I caught a glimpse of her from a distance. It was on a Tuesday as I entered the elevator to go to the floor I worked on. I barely saw her face. From behind she had the same coca cola bottle shape that Angela had. She was wearing a long dress but tight enough to show her shape, just like Angela used to. Her hair was light brown just like Angela. She looked like her but I was not sure.
For the rest of the morning I kept thinking about Angela. The times we had together back in “the day”. We were close friends who could probably become lovers if not for my lack of a green card. I could not concentrate. I have to get her out my mind.
My relationship with Rosa was at a low. She was off 1 day per week now. She came home late and left early everyday. I barely saw her.
Could it really be Angela or was I seeing things because of my loneliness.
Two weeks later I saw her again. She had her eyes. It was her. It had to be Angela.
Our eyes met. I was in the elevator again and the door was closing. There was a magnetic attraction when our eyes met. I can’t explain it. It was like we were drawn to each other. There were sparks. My heart felt a flutter. I want to get off the elevator but could not. The doors started to close and I could see her walking away.
I got off on my floor and started walking to my office. I was in a daze. I could not stop thinking of her. She was more beautiful than I remember. It was a glimpse but I got enough to satify me for the day. I was feeling things I had not felt in a while. I could not work. She was on my mind constantly.
I had to take a walk to clear my mind. Maybe she is still there. I went down the elevator to the car hoping to see her. I wanted to see her one more time.
Nothing. I don’t know what I was hoping for but I was giddy like a young child. I stared at the spot where I had seen her hoping she would appear again.
I was distracted that whole day. When I got home I laid in bed thinking of her. I put on some music from the times when we were together is close friends.
I normally ate lunch at my desk but that whole week I took lunch in the courtyard between the office buildings. I was hoping I would see her.
Maybe it was best that we did not see each other. My life was planned out and besides she was probably still married. I needed to focus on Rosa and our future life together. I had to be more understanding about her residency and the time she had to spend at the hospital. It would be worth it in the end.
The one thing I realized however is that my love for Rosa was there but it was different than my love for Angela. I could not get Angela off my mind no matter how much I tried to jusifty my life with Rosa.
It was week 2 since I last saw her. I had given up on the chances of seeing her again. I was back to thinking it was not her but a look alike. She would have contacted me by now. I felt disappointed. It was like my heart was broken again.
An old song I used to hear on the radio in Jamaica came to mind.
One month ago today
I was happy as a lark
But now I go for walks
To the movies – maybe to the park
And have a seat on the same old bench
To watch the children play (huh)
You know, tomorrow is their future
But to me, just another day
They all gather around me
They seem to know my name
We laugh, tell a few jokes
But it still doesn’t ease my pain
I know I can’t hide from a memory
‘Though day after day I’ve tried
I keep sayin’ she’ll be back
But today again I lied
Oh, I see her face everywhere I go
On the street, and even at the picture show
Have you seen her?
Tell me, have you seen her?
It was by the Chi-lites.
It was week 3 now and I had given up all hopes of seeing her. Then a miracle “happened”.
“Hey there!” someone tapped me on the shoulder as I was walking to the elevator. I was running a little late for work that day and was rushing to get to my office.
I did not need to look behind me. It was her. How could I forget that voice. I could recognize it anywhere.
My heart was racing at a pace that probably would kill an older man.
I felt the blood rushing to my head. I turned around, and there she was. I was getting a close up. She was more gorgeous than ever.
The glances I had of her did not do any justice. She was absolutely the most beautiful girl in the world.… at least in my mind.
I opened my mouth to try to say something but no words came out. I could not figure out what to say.
“Ahhhhh” I was stuttering.
I would not be surprised if I was “drooling mouth water”.
She saw it was an awkward moment.
“I thought it was you. How long you working here?” she asked.
I was still staring at her, checking her out. Even though I know it was her I could not believe she was standing in front of me.
