Love can be a slippery thing…
A short story was Inspired by: Travis Wall Contemporary routine for SYTYCD of the same name, performed by Ricky and Valerie.
This is the story of two young lovers who clash into each other’s life, only to be separated by life itself.
The One That Got Away
By Sela Ordaz
Let me tell you the story of how I lost the most wonderful human to ever walk the poor lighted streets of my small town.
I knew he was the one the moment I saw him, turning a corner, over at Limon and Rose, strange naming are common in my town, so don’t judge. In any case, he was there just walking, when I saw first his languish frame, then his a-little-too-long-for-my-taste reddish hair, the deep blue “Keep Calm and love red-heads” t-shirt which almost, almost pulled a smile from my lips, warn-out black pants and of course to complete the outfit, deep-blue converses; he looked like he had dropped out of bed, pulled on the first thing he’d found and gone for a stroll on the park, or that’s what I guessed from his slightly tousled hair.
I was currently removing a few dishes from the tables outside my uncle’s establishment, the only place that sold healthy food in the whole freaking town, and by healthy I mean, everything you ate here was without an ounce of grease or sugar, I must admit it was actually delicious, you almost, nearly not noticed the difference. But back to the rather, good looking red-headed, blue-eyed, skinny boy that was coming my way, while I looked like, well like I have been working since 7 a.m. non-stop, on a Sunday and had had 4 hours of sleep the night before, due to the intoxicating new book I was reading; I did the only thing I could, I ducked my head remembering all that, he passed by me without noticing me, mainly because that was my objective and the other reason, he was listening to some hard metal, tapping a finger against the outside of his jeans, how did I know what type of music? Oh yes, when he strolled by my side I could hear it all the way from his earplugs, he was going to go deft at some point given how loud the music was.
That was our first encounter; I like to call it that even if he didn’t even acknowledged my presence. I should have stopped him, maybe turn clumsy out of the blue and drop something in front of him. As it was, I didn’t have smart-enough thoughts on my first glance with who could have been the love of my life.
You may wonder why I say he was the one, or possibly the love of my young life, and perhaps you might be saying by now that I’m an adolescent foolish gal, I’m not. I’m 19, actually. But this isn’t about me and my short dark-blond hair, and dark-brown eyes. This is about, Tyler Woodland, that was his name, the 18 year-old who crossed paths with me on that May the 6th mid-morning. He had something in him, how he walked, how he carried himself with that carelessness, he wasn’t my type entirely, if I ever had a type of guy before him. But, what I’m trying to say is that he had, that kind of: IT factor, that I still can’t quite describe, he had an uniqueness so different from the other boys in town, not that there were that many anyways, did I mention it’s a small town? Have you seen Gilmore Girls? Well, where I live it is something like Stars Hollow, and if you have no clue what I’m talking about, than suffice it to say it has one main street, multiple cross-roads and everyone knows everyone. Except for Tyler, he had moved in a year-ago or so. Back then, I was too involve in getting my degree from school and work the rest of the time, to actually look around my bubble.
After that Sunday, I waited like a fool for another glimpse of him, I asked his name, it the most decent way I could, at dinner Sunday night: “So what was the name of those new people, who moved in last year?” I asked my uncle, he stared at me with his fork mid-way his mouth full of rice and grilled chicken with kale, healthy, remember?
“Why?” he asked me taking his bite, I wanted to purse my lips but took a sip of my orange juice instead.
“Because, I’m a curious person,” I lied with an innocent smile.
“Right,” he drawled, studying me for a moment, I actually felt at that moment like I was on an interrogation room. “Woodland,” he said, I wanted to kick him under the table for a moment, he smiled knowingly and I restrained, barely; “Ted, Marianne, Tyler, their son” he emphasized I merely stared at him without expression or so I hoped, maybe I wasn’t subtle at all, but at the time I believed I was, “and little Rachelle,” he finished. “Did that satisfy your sudden curiosity?” Uncle Clarence questioned me with his clear brown eyes.
“Very,” I replied.
