As she walked slowly down the dusty sidewalk, it was almost impossible not to notice her as she approached. Even in a city as fashion-conscious as this one, her outfit would be considered to be over the top. I’m not sure if it was the meticulously styled short blond hair that caught my attention, or if it was the huge thick-rimmed designer sunglasses that covered most of her face. Whatever it was that caught my eye, once I set eyes on her, it was difficult not to stare at the huge white frill at the front the sultry black dress she was wearing. Yes, even for this classy part of town, she seemed just a tad overdressed.
It felt awkward enough already to find myself staring at her from a distance well outside of her eyesight, but for some unknown reason, I found myself oddly compelled to talk to her, but I couldn’t quite seem to figure out why. Almost unconsciously, I found myself walking in her direction as she passed by and walked away. Surprisingly, for someone wearing a pair of tall (and presumably expensive) high heels on an uneven city sidewalk, she was walking surprisingly fast. In fact, I found myself almost straining just to keep up with her and to catch up. And I didn’t even know why I was trying to do so in the first place, just that there was some sort of attraction that I could not fully comprehend.
It took several blocks of walking before I began to catch up to her as she walked, still completely oblivious to my presence. Just as I thought I would finally catch up to her, I got caught on the wrong side of the crosswalk as the stoplight changed, and once again she was getting away from me. At this point, I had a moment to contemplate why it was that I had begun following her in the first place. Was I somehow attracted to her, unattainable though she may be? Was there some reason as yet unknown to me that I had to meet with her one way or another? Or was I just merely curious about how it was that she could be walking around town in such fancy clothing? Although I found myself unable to resolve these questions, I felt oddly compelled to keep going. Just as the light prepared to change again, I saw her turn a corner, going out of sight. When the walk sign appeared, I continued what I briefly feared to be a futile pursuit, trying to walk as quickly as I could without breaking into a run, which I felt might attract undue attention. As I reached the corner, I caught sight of her unmistakable black dress once again, still walking down the street apparently oblivious to the world around her.
With a brief unconscious sigh of something that vaguely resembled relief I continued to follow her, and began to catch up to her again just as she walked through a crowd of people walking in the other direction and milling about at a bus stop. As she navigated daintily through the throngs of people, she slowed her brisk walking pace down just enough that I was able to finally reach her. At this point I still did not know why it was that I had followed after her, but I knew that in order to answer to whatever had compelled me on this fool’s errand, I would have to get her attention somehow. I summoned up whatever courage I could muster and tried to act casual in order to at least attempt to not look like I had been following her for six blocks (or was it eight? I hadn’t been paying attention.) Finally, I tapped gently on her shoulder.
In one seemingly effortless motion that showed not even the faintest visible hint of surprise, she turned her head slowly toward me. For just a brief moment she looked at me with an expression that I could not see through those thick sunglasses, and then she said just one word to me…
Before I had any chance to react or even fully process what had just happened, she disappeared once again into the crowd. I still do not know what possessed me to chase after her, but even though I hadn’t even determined what the question was, I somehow knew that was definitely not the answer I was looking for. After pausing a moment to regain my composure and come back to my senses, I went on my way once again, perhaps a bit wiser for the experience, but destined to spend many a sleepless night in a futile search for answers to questions I didn’t even know that I was asking.