My eyes then focused on her hands. There was a big diamond ring on her finger. It was confirmatioin. She was still married.
My enthusiasm died a little but not much. I was used to this. That is the way our relationship was before. The only difference is that he was her boyfriend back then.
My eyes were fixed on the ring. He was always a big spender. I was not surprised that she had a diamond that big. A little voice in my head told me “being married should not matter to me as I was engaged”.
“I saw you the other day but was not sure. I have worked here almost a year”.
We started to catch up. She was still married but no children. I told her I was engaged. We soon realized that we were both going to be late. She was going to the building on the other side of my building.
It was another awkward moment. We both did not want to go. Should I ask her for her phone number? She was married, I couldn’t call her. Should I ask her to join me for lunch? She was a married woman.
There was deafening silence.
“Got to go”, I said.
“See you around” she said as she rushed off.
“See you later”, I replied. I wanted to keep talking. I wanted “something” from her that would assure we would see each other again.
I stepped in the elevator watching her walk away.
She turned around and glanced back. Our eyes met as the elevator door closed. It is the type of glance that we both knew something was there. We both looked away quickly because we both knew we should not be having these feelings.
The song that came to mind was, “Secret Lovers” by the group Atlantic Star.
There was no “real” work getting done from me that day. My mind was elsewhere. I felt guilty.
I love Rosa, but the feelings that resonated in me when I saw Angela is something that she could not give me.
By the end of the day I was rationalizing. I needed to focus. Nothing was going to happen with Angela. I was rationalizing to make the feelings go away. They did not.
I did not see Angela for the next few weeks. I was looking intently, daily. I even stayed in my car a few extra minutes to see if I could see how she got to work. Did she drive or did her husband take her to work?
I wondered if she was avoiding me. Was she taking another entrance?
A few weeks turned into a month. She was still on my mind every day. Each time I stepped in the elevator I looked out hoping to see here eyes looking into mine. It was the type of stare that looked into each others souls. On one hand I was yearning to see her and on the other hand I felt guilty for having these feelings.
Then it happened again.
“Hey there”, she had a big smile.
My first instinct was hug to her like a long lost friend.
“Hi” I replied.
I wanted to ask her where she had been but did not want to seem desperate.
We chit chatted a little then it was time to go. I wanted to say something about us meeting again but did not.
We glanced at each other again as we left. It is the type of glance you see in the movies where they walk away and then run back to each other and lock in a long passionate kiss.
I blew it.
I let her leave again. Maybe it will be 2 months before I see her again.
That day I kept replaying the encounter in my mind over and over again. How could I have let her walk away without knowing when I would see her again?
It may be a while before I see her again. Maybe I needed to say something to ease her mind about any type of relationship between us. What could I possibly say that would ease her mind?
Oh well, I won’t see her again for a while so it would not matter.
The next day I went to work with the expectation that I would not see her. I was wrong.
We met at the elevator again and chit chatted. It happened the next day too.
We were on a roll. We even moved away from the area where people walked into work.
Even though we avoided talking about Rosa or her husband they were there in spirit. It was a gap between us that would keep us from any type of relationship.
Not even a month had gone by since we re-met and I yearned for more than 10 minute discussions with Angela. Our conversations were getting more interesting. I wanted to be around her more and I sense she felt the same way. I had to say something.
“Would you like to go to lunch with me today?” I asked.
“No!”. She saw the puzzled look on my face.
“I think we both know that we still have feelings for each other” she continued.
She told me how she felt a sense of guilt. I was quiet but I listened.
“You are engaged to get married and I think us getting closer would be risky. It would not be fair to any of us including the ones we were with” she continued.
I wanted to say something but did not. If I told her I was bursting with love for her it may scare her away. But I am sure she already knew that.
“I understand. I totally do.” I responded.
We went our separate ways. But I was still feeling that we would both run to each other and kiss.
I feared that would be our last meeting for a while but it was not.
We could not stay away from each other.
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