Love At Eleventh Sight
Cupid works in mysterious ways. Oh, heck. Everything works in mysterious ways.
In the case of that young artist who was waiting to cross the road, his life had never been a mystery. He knew what he aspired to be from young, he knew where he was heading, he knew what he wanted, he knew the sort of life he was going to live but what he did not know was when and why cupid chose him. When the red light faded and he began walking on the zebra crossing, cupid must have had a sudden a light-bulb moment.
The whole world suddenly became a blur and time slowed itself to almost the same pace as when Trinity leaped and froze in midair. At that precise moment, his vision consisted of only one colourful object (the rest of the busy street had became mundanely black and white) and that object or subject, to be more accurate, was walking towards him.
With a slight tilt of her head, she laughed at something her companion said. He knew at that instant that he was trapped. No, no, his heart was trapped. There was no way his heart could escape the grasp of that captivating woman dressed in maroon stepping closer and closer towards him. In the span of two seconds (but what seemed like two hours to him), he had scanned her from bottom up. Not to strip her with his eyes, oh no, he would not have done something that rude, and also not to judge her by her cover but simply because his eyes found nothing else as mesmerizing.
Her hour-glass body was clad in a halter dress, her fingers bore no ring, her size six feet wore some sort of sexy red stilettos, her auburn hair was short and stylishly spiked but none of those blew him away quite as much as her laughter did. Not that he had the capability of hearing her laughter from four noisy meters away but the graceful tilt of her head, playful glint in her eyes and breath-taking movements of her mouth pushed his heart to beat nearly five times faster.
She was about two feet away and he had not taken his eyes off her. He knew that whatever happened next would be the most important moment in his life. It was a do or die. Just as she was a feet away and soon to disappear forever, he was then prompted to do, or say, something he had never said.
"Do you believe in love at first sight or do I have to walk pass you again?"
It was a mystery on whether Cupid laughed and choked at that corny pick-up line or nodded his approval. After all, it wasn't Cupid but some creative genius who propagated that line in the televisions. But one thing was for sure. Cupid would have smiled as he looked down on his name list.
Connor Wayne. Check.
The moment Connor the-blond-average-looking-guy-next-door Wayne uttered that line, the world spun back to its normal pace. She paused and stared at him for a moment, as though unsure if she had heard him right. His mouth parted slightly and he was about to say something else if it was not for the oncoming and ongoing pedestrians who were shoving and bumping into them oh so unkindly. With the unruly speed of time pushing them on, Connor suddenly found himself standing on the wrong side of the street, without her.
Ahh, but you see, Cupid's arrow had been shot and was still stuck in his heart. Ignoring the timer which said he only had two seconds left, Connor picked up his guts and ran back across the street with a whole dozen of cars