“Alright, then,” I realize now that he of course knew something was up. Heck! He had raised me since I was 10, when my dad died rather suddenly when that river overflowed, so yes my uncle took care of little me without a second hesitation, and he knew me.
And my mom, well. She left me here, when I was 2. I don’t even know if she’s alive, maybe she is, in some penthouse in France, Italy or China, lord knows. I have enough in my plate as it is, like leaving this town, make a name of myself then comeback and buy my uncle all he wants in thanks.
If only I had Tyler to travel with me. But he’s gone now, he’s not dead. I hope. I want to continue with this little story, going forward to the day we met, a total of 9 days later after I first laid eyes on him. I was at the park, taking in the natural splendour, enjoying my day, when: Bang! In came, Tyler. He was shirtless, running around with his earplugs on, no idea what he was listening that time, he could have been listening a Christian rock, I was concentrated in keeping my cool and trying to think fast, how to meet him right at that moment, because I wanted to, I had to, it had to happen. He swapped by in front of me, and that time, that second time, he glanced at me, his eyes moved infinitesimally my way, where I laid on the grass, and then it was gone, he kept on going, I could see the sweat glistening on his back, his rather broad back, it looked strong, even though he had no definedmuscles, I mean on the front, not even a 6-pack but I didn’t care, I didn’t even go running for Christ’s sake, I didn’t need to, I already ate as well as a sane person could so I wasn’t large to the front, only to the sides, and because my bone structure wasn’t the one of a skinny person.
He was turning back, already around the small park, I have to do something, I remember thinking, I got up and stood there lifting my arms about my head, stretching them down, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, I counted, on 8 I knew he was close enough and rose my body once more my arms to the front, plop! They connected with his chest, and the force threw me a step to my right.
“Whoa, there,” I heard him say, a hand on my arm, “sorry, I couldn’t stop by the time you lifted up,” he apologized like I hadn’t done it on purpose I just nodded, say something I chided myself, instead of drooling.
“That’s ok,” real smart, I know, but he did render me kind of speechless, I liked him so much, I didn’t know why or how, that had come to happen, but I did, I couldn’t help myself, it scared me half to dead. “I’m Bianca,” so smooth, right? I didn’t care a darn thing, he gave me a smile and I nearly melted on the spot, could he get any more attractive? Actually, he could, as I found out later on.
“Tyler,” he responded just as smoothly, “I would offer a hand shake but I’m all sweat out at the present time,” I don’t mind, truly those words wore at the tip of my tongue I just swallowed them, and like an adolescent idiot I just held his gaze laughing softly, and then…
“I’ll see you around, then,” and that was our introduction, I didn’t turn to see if he watched after me, I only hoped that he did and that he liked what he saw.
I got to the dinning house, on automatic. I was reeling a bit from meeting a cute boy.
“Bia,” my uncle called me, giving me shorts to do the second I entered the place. Since I was in such a good mood, I didn’t really care.
The next day, was bizarre, at least for me. Nothing exciting ever happened to me, so when the other waitress on the place, a young girl my uncle had hired because he knew her parents, shadowed me for 10 seconds behind the counter. “What is it, Linda?” I asked turning around before she started breathing on my ear.
“There’s a real cute guy, on table 6,”
“And you don’t take his order because…?” I prompted her.
“Oh,” she laughed nervously, “It’s not that, he asked about you. And I came looking for you,” Linda told me with a stark-struck smile. It can’t be him, I thought starting to breathe harshly, looking down at myself, Crap, I was wearing less than appealing close, one of my own worn-out shirts, which was supposed to be orange but it was as pale as a peach, and the jeans? Those had seen better days, double crap, well whoever it is, should know me as I am, comfort before anything else. “Should I have just ignored his question?” I looked at the girl in front of me with her big chocolate eyes staring frightfully at me.
“What did he say?” I questioned her pushing her backwards so we were behind the screen separating the kitchen and the tables.
“Is Bianca around?” Whoa, that’s specific, definitely not Tyler, I mean seriously, why would he? I took a calming breath more confident and a bit curious to know who this guy was.
