IT LASTED 3 hours and 46 minutes, but it felt like the longest wedding she has ever attended.
She was happy to be the maid of honor, but it wasn’t thoroughly amusing for her to be getting the same amount of spotlight the bride had. She thought it would have been easier for her to answer questions relating to the bride, who obviously was her best friend. Most people in attendance, however, approached her to dig a little scoop about her personal heart stories. These people often started with introductions ‘so you’re next!’ She was courteous enough to respond with ‘I won’t let anyone else have a touch of the bouquet.’ She knew it gave those inquisitive, nosy guests a hearty laugh.
Still, it made her uneasy. Every time she saw an approaching shadow she has had to fake a smile, and prepare a well-mannered reply.It wasn’t comfortable for her to be discussing her love life because in the first place, there was in fact nothing to be discussed. her love life was zero.
She was relieved that the ceremony ended; that her own long walk down the aisle of death was finally over. She didn’t say her goodbyes. She just sent her best friend an SMS regarding her sudden disappearance. She coined up an excuse, one that would justify her elusive action. All that mattered to her now was to have some ‘me’ time.
She rushed to her car, drove to the streets, and began searching for an open bar. She saw one—-a yogurt parlor.
It was perfect, she supposed. There were only 3 people inside the bar; the woman who manned it, and an elderly couple. She could have a good time reflecting, she believed.
She could achieve the peace and quiet she was yearning for all day. so, she ordered her cup of the dessert and sat on the 4th stool in a stretch of 7 chairs. She enjoyed doing nothing, but savoring the taste of the sour dairy. If anybody was to look at her, one would think she was crazy. She was bouncing between empty stares on the wall and soliloquy. But, this was therapy for her. It was a break from the mad dash of people at the wedding, and a breather from questions which pertained to marriage and the future and kids. Here, at the yogurt parlor, it was okay to be single.
She remained carefree for the next 38 minutes; taking advantage of the stillness and the feeling of tranquility. the only interruption was when she heard the parlor door open and assumed it was the elderly couple going out, but they were still in the corner having their silent chat. She then noticed the shadow of a man in a tuxedo nearing behind her. She took a glance. It was the groom’s best man. She smiled and nodded to acknowledge his presence. He spoke in his Adonis-like voice, ‘Dodging, aren’t we?’ She nodded again. She couldn’t say anything to deny the truth. ‘Same here’, added the guy. ‘I hope you wouldn’t mind if I eat my yogurt with you and share stories about being unattached.’ She raised her eyebrows and shook her head left to right, slightly feeling petrified by the bluntness. He sat beside her and then she uttered her first words, ‘How do you know I’m unattached?’ He beamed, ‘single men have ways to detect single women. ’ She curled her lips to form another smile and laughed candidly for the first time that day.
She imagined…maybe, she won’t be single for so long.
And he thought, maybe he wouldn’t be, too.. She woke up that morning with a heavy rumble in the stomach. without doubt, she blamed it on the bottomless yogurt. But more than the physiologic manifestation of pain, there was something else that bothered her. She felt bewildered by the things that had happened the night before.
All she could hark back to is the yogurt-eating, and that is because the piercing belly sting served as a reminder. All the other details were blurry…fuzzy…dim. She quite couldn’t decipher whether a casual conversation with a man, whose face and name she couldn’t recall, really transpired. After all, the only thing she was certain about was the yogurt.
Her sudden loss of memory worried her so much. so, she tried to identify the cause and began enumerating whatever it was she was able to summon up. There was nothing much on her list except the likelihood of yogurt causing amnesia, or the birth of a condition ought to be dubbed as “dairy intoxication”. Despite trying really hard to remember the particulars of last night’s last minutes, she failed. It seemed like she was whacked by some confounding charm and her mind froze blank. She endeavored to call her best friend to ask if anything strange happened to her at the wedding, but then she reconsidered, knowing her best friend was still enjoying her honeymoon.
As a result, she started theorizing a lot of things of what might have happened.
Several scenarios came to her head. Most prominent of these ideas was that of prince charming safely taking her home, and laying her down her princess bed. She honestly hoped for this. But she also couldn’t ignore the possibility of some sinister looking guy from the streets taking advantage of her, and making it seem as if nothing happened.
And then it her, the theories were too farfetched, too crazy to be believable. She gave up on thinking and settled in believing that probably nothing really took place. the yogurt-eating, the man, and the conversation were most likely just part of a very realistic dream, but a dream nonetheless.
Tired of imagining and exhausted from deliberating ideas, she got up and leaped out of her bed. She scanned her room looking for the keys. It took her about 4 minutes before she saw it. It was just on top of a triangular table placed beside the entrance door.
Right next to the keys was a particularly small spoon, taupe in color. She easily recognized it as the spoon-from-the-yogurt-parlor. But there was something odd about the utensil; it had numbers written on it. the only ones she could read clearly were the first three digits – 2, 8, and 3. the rest of the numbers were blurred out. She didn’t have time to re-examine the spoon and determine what the numbers were for. She was already running late for something.
She hurried to the bathroom to get herself fixed and ready for the day. It didn’t take her too long to be properly attired, and prepared to go. She took her keys, locked her room and proceeded to the elevator. like the many times it has happened before, the elevator was stuck. She had no other choice but to use the stairs on her way down. It was always a struggle for her every time the elevator felt like not cooperating.
She lived in the 10th floor and although she wanted to think of the flight as free exercise, it required herculean determination. Truthfully, she wasn’t really up for it. She began her way down, sighing with every step. when she reached the fourth floor, she heard the elevator door ‘ding’. She sprinted towards the elevator.
Luckily, it was now unstuck. She was saved by four floors. She went inside the empty lift and pressed on ‘1’. It stopped on the third floor where a personnel of the apartment came in. They welcomed each other with smiles. the elevator took another stop on the second floor. Time must have been teasing her, she thought. when the doors flew open, she saw the face of a man utterly familiar to her. ‘Hello’ greeted the man.
He was standing in front of a silhouette of a door marked 283. ‘You…’ she started awkwardly. She felt that the probability of things being real last night were increasing. ‘You…brought me to my room, didn’t you?’ she finished, syllabicating words in clauses. He formed his lips to a ‘U’ and nodded.
There was nothing else she could say but ‘thanks’.
‘283’, he continued talking. ‘Huh?’ she asked in puzzlement. ‘I gave you a clue – 283.
That’s how you knew.’ he explained. ‘Uhuh’, she responded and further commented ‘it’s a weird clue you left’. There was silence for a split second, and with unfathomable curiosity in her voice she asked, ‘what really happened?’
But before they could go on talking, the apartment personnel gave an intentional cough to interrupt them, and pardoned ‘Excuse me, as much as I want to give you the privilege to talk, I guess we’ll have to let the lift do its work first’.
Feeling guilty, the both of them stared at each other and then laughed at the thought of talking while holding the elevator door open.
‘Come on, let’s take the stairs’, he invited. ‘What?’ she shouted in disbelief. ‘Oh well, that’s the only ticket you’re gonna get!’ he started to tease. She went out of the elevator, looked at him straight in the eyes and warned, ‘every single detail’.
‘Every single detail’, he repeated.
And together they paced down the flight of steps immersed in a tête-à-tête.
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