A Girl Named Emerald This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

Custom User Avatar
More by this author
My junior year of college, there was one place that I could always be found. It was a quiet little juice bar (because to this day I don’t drink coffee) about two blocks from my closet-sized apartment in New York City’s Greenwich Village. I had discovered it a few months before and after a few test visits, we became inseparable. I went there almost every day, sometimes even twice a day, but hardly ever had juice.

I went there to observe and to write. There were so many different kinds of people who came and went, mostly with the seasons. And although every day presented a different batch of people, there were a few regulars I could count on seeing every day (some whom I’d given names and circumstances).

There was, for instance, Ava. She was a young, stressed out mother whose daughter was constantly whining or crying. She would sometimes bring the little girl along and buy her a juice just to shut her up. Then there was Alan, who was a popular freshman on campus. He never came to the shop alone. Girls (sometimes even two or three) would always be with him. I wondered if he was “that” kind of guy or maybe he was just gay.

But my favorite person by far was Sarah, a wealthy CEO (she was always dressed in suits) who secretly hated everything about her life. When I stopped seeing her in the juice bar, I figured she had quit her job and moved to Fiji. I really hoped that she had done that.


It was a Wednesday, I think. It was evening because I had just gotten out of my pointless Physics class. I really did not (and still don’t) understand why an English major had to take Physics. But I’m getting off topic…I was writing something ferociously in my notebook when I saw, or rather felt, someone walk past me. I saw a quick flash of black and the swing of a dress. I cannot explain the feeling exactly, but it was almost as if electricity was passing through me. I’d never felt it before.

I finished scratching down the story of Jonathan, the tall and quite handsome (If I didn’t say so myself) black man sitting next to me. He was the son of a wealthy business man who wanted nothing more than to get out of the City and move to Europe, backpacking with his close-knit group of friends. But of course, his father would never allow that, so for then, poor, poor Jonathan was trapped.

I looked up, searching for the girl in the black dress. I looked around the whole place, trying not to be obvious (though I’m pretty sure I appeared ridiculous). No sign of anyone in a black dress. Deflated, I returned to my notebook and began editing my story. And by chance—or maybe it was the moon—I looked up one more time.

The dress was dark purple, not black. She wore brown heels (the not-too-high kind) and had a green emerald necklace on. She was sitting with a girl. They both looked about twenty or twenty-one. The other one was pretty, but Emerald was something different. Her skin was golden and her hair dark. She had the most beautiful hazel eyes I’d ever seen.

For some reason, I had no urge to write Emerald’s story, which was very strange. I simply could not take my eyes off of this girl. She probably wondered why a skinny guy who probably needed a shave was staring at her.

Emerald went to the counter when they called the number nineteen. I wrote nineteen in my notebook on a fresh page. She walked by me on the way to her table. The feeling was back.

When Emerald sat down she began listening to what seemed to be gossip from her friend. But she seemed uninterested.

And that’s when it happened.

I guess I’d been staring, but at precisely 7:57 (not that I was watching the clock), Emerald and I locked eyes. She stared at me for a long time (probably because I was staring at her). But nonetheless, she was staring. She stared long enough that her friend turned around to see what Emerald was looking at. At that moment though, I averted my gaze to my notebook. When she turned back around, I looked up again. Emerald was looking at me. She smiled the most captivating smile I’d ever seen. Pretty turned around once again and saw nothing other than a guy writing something down in his notebook, surrounded my tons of other people and hundreds walking by on the street.

“Who are you looking at?” I heard Pretty say.

“No one,” Emerald smiled, glancing at me.

Pretty let it go and they began talking about Pretty’s trip to Spain (not that I was listening in or anything). I started doodling around the nineteen on the page and when I looked up, Pretty was gone and Emerald sat alone.

I sat frozen for a minute, pondering. Should I go say something to her? Would she think I was extremely strange? Was she even looking at me when she smiled? There was a guy way better looking than me sitting behind me. She was probably smiling to him.

She looked at me again, almost as if telling me, “Please come here.” But for some odd and terribly absent reason, I stayed glued to my seat. She stayed there for five more minutes. Then ten. Waiting. Wishing. But I stayed where I was.

She looked at me once more before sighing, picking up her bag and brushing her way past me and walking out into the sea of people that walked by.

And at that moment, I ran out into the street, leaving everything but my notebook at the table. I pushed my way through the people and looked everywhere. I looked down Fifth Avenue and searched and searched for that purple dress and those brown shoes, but they were nowhere to be found. Deflated, once again, I walked slowly back inside of the building.

I had missed my chance and there was no going back. I would never find her in the millions of people in New York.

I could only wait and wish that maybe someday I would see her again.

I never did see Emerald again. Every day, I would mistake women for her, but alas, none were the beautiful Emerald. I try to imagine the way she looked, but it was fading from my memory, along with the feeling of hope I got when she walked into the shop on that Wednesday.


And so here I sit. It’s a Thursday and it’s been two years since I last saw Emerald. I really don’t know why I can’t let this go. But sometimes you feel things that you just will never forget. And you hope and pray that you will get those feelings again, but you probably never will.

I start a story about Rachel, a tourist who came to the shop just to get out of her mother’s heavy hand. She was supposed to be at Rockefeller Center right now, but she was perfectly content sitting in this little juice bar, watching the people go by.

And now,for some odd, unexplainable reason, I look up.

And I would recognize that necklace from anywhere.





Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback