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My Little Princess

There she was, a veritable princess in pink and purple. Her hair — the pink in this equation — is immaculate, like usual. I don’t think I’ve ever seen it anything but alluring, not even when I was surprised by the blue fan of hair she sported just two months ago.

I was distracted by freeing my hair that I missed whatever look was in her eyes before she sharply veered away from a collision course with yours truly, Derek Donovan. I’d been hoping to see her. In fact, I was standing around like a douche bag after my shift ended just watching for her. The very moment I saw the pink hair arrive, I bolted to my locker to change out of my work attire.

And she veered away.

I suppose this is my fault. It had to be something I did wrong. We’d shared eye contact for months prior to this. I stared at her like a lost puppy, hoping for a smile or anything to tell me I’m barking up the right tree, but nothing happened. Except more stone-faced staring.

Right before Christmas, I convinced myself to be bold enough to intersect her as she walked past my little slice of the grocery store. She didn’t need to walk through that area to my knowledge. I’d never seen her buy a damn thing off one of those shelves. Still, she walked through every day, like a cotton candy zombie. Expressionless, for the most part. At least, it seemed that way from where I was standing.

Day in and day out, this woman arrives and leaves without a word to hardly anybody. I’ve watch her stop her cart and merely wait for assholes that were intent to cut her off, not a word out of her. And the day I interrupted her shopping trip with my own shenanigans? Silent. Is she mute? I had wondered. She’s absolutely not deaf, I’ve seen her stop and look over at noises made from behind her.

I was disabused of the notion that she was mute when she gave me the cold shoulder one day on my way out of the store. She looked over at a woman who seemed to have zero intention of moving to begin with and uttered something, which I assume was, “Excuse me.” It felt like a taunt to me because I’d hoped she’d say that when I stepped in front of her cart like a jerk.

I’ve played it over and over in my head dozens of times. She enters the grocery store, walks through produce, takes twice as many steps to walk through my area, then saunters on to the end of the aisle and turns right. She’s disrupted this pattern as of late, however. Three times, she has veered off course when she could have passed me instead. And yesterday? I swear to God she teleported. I saw her leaving down the aisle while I was stuck discussing our lunch specials with a customer right where she would have walked past me. I thought for sure she’d pass me and it’d be outright obvious with her pink hair and red plaid jacket.

I wanted to wait for her in the parking lot, as she had done for me, to see if there was any chance to have a conversation finally. Alas, I was a nitwit and wore a t-shirt on a day when it reached freezing outside. My car, sitting in the lot all day, had grown terribly cold in the winter weather. I was too cold to stay even though I wanted to. I got through about five minutes of sitting in my car, doing nothing, and then I was on the road trying desperately to warm the engine up in order to blow hot air into the cabin.

I’ve gotten so desperate to talk to her I’ve even asked God for help. He’s not listening, it would seem, since she arrived at the perfect moment for me to chase after her for once. However, veering away from me meant chasing her through the store. I could have done that, I suppose. Maybe I should have done that. I thought I saw her frown, though, so I didn’t think it would be the best idea I’ve ever had to stalk a regular through the store.

I tried that before, too, and chickened out.

I don’t know what we could possibly have in common. It’s holding me back. The only thing I can think to do is compliment her hair one of these times that I see her. She doesn’t wear much to give me insight as to who she is except occasionally I have seen a pair of oversized pink and black animal ears. If I’m being honest with myself, they turn me on. It’s difficult to be honest with myself.

She’s a somebody and I’m a nobody. She’s like a fairy that spreads magic dust behind her somehow. I wish I could quantify that a bit better and tell you what that magic dust achieves, exactly, but it’s not something that can be put into words easily. It’s not just me that she affects.

I saw her talking to Subway Sam a few days ago. She waited at his counter for a while as he finished an order, patient as can be. But that’s not what was so interesting… the kid smiled all day after talking to her, I swear. He’s not an unhappy kid, but he was on cloud nine just for talking to the pink pixie. I’m dying to know what she spoke to him about. Did she tell him that he was handsome or something? I want her to tell me that, so I’m probably projecting.

It’s hard to concentrate on the person part of her. Her face makes me melt every time I see it. I love it when she smiles; I swear my heart sings for an hour. She rarely smiles and it’s almost never at me. She did give me a small smile once. She came up on me like a dark horse; I’d been standing there staring into nothingness, wishing my shift was already over because I don’t want to be there lately, and I turned at the clattering of a cart in time to make eye contact with her. She was smiling softly. I looked away and back again and she was still smiling at me. I was secretly wishing I’d drop dead just in that moment and she walks past me with a fucking smile.