“You have other tables to attend,” I instructed Linda, and stepped out, table 6 was by the far window and the guy had his back to me, a hoody over his head didn’t permit me to prepare for what I would see when I stopped in front of the table, my jaw almost hit the floor because it was indeed Tyler, it shocked me.
“Hello, Bianca,” he said with an easy smile, did I mention that before that instant I thought him a bit shy, perhaps? But the smiles he often offered me were nothing of the sort. “Want to take a seat?”
“What are you doing here? How did you find out I work here?” I was surprised I didn’t stammered, I actually sounded angry, Good, Bianca scare off the cute boy I scolded myself.
“I asked,” he told me without a hint of shame, and I knew, he wasn’t shy nor kept to himself, he knew he was handsome, and wasn’t afraid to use it. I should have guessed it by his shirt the first time I saw him, at the time I thought it was a goofy, geeky thing. I should have interpreted as what it was, I guy who knew how to get girls. And damn it all, if he didn’t have me, already. “You do not want to seat?” he wondered looking up at me, “do you wish me to go?” he continued.
“No,” I know, never give them an ounce, don’t let them know you’re interested but he had something, or I was just befouled because he was so freaking adorable, his black sweater bringing out the blue in his eyes, his maroon t-shirt with some weird sigil on it, clinging loosely to his frame.
“Are you free later?” that it’s called an ambiguous question, wouldn’t you agree? As it turned out, I wasn’t free, well I sort of was but who did he think he was? Going into the dinner like that all of the sudden.
“Nope, sorry. Why?” I told him tapping my pen on the notepad I used to take orders, his eyes fell on my hand then went up to meet my eyes, Christ, his eyes were so beautiful, it was maddening.
“I want to talk to you,” that was it, it appeared he had mastered the art of not giving an inch of his actual feelings even more than I ever did. “Can we do it, tomorrow?” I suppressed the need to tell him no, or something like: we are talking now, but instead nodded. “Excellent,” he beamed getting up, “I have to get to class, I’m actually between classes. I’ll meet you here, around six-ish.” My mouth must have been open slightly because he placed a finger under my jaw and pushed it up. “Bye, Bianca.” Something about the way he said my name, had a ring to it, like velvet on his tongue, I hawked after him, in case you miss the point, he was in high school and I didn’t know beforehand, clearly. I almost ran out the door to tell him no, I actually took a step forward but for the first time since I saw him I used my brain before acting; I wanted to see him again, I wanted to know what he wished to speak with me, and he could have been 16 and it wouldn’t had mattered.
As I found out the next day, when we met outside the dinner, he wasn’t 16.
“Are you 16?” I asked him before we even took a single step in any direction, he looked at me frowning.
“No. I’m 18, why? Aren’t you?” aw! He thinks I look 18, alright so I had turned 19 in April but still I was older.
“19,” I replied starting to walk.
“That explains why I haven’t seen you in school, it is rather small and I would have definitely noticed you, like I did Sunday.” His confession let me with a small satisfactory swell in my chest, then I remembered he hadn’t glanced my way half a month ago, you did duck your head like a coward my mind had the pleasure of reminding me.
“Where are we going?” I asked him to distract my wayward thoughts.
“Where you want to go?”
“Home,” was that disappointment I saw flee through his eyes? I pondered.
“You don’t want to spend time with me?” I know that question would have gone great with a pout, as it was, he didn’t pout but the tone indicated he did so internally.
“I want to change my clothes,” I explained and just like that his face lit up. “Don’t get any ideas,” he arched a brow at me and I couldn’t help but smile, I was in trouble. My uncle was at the restaurant, obviously. It had cost me 3 days of my precious future, to have the rest of the afternoon and night off. I never told Tyler that. He didn’t need to know.
We got to my place, 10 minutes later. “Stay put, don’t rob me, sit or stand not my problem,” I instructed him, jumping to the stairs, the floor above contained only my room, my uncle’s, and a bathroom in front of both; I grasped a change of clothes in record time, and took a shower even faster, donned the sport-bra, the black shirt, put on blue slacks, slippers and thanked the universe I kept my hair short.
