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A Cliche Love Story
Adrian sighed to himself as he transferred the remaining books on his desk back into his leather bag. It must have been around 4:15 PM, but he wasn’t sure. After 9 long hours of working non-stop, time just seemed like a social construct to him, an illusion. He didn’t even remember when he woke up or when he fell asleep the night before. Did he even sleep at all? Who knows, who cares. All Adrian wanted to do right now was go home and watch TV. IT wasn’t that Adrian didn’t like his job, because in reality, it was all he wanted to do. After being forced to attend and graduate engineering school by his demanding parents, the only thing he wanted to pursue was his actual dream: television. No one knew who Adrian Krasta was; his name was just a label to this fickle being. He was physically weak, and not necessarily attractive. If you took a quick look at him you’d never believe he wanted to become a television influencer, but he wasn’t foolish. Adrian knew that the first steps he had to take to have his name in television was to start working at a job as basic as a radio station, which is where he was standing right about now. He finished packing up and made his way into the hallways of the famous building, Radio Tirana.
The faces of his colleagues who were waving him goodbye were all familiar by now, except one of them. A woman. He stopped dead in his tracks to observe her face. She was thin as well, maybe not as pathetically skinny as Adrian but definitely thin. Her nut-colored curly hair was put up in a messy bun, and she wasn’t wearing anything out of the ordinary. A pastel-pink sweater, accompanied with some jeans and black, gothic boots. Different from any other woman in the departement, the only makeup she was wearing was a little mascara and lip gloss. Nothing was groundbreaking so far, except for her eyes. God, her eyes. It wasn’t even funny how much they shocked Adrian; he felt his knees buckle and fireworks go off in his head. The new colleague had inch-long eyelashes and the most astonishing green eyes in the whole building. They weren’t dark green, or hazel, more like emerald. Those pair of eyes accompanied her smile so well. Adrian felt like reciprocating a smile back. Except Planet Green Eyes wasn’t smiling at him. She was laughing wholeheartedly at her friends. How come he hadn't seen her before? There was no way a new colleague was that social and outgoing on her first day. She had to have the same effect she had on Adrian on other people as well. Without him even realising it, his brown eyes were staring at hers so bluntly, the woman noticed, and stopped in front of him. Her friends were gone, now it was just this creepy tall dude in front of her. He had to say something quick. Like, right now.
“Uhm...Adrian, my name...” Adrian felt his mouth speaking but his brain was mushed to pieces. My god, is he stupid?
“Oh, well. Brikena, my name,.” she reciprocated with a faint smile. “Brikena Darova.”
“That’s a beautiful name, I like it. I mean not that I have to like it for it to be nice...it’s not up to me whether it’s beautiful or not, it’s just preference...you know...” Adrian just about managed to vocalise, his hands shaking.
“You’re rambling,” Brikena informed him.
“Right, right. Sorry,” he said as his right hand reached to meet Brikena’s. They shook hands as awkwardly as possible and then withdrew both of their hands into their pockets. There had to be an end to this misery, Adrian thought. He decided to end it by saying the most courageous, maybe stupidest thing known to mankind.
“Go on a date with me? Like, you know to get to know each other? Not platonically, I find you quite attractive,” He muttered, fidgeting with the strap of his bag. It was either an illusion, or a prank from Satan, but Brikena found his newfound bravery intriguing, and she didn’t necessarily have anything better to do this weekend, so it didn’t seem like a horrible idea after all.
“Sure. Tomorrow at 18:00?” She questioned.
“Absolutely,” Adrian agreed and felt his heart take a leap into his chest. They waved goodbye and Adrian basically skipped home. Like a child who just got a gold star in his math class. A very foolish child who did not deserve that gold star. It was almost unbelievable that she said yes to his rather pathetic confession, but it was a chance he wasn’t willing to skip.
* * * * * * *
Tomorrow became today, and Adrian jumped out of bed. He ran to work, excited and impatient for 18:00 to come. His happiness was too much for his friends to ignore.
“Hey Mary Poppins, what’s up with the grin?” his friend, Pali Kuke questioned.
“I have a date. A date! With that gorgeous woman over there,” Adrian pointed to Brikena. Now everyone was surrounded between Pali and Adrian’s conversation. All eyes were on her, but they were disbelieving. Who would believe that Adrian Krasta would sweep a woman such as Brikena off her feet. He noticed his friend’s skepticism.
“Look at her very well. Embed her in your memory, because that’s the woman I’m going to marry someday,” He protested while drawing out a post it note and writing what he had just said. “Mark my words.”
“Yeah, okay. If we’re still friends until the marriage make sure to invite me,” Pali said sarcastically, but Adrian wasn’t paying attention at him anymore. He gave the post-it note to Pali, and ran off, eager to end his work as fast as possible.
You see, the thing is, unfortunately in every social circle, stupid rumors and in this case, post it-notes, fly around at the speed of light. Pali gave the note to Zerina, who gave it to Delina, who gave it to Iris, who happened to be Brikena’s friend. Soon enough the note ended up in Brikena’s hands in the blink of an eye.
“What’s this?” She questioned, unraveling it impatiently. Her friends had their hands to their mouths, trying to drown their giggles and hide their blushing. They knew what they were doing was wrong, and Adrian was most likely going to kill them, but hey, it’s not that dramatic, right? Before they could react properly, Brikena ripped off the paper to shreds, multiple times, until it was nothing but ash. Who was he, to decide her future? Did he seriously think he could own her that quickly, making bets like that with his friends? Brikena stomped to her office, and only came out to go home, and not to the destined date.
Was Adrian stood up? Yes. Did Brikena not talk to him for multiple days? Also yes. But was he going to give up? No. He tried initiating small talk every time he’d see Brikena, even if it annoyed the hell out of her. Even though he never got the most conversation out of her, he got an occasional blank “Good morning” before she disappeared back into her pile of work.
One spring night, Adrian decided that he wasn’t going to let her anger win, so he took his bicycle, put on a thin jacket and pedaled quickly all the way to her home. They had exchanged addresses after setting up their date. He wrote her a little note, poked a small hole through the paper, and then tied a thread through the little hole. The thread was then tied up around a small rock. Not big enough to break a window, but big enough to drag Brikena attention. So there he was, standing in front of her front porch, her bedroom window only 6 feet away from him. To his luck, the window was slightly open, so Adrian only had one good chance to throw it inside her room. He swung his arm, and successfully fit the rock right in, but he didn’t run. He didn’t move. He stood there, patiently waiting for Brikena to respond. He saw faint movement inside her room, indicating that she had picked up the note. After a while, Brikena poked her head through her window, looked down, and grinned widely at Adrian. That had to be a good sign, Adrian thought. Adrian’s little note somehow managed to work magic, and it was definitely the spark of a new relationship, the spark of something beautiful that was going to last. But, whatever was written in that small piece of paper, that’s up to your imagination