I stand right by the entrance to the renaissance style café, la petite violette, and yet Sofy is nowhere to be seen. I glance down at my wristwatch; it says 9:05. Sweat runs down my brow, and I sigh loudly as I stare into the jumble of people on the street.
Though the sun has just risen from its slumber, the city center is already swarming with people. Office workers, students, couples: a smiling girl clinging to her boyfriend’s side, his brown polo complimenting her elegant blue dress. My eyes shift sporadically through the crowd, seeking something, seeking Sofy.
By falling in love with Sofy, I gave her a knife. If she’d like, she can stab me with it, leaving me bleeding on the floor — a single gesture will suffice. I know, for I have been stabbed many times before.
I wipe my palms against my jeans, but they immediately get streaked with sweat again. And, as eyes turn my way from within the crowd, I imagine they judge me. I feel as though they are looking down at me, pointing and laughing at my carefully jelled-up hair and flower-patterned shirt.
They probably think I got duped by my date. They see the sweat running down the cuffs of my white shirt, and how I lean against the wall while crossing my arms, and they find it immensely funny. Who is this poor awkward fella standing alone outside a café?
I suddenly feel terribly dirty, despite showering just a few hours ago.
I contemplate returning to my tiny apartment, binging another series on Netflix, but that’s when I see her — running towards me, a petite silhouette dressed in white — a shawl wrapped around slender arms like a princess from the Arabian nights.
My smile grows wider as she comes closer, and her mere presence causes the shadows in my heart to retreat back into the abyss.
She stands before me, breathing heavily through tiny pursed lips, her face flushed red from exhaustion: “Ed, Ed, I am so sorry. My phone died, and the bus was stuck in a traffic Jam”. She takes a firm hold of my sleeve and looks up at me with teary eyes.
I quickly swallow the many questions that reach up my throat, and instead, I turn to meet Sofy’s gaze. Emerald green eyes, squinting slightly, and her lips curling into an uncertain smile as her eyes meet mine.
I draw her closer, run my hand through her soft hair, and gaze into the most beautiful of emeralds: “Don’t worry, dear, you are here now, and that’s all that counts. Let’s go inside.”