She was beautiful, but she never knew it. She attracted the attention of the boys at school, but she never saw it. She was flattered, praised and propositioned, but she never heard them. The boys made fun of her for the perceived rejection of them. The men who desired her felt utterly lost at their ineffectual attempts to possess. Some called her ‘cold’, ‘frigid’ and much worse. They could not understand how this sensual beauty was totally oblivious to the effect she had on them. Many merely wanted to be by her side, basking in the glow that was her.
The women could not decide if she was a friend or an arch-rival. And because she was always civil, kind and inclusive, there was hardly anything to be held against her. Perhaps this fueled the green-eyed monster, raising its ugly head in the guise of curiosity and advice, proffered to help her be a ‘better person’. She waved them off with a grin and a knowing in her eyes.
She has a way of making everyone whom she came in contact feel unique and worthy. Her light self-deprecating laughs fill others with giddy happiness. Her calm comforts. She is a natural being without artifice, a born people-person who lives on her own terms, a private person who has no impetus to justify her self.
That is when she meets him. The unassuming man loved by many yet at times dismissed. His good-natured acceptance is a balm to all the ‘advice’ she’d ever received. In his presence, she is able to peer over the wall of her carefree, confident, unaffected persona. In his eyes, she sees what he sees, the ‘her’ within – all her longings, her desires, her needs long suppressed. She knows then in his embrace, she would finally pull down her defences and show her vulnerable self.
One day he would recall their first meeting, his hesitation and her appeal for him to stay:
“Me? I’m scared of everything. I’m scared of what I saw, I’m scared of what I did, of who I am, and most of all I’m scared of walking out of this room and never feeling the rest of my whole life the way I feel when I’m with you.”
One day she would realise that in his presence, she is at her strongest and most courageous.
This is written for RonovanWrite’s Friday Fiction Challenge. A line from one of my all time favourite movies, Dirty Dancing.
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