Wednesday, November 2, 2011
"Just come down!"
I heard his voice through the balcony window; it somehow managed to seep through my blasting earbuds while I lay on the couch trying to forget him. Not even the loudest volume and the most unnerving song could block him out. It was my heart's fault, I reasoned--you could deafen your ears, but the heart was ever listening, even when you begged it not to. Even when you'd had a bad day and wanted to forget about him, just for today, just long enough to get a nap and relax.
"Just go away," I mumbled, knowing very well that he could not hear me. I grabbed one of the couch cushions and pressed it over my head, blocking out all the light. If my human ears couldn't hear, and my eyes couldn't see, maybe I'd be able to blind my heart too--just for a little bit.
It was too late, though. My mind was aware of his presence just out the balcony, and it teamed up with my heart to worsen my nightmare. Why did he have to choose the balcony to apologize? It was so cheesy, so cliche, so...
I felt like someone in a fairy tale now. My imagination wandered far away, and I was in a castle with a prince out my window. What would a princess do in this position? A hundred years ago they'd probably go to the balcony. What would Kate Middleton do today?
I wasn't sure if he really spoke this time, or if it was just my heart begging me to give in and let it live this fairy tale. How many girls actually got to make this decision? How many girls could climb into a storybook for just a moment?
I pressed the pillow harder over my face; now I could barely breathe, but I would not give in. My heart knew Kyle wasn't gone yet. My heart and Kyle both kept asking, "Please?" My brain wasn't helping much, either. It kept reasoning that I was about to miss my only chance, and reason rubbed salt into the injury. I was about to lose the battle with my own will.
I tossed the pillow across the room and plucked out my earbuds, feeling disconcerted. He could have tried the doorbell. Why did he have to use the balcony? How did he know I was right there with the window open?
"Rachel!" he called again, this time in a voice heavy with misery. "People are starting to stare."
He'd probably caught the attention of the neighbors now, too. I couldn't fend off a smile. What kind of a fairy tale was this? A prince didn't typically disturb the neighbors--though this was anything but typical.
"I'll go in a minute," he called, this time to someone else who'd shouted angrily out their window.
Enough was enough. I got off the couch and sighed, trying to think of what to say after putting him through such humiliation. His persistence made me think that chivalry wasn't yet dead, and I was one of the lucky girls to catch a modern-day prince. My heart and brain agreed that it was stupid to send him off.
I opened the door and stepped onto the balcony; our eyes locked immediately, and though Kyle didn't say anything, I knew he was sorry. In his hand was a tiny wrapped present. After this, he probably wasn't going to forget my birthday ever again.
I leaned down slightly, waiting for the neighbors above to close their windows. When they finally did, I smiled and said quietly, "You forgot to throw the pebbles."
Kyle looked puzzled for a moment, then hesitated and motioned to the present. "I'm sorry. Can I come in?"
I glanced out over the city, for a moment taking in the beautiful sunset and picturing it as an illustration in a modern-day book of fairy tales. Then I looked down at him and smiled. "Yeah. Give me a moment."
Making a dash inside the house, I paused halfway to the stairs and grinned stupidly. Then I gathered myself and went to meet my prince and give him the hug he deserved. Actually, I danced down the stairs with a flourish...
Like a princess.
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