By Alexandra Kernerman Vogelhut Word Count: 599
She might be sweet like candy, I think as she walks by. Her strawberry hair flows and leaves satin on the wind. I think she knows she’d be sweet.
It isn’t the first time I’ve seen her cross the road, the traffic stopping to let her past. You almost forgot she was jaywalking.
Today her hair is held back by a blue headband, yet still it flows on the wind. I can almost smell her from here.
Like last time, I’m probably just imagining things. I don’t know if she’s sweet or not, but my romantic tendencies are used to having their way.
I take another drag of my cigarette and watch her walk into the building, her pale blue skirt fluttering through the door.
Joe said she came into the shop once. I can’t believe it. He’s probably making it up. I crush the cigarette under my faded runners and head back inside.
The old guy is still in there talking to Joe. He wants some kind of knife we don’t have, which is saying something. I can tell Joe just wants the guy to leave but smells a sale a mile away. Even if it takes a longer time to convince, Joe will find a way. The old guy isn’t going anywhere soon.
The polishing cloth is right where I left it, undisturbed by the breeze from the closing door. The knife beside it is crystal clear clean but I start polishing again anyway.
My thoughts travel back to her. Sweet strawberry candy. In my head she’s always crossing the road, waiting for the cars to slow down. Always in real life she heads into the building.
In my head she walks the other way. She heads for the shop and its old, wooden door. She sees me at the last second while her hand rests on the doorknob. I’m mid-drag, paused as she is. I catch her deep green eyes with mine as her lips turn up at the side—just a little.
Her hand leaves the door and reaches out to me. She takes the cigarette from my mouth and smoke follows it. Still smiling, she takes a drag. Her dress is blue, always blue. I can see down her shirt but it’s her mouth that holds my gaze.
We don’t say anything. She gently steps on the end of the smoke with her sneakers. I notice for the first time they’re white, spotless. She must clean them for hours.
She steps towards me and I feel faint. The aroma is overpowering. Strawberry and satin. Her lips touch mine and I realise I was right. She’s sweet, so sweet. I feel a rush of adrenaline and I see red as
I yelp in surprise. Dragged from my daydream I see I’ve cut myself on the knife. There’s blood on the now-useless polishing cloth, the counter. Shit. This is a huge mess. There’s blood everywhere. You never remember how much a hand can bleed until you slice through it with a freshly sharpened blade.
As I clean up the blood with paper towel, Joe comes over and tells me how badly I just messed up. Don’t I know it. I was just getting to the good part.
Soon the glass counter is covered in red, splotchy paper towel. God, I’m an idiot.
My head is down but I look up when the bell on the door dings.
Joe must not be a liar because there she is: satin strawberry dressed in blue. All I can think about is candy; red like the blood on the counter.