How to be Bold

July 30, 2016
By BAHen BRONZE, Newark, New Jersey
BAHen BRONZE, Newark, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

She could feel the sweat as it trickled down the back of her neck. On any other day, she would have been disgusted and angrily swiped at the mess, all the while wondering if it was the summer heat that had caused the liquid to form or  her, uh, over active sweat glands.  But today was no ordinary day and Mary knew for a fact that the cause of her sweat was the man standing in front of her.

With his green eyes boring into her dark brown ones and his thinned lipped smile that hadn't left his face since the moment he'd begun speaking, Mary had to wonder how the only problem she was currently exhibiting was perspiration, knowing full while that she was also prone to a queasy stomach and the deadliest of gas. She wasn't sure if she should have thanked the heavens or cursed them for the fact that sweat was the only problem she seemed to be entertaining and that he had yet to show any signs of noticing.

"So.....What do you think?" He asked, somehow widening his eternal smile, instantly pulling Mary out of her thoughts of sweaty necks.

"Uh....huh?" Came her intelligent reply. It was all Mary could do not to kick herself as the man chuckled, his eyes shinning with the action.

"Sorry! My charmingly good looks must have distracted you." He continued, holding a hand to his chin, his thumb and index finger stretched out to show it off. Mary couldn't help blushing as she lowered her eyes to the concrete beneath their feet. Well, her feet, the "charmingly good looking" man in front of her found it necessary to stand on the edge of the road as he spoke to her. Mary had offered to move back and give him room to speak comfortably with her on the sidewalk, but the man had been adamant about staying on the road, 'lest the beautiful girl in front of me breaks my heart and I find myself in urgent need of an escape route.'

Mary had remembered his words quite clearly and even remembered blushing before thoughts of the sweat that occupied the back of her neck took up her mind and she was completely cut off from their conversation until this moment.

"No, it wasn't your looks!" Mary said (more like shouted) rather quickly. At the startled expression he shot her, Mary realized that she may have offended him and tried again. "What I mean to say is that I was too busy thinking about the sweat on my neck to listen, but that your face had absolutely nothing to do with my distraction."

Black eyebrows raised in the air as green eyes attempted to find the sweat on her neck that Mary had alluded to;  she realized she had said much more than was probably necessary and felt the need to stuff both her feet as far into her mouth as they would possibly go.

She clamped a dainty hand to her neck, once the staring became too much, and cleared her throat returning his attention to her face.

"You came over for something?" She asked, hoping to move their conversation along.

"Yes!" He agreed happily, the light in his eyes returning. "To sum up what I was saying before, would you like to have lunch with me?" He laughed as he finished the sentence, assuring Mary that whether she agreed or turned him away there would be no hard feelings. And yet, she could clearly hear a lilt in his voice that conveyed the honest truth.

The young man in the black suit and leather shoes before her had done something courageous. He'd seen a woman he liked and decided to cross the street and ask her on a date. He did something most people thought about, but never put into action. He let himself be vulnerable, but made it seem like he had no care in the world. And yet, just like Mary, he was nervous. Afraid that the only thing his boldness would leave him with was a bruised ego and an uneventful night.

Mary stared at the man in front of her. The man, who's name she still did not know, and smiled.

With a steady voice she replied, " I'd love to." He sighed. Mary smiled. She could be bold, too.

The author's comments:

This is the first piece I have written where I have been extremely proud of the outcome. Typically, I read through my work, and as most writers do, find myself critizing what I have put down and how it does not compare to the great work I have read elswhere. But, for once, I was able to read and say I love what I have written. Maybe because the material is so close to something that could happen in my life. I have such diffcuilty doing what Mary and her unamed sutor did in this short piece, as I am sure many other people do as well. I hope my story let's people know that they are not alone in having awkward conversations or being scared to put themselves out their and be rejected. It is a part of life, something I am slowly learning.

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