Full Circle: History Repeats [1/3]

{Ok ok ok, let me tell you how it  R E A L L Y  went down. So, what had happened was…}

Part 1 Retail Connection [“Hey, I think I left my chapstick in the fitting room”]

Dabbling into the pre-teen years of the 2000s, I worked at a clothing store in outlet’s mall. I conducted an ensemble of retail assassins, who’s only contract was to murder the products displayed to the innocent bystanders. We worked through the seasons, avoiding distractions and stacking sales to the ceiling. It’s the beginning of summer, and its HOTT, after debriefing my clothing mercenaries, I sensed a disturbance in the force. I whip my head towards the front door, only to be paralyzed by beauty. Sleek, slender and sassy. Wrapped with an aggressively bright aura of hope and happiness. Tantalizing eyes that lure one to a hooking smile. Her inviting gravitational pull yanks me into her vicinity. I try my best not to stutter and slurp up my slobber, but my training only lets me spit out our “hottest sale.” She laughs, says thank you and wishes to try on some articles of clothing. Then quickly bails…

I run to the store’s back, hyperventilating, hating myself for not going for the attack. Wishing I would’ve said something like, “Excuse me miss, but your bodaciously overpowering beauty is too damn distracting for me in my place of business” or “Girl you better quit it, with those thirst traps” I don’t know, anything, but the F*CKING SALE! I go on break and don’t judge me when I say that I searched up, down, left and right in and around the mall in hunt for this tan cocoa-skinned angel. Distraught at my failure to locate her, I sauntered back just going through scenarios in my head, where I DO find her, say something slick and suave, she falls for it and then that’s all folks. It was the perfect plan.

I had 5mins left on my break, with an untouched 30mins size meal and endless conversations to my cohorts about the earth-shattering presence that graced our store about 55mins earlier. Not wanting to continue living and/or completing the rest of my shift, I’m waist deep in a lagoon of unfolded garments (a mess that I made), when my sales lead yells, “HEY! Isn’t that the pretty girl you haven’t stopped jabbering about!?” I peak out of the depths of the sea of clothing to loudly reply, “BullSHHHHhhhhhhhhh…” Abruptly stopped in my tracks by the same sasquatchingly-unbelievable beauty from hours ago. Floundering as I wade in clothing, I remember the self-hatred from the earlier failure. (By the way, its about 10mins until closing and homie screams this in an echoing empty store… She was nervously laughing) I swimmingly make my way towards this shark who’s eaten my heart with just her sight. I struggle to make my embarrassment unnoticeable, shakingly approaching her and before my cracking voice could release any words, she says, “Hey, I think I left my chapstick in the fitting room.” {OH SH*T, HERE’S MY TIME TO SHINE}

I quietly reply, “Okay, let me open that up for you.” As she rifles through the messy fitting room, I begin to plot out my plan of attack. Time’s ticking and I’m risking to go all in. I rip out some receipt paper and hastily jot down my phone number, all 11 digits just for good measure. Talking shop my small talk was conniving to pull out some facts. “Oh, you’re not from here? Well, if you need a tour guide or anything here’s my number” (kind of douchey, I’m aware). Not knowing what to expect, she respectfully took the receipt with a smile and replies, “Thank you, but I leave to go back up north soon.” I stumble backwards from her hard-hitting soft put down and say, “It’s all good.” She leaves the store alone, with no merchandise, but holding knowledge of how to reach me through telephone. My platoon witnesses my murder by words and laughs hysterically as she makes her way around the corner. Hoping to physically die and not just feel emotionally dead, blushing red pigment floods my body from toes all the way up to my head. Then I fuck-off my way back home.

Brought back to life around midnight; my blindingly bright cellphone screen buzzes me awake. An unknown area code contacting me late, wishing to speak. “Nahhhh, this can’t be… WAIT!” I spring out of sleep and yank my phone, unknowing that it’s still plugged into the wall, I snap the charging cord. I slam the device upside my head and shout, “Hello, who’s this!?” But there’s no reply. In frustration I soon realize that it was a txt message. I laugh myself back to relief and soon begin to speak to the girl who’s been toying with me. “You know, I also looked around the mall for you after,” she flirtatiously says. We spoke all night, into the early morning. Finishing each other’s sentences and sharing a natural connection, something foreign to our non-long-lived teenage hearts. With the stupidest of smiles, that I could not wipe off, I completely ignored the fact that I didn’t get more than 1hr of sleep and happily pranced into work. My squadron was shocked to see their dead commander alive; my stride changed the tone of my hater’s mocks. Perched up and peacocking I’m feeling dapper and ready to cause disaster. I’m crushing it at work, sales are tremendous, while nonstop back and forth messaging with the beauty who’s verbally taming this beast. Reality sits that the “what if’s” don’t exist, so I must act quickly before she gets on that plane and dips.