And it made me feel better.

And that’s what made me feel like a foolish man for never asking her out. After we had that moment in front of the sushi counter, she dyed her hair blue. Now, I’m beginning to think she was just ready for a change, because it’s pink. At the time, though, I was convinced she finally found someone to date. And then, to put icing on the cake, she comes into my section the Sunday before Valentine’s with makeup on. The woman never wears makeup! WHY?!?!

I couldn’t help but stare. I didn’t think it was even as beautiful as her naked face, but still, she took the time to do it and she felt comfortable to be seen wearing it. It wasn’t bad. It was… just unusual, I think. Her lipstick was darker than I think suited her complexion. Still, it seared itself into my brain and now I’m stuck thinking of cheesy, terrible pornography involving certain anatomy and lipstick.

This is half the reason I can’t make myself talk to her. I don’t think I can hold a conversation without becoming a blubbering idiot like Homer Simpson and making a damn fool of myself with the most beautiful woman to stare at me for months on end.

I want to do all the things lovers do. Hold hands, hold each other, hugs and kisses. It gets more pornographic than that, but it starts there. I want to make out with her until she presses herself against me and we go all the way at her insistence. Consent is sexy.

I’ve asked other people what they’d do and they so casually say, “I’d ask her out.” Okay, but you don’t get it: she is the most beautiful girl to ever look at me. There are no beauties greater than this one who have ever looked at ME! A regular Joe Blow that nobody cares about the existence of, and she’s staring into my eyes, over and over again.

That is until something happened. I don’t know what it is yet. She’s avoiding me now. Now I feel like crying or maybe even dying because she’s not making me smile and sing and dance at my station for hours after having a very short conversation with me. She saw me first! What is she doing talking to Subway Sam and potentially giving him something to feel good about himself over? Why won’t she talk to me?!

I am beyond jealous. That schmuck doesn’t deserve her love. He’s a kid with no couth. And he’s better looking than me and it hurts to think she might’ve called him handsome or implied it in something she did. I’m afraid to even ask him what it was about, destined to learn that she asked him if he was free on Friday night or something of that ilk.

Could it be even simpler than that? She’s been smiling lately. She seems much happier now in this new year. I still see a stone face, generally, if she spots me first. Today, though, I saw her grinning as she came through the front door. I happened to be staring that way, like a dufus. I didn’t even really expect to catch sight of her today, of all days. And then she was just there.

I keep thinking about how I felt good in my orange t-shirt, how my day went well, how I wasn’t even halfway frowning, which I’m absolutely guilty of plenty of the time. I keep thinking about how I saw her coming down the open aisle right at me. Like she knew I was there, suddenly her eyes were on me, and then she walked through the wine aisle instead of walking past me. I wanted her to walk straight into my arms, honestly. To bury my face in her purple sweatshirt and inhale deeply whatever scent she is wearing in that moment. I don’t even care if it was anchovies; I just want to smell her and know she’s real.

She floats by me like a ghost, time and again. She teleports whenever my eyes are no longer on her. She smiles at me on the worst days and avoids me on the best days. Why can’t we meet in the middle somewhere? Does she even know those are my worst days or best days?

His demeanor changes, I hear randomly in my head. I wonder how it changes, then. I’d imagine I have a more approachable look than mostly dead on the good days. Why would she only come close to me on my bad days? How on Earth am I meant to get the girl if there is never a good time? I suppose the lesson here is that timing is irrelevant. There is merely opportunity and seizing it. Still… what if I make her want to slap me by saying the absolute wrong thing on accident?

I torture myself over the idea that I might blurt out something about her assets while really I’m trying to say I like her. Well, I guess that’s the answer; I just admit to myself that I like her. I have never even heard her speak, but I want to be with her. The truth hurts, Lizzo. If I just say that to her, is that okay? Do women just take it in stride or do they stop and care about feelings, even if they’re zygotes of feelings? In other words: Would she care?

Or will she just walk away as if she didn’t hear me? Will she stare at me like I’m the creature from the black lagoon? It? Will I be seen as if I’d spontaneously grown a second head? (I can see some x-rated advantages to that, but it is still not the kind of response I deeply desire to have from the woman of many dreams.)

What wouldn’t you do? Meatloaf, you’ve left me hanging all these years. What wouldn’t you do, bro?!

I wouldn’t make assumptions.


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