”
“Okay, okay. I was going to tell you that you’re so beautiful, you would even make an impression on Monet.” We broke out laughing, echoing the entire room, which was much too large in my opinion to hold just a couple of paintings. I believe that’s when I first started to have genuine, drawings-of-hearts-in-my-journal, I-can’t-wait-to-see-you-again, disgustingly-sappy, feelings for him.
“I have to say, that’s a pretty intelligent pickup line. The most brilliant one I’ve heard so far. No guy I’ve ever known has any idea what impressionism is.”
“You can say art is my thing. Want to take me up on my Monet offer?”
“Of course, Carson!” I remember spending all day there, breathing in the aroma of old art canvases and talking about the intricate details in the paintings most people wouldn’t understand. But, he understood the art kid inside of me pretty well.
© 2015 Reef Magazine.