“You’re fast,” he commented as I descended the stairs, he was leaning against the arch that separated the living room and the space at the front door. “You look cute,” yes I confess I blushed, not as much as I did when he detached himself from the arch and came to me.
“What are you doing? Why are you looking at me like that?” I stammered that time, my words almost too fast for even me to grasp.
“I like you, Bianca. And I think you like me too,” he stopped in front of me, I held his sky gaze.
“Are you an ass-hat, in disguise?” I had to ask him, he wouldn’t admit it if he were but who would say something so self-confident, without a hint of indecision?
“I’m not,” he responded and he sounded so sincere, I actually believed him.
“Are you sure?”
“I want to kiss you, does that makes me an idiot?” he wants what? I’ll tell you, I was surprised to a level of epic proportions.
“I can’t believe I thought, you were shy,” was the last thing I said or murmured before he placed cool, long fingers to my face and covered my lips with his.
Electric, that would be the word I’d use to describe that first touch of our lips. He was darn skilled too, was there something he was bad at? Sure, at that particular moment I knew close to nothing about the guy, but what of it? I’d longed for the kiss he was giving me, first a light touch, a tease, then he glided over my lips with such a firm pressure and assurance that it made me sigh, which he totally took advantage off, his tongue finding his way into my mouth; one of his hands found its own way into my waist, branding me there with the heat of it through the fabric, he moved me backwards and stopped when something bumped against my legs, I dared a look around and saw we were on the living room, the sofa behind me. His lips traveled up to my ear: “can we carry on kissing? Was that good?” I pulled him to me once more, kissing him instead, I felt a smile against my lips and then I was on the couch, Tyler on top of me. His hands, hey! What is he doing? His hands were on my waist trying to get under my shirt, made that, already under it, going up.
“What are you doing?” I forced myself to stop kissing, asking the stupidest question ever, I know, he looked at me as if I was some prize he had won or something, like he couldn’t believe I was there.
“I was trying to feel you up,” I laughed I couldn’t help it, didn’t he had a filter? He responded my queries with complete honesty. “How is that funny? Don’t you want me to?”
“Yes,” the single word escaped my lips before I could help it, I’m quite aware that maybe I should have stopped right then, but really, you haven’t seen Tyler, those sky-blue eyes, the straight perfect nose, his unruly hair. He leaned down slowly, holding my eyes, his hands frozen over my sides under the shirt, when he kissed me again, he did so with determination, that’s the only way I can explain it. He absorbed any doubt out of me, until I started breathing heavily and that’s when his hands moved again to just under my boobs, palming my ribcage; “I really like you,” he whispered to me between kisses, “A lot,” he carried on.
“Like a lot, a lot?” I teased him, his laughter vibrated throughout me.
“I have proof,” what the…? A startled sound escaped my lips when he pressed his hips to mine; he had The ultimate proof, so I liked it him but I didn’t quite trusted him to forget myself and have sex on the couch, how lame would that be for our first?
“Tyler, I…” how could I said it without sounding like a total idiot, or without hurting his feelings?
“I scared you, I’m sorry” Really? You must be thinking but yes he did apologize and got off me, seating on the couch while I laid there gazing at ceiling, trying to get my hormones under control, probably lock them on a chest for the next couple of hours, so I wouldn’t jump his skin. “You want me to go?” he asked me in a low voice, “I’m really sorry I got out of control like that, Bianca. I just… you’re so devilishly hot,” my eyes opened to the fullest, and I turned my head slowly to him, he wasn’t looking at me, he was focusing on his hands lazed in front of him, a lock of hair falling forward covering one of his eyes. I wanted to kiss him again, badly. I didn’t.
After that, we spent every possible minute together, I met his family, he met my uncle, charmed the life out of him with their mutual agreement in music, tennis and well, me; my uncle took the task of telling him everything about my childhood.
He graduated, summer came and it all went to hell.
If you wish to read more, please go here: The One That Got Away
I’m sorry if this bothers you, only I don’t want to the site to be reported as a copy when it isn’t. Thank you for understanding.