We talked and planned to finagle a bagel before she sets sail on the aerial vessel. Breakfast was the only tangible scenario for us to sit face to face. Picked her up early in the morning for Belgium waffles at the local mom-n-pop breakie spot. We exchanged words, lost each other in one another’s stare, food getting cold, but a connection has been forged. “Why does this seem so natural? I barely know you” (A comment we unknowingly mimicked at each other). A fresh link that doesn’t feel new, I’m skewed and wooed by our innocent views. Hopeless romantic ideas supported by a movie script like backstory. We hugged deeply and said our goodbyes, no funny stuff. Cordial and respectful. “Though summer just started, thank you for making it already the best one ever. Take care and I truly wish to see you again soon.” Replying in a likewise manner, a smile, kiss on the cheek and farewell was her answer. Our teenage thoughts overpowered the 854.72Km that lied between us. Weeks after and we’re still talking nonstop, laughing and calling each other pet names. Facetiming every day, conversations never got bland. Testing the limits of our connection’s bandwidth, we strayed away from conversing about our physically distant realities. But I’m scheming ways for us to bridge this gap. Something would bring us together once, twice, thrice times.

The California summer is still scorching hott and I’m getting ready to start my “adult life.” My fate was to be decided upon which university I would attend. Hawaii Pacific University or California Maritime Academy. Both uni’s awarded me scholarships and showed interest in this funky looking monkey. I soon realized that one of my options was only a few hours away from my teenage heart’s beloved counterpart. I contact the bureaucrats at the northern californian merchant marine college and told them that I wished to get a tour of the grounds. Before I started looking for flights, administration took no time to reply and shed light on the campus’ “interesting surroundings.” Little did I know that Mac Dre’s city was, as the school’s officials said, “Yeah, ‘Valley Joe,’ is pretty ghetto.” The institute’s spokesperson proceeded to recommend that I stay in the neighboring town across the bridge. So, I did. Booked my flight and reservations to a quietly boring NorCal town, who’s name (ironically) rhymes with anesthesia. I mention the movements to my “Ray of sunshine” and comment “Hey, soon, I’ll be a train ticket away.”

I tell her about my pursuit for higher education and the whereabouts of my options. Hawaii or a 2hr train ride away from “my love at first sight?” (By the way, I had never been to NorCal before) But my infatuation for her chemistry kept propelling me to be more interested in this “ghetto” town. {“Ok ok ok, college life in Hawaii or a Merchant Marine school that’s ‘close’ to HER?… this is too much for my hopeless romantic teenage heart.”} I use this parental excuse to: A) Check out the uni B) Check out the town C) Compare it to Hawaii… but my #1) SEE HER ONE MORE TIME! That’s all I could really think about. Yeah, my educational future was important… however I thirsted for her gaze, the unspoken emotional connection our young selves couldn’t comprehend (sh*t, I still don’t get it). I prioritize the campus tour, plotted around the free time and booked a train ticket, from the city that “Thizzles” to a suburban SACtown with a bulldog as their mascot. “I’m only able to squeeze in a few hours to see you, I hope that’s  c o o l.” In a seductively conservative timbre she articulates, “Anything, for a chance to see you :)”

Kissing my parents, sister and canela (my dog) goodbye at the airport, ecstatic to see how this quest will unfold, I’m smiling from ear to ear (looking like a fool). Cheddar cheesing throughout my flight, listening to Pete Rock’s Petestrumentals and bopping, I’m hoping to not lose sight of my mission. {Lets go through the itinerary: Land in Raider Nation Airport, [maybe swing by Oakersterdam?] hitch a ride to hotel, sleep, morning college tour, tour around city, sleep, Train ride! see HER, train back :(, and more college stuff, blah blah…} In the eternally short flight, I anxiously fiddled with the university’s brochures and city maps. ‘Enticing’ is a word I would not use to describe what I saw. However, I kept using the maps to measure distance from my REAL TARGET. The “purpose” of my trip did not matter to me anymore. I only thought about the girl who “stole my heart” and how I could find a way get closer to her hypnotizing smile. I could not (and still cannot) comprehend how a complete stranger, made me feel so alive, heartwarming and conscious. I questioned if this was a one-way street, some ideas made me want to test if it was “too good to be true.” {Maybe, this is just all in your head, you’re overly romanticizing it and this turns out to be a fugazi. Well, let’s see…}

To Be Continued…

Part 2 – Going the Distance [“We’ll finally be together in a few moments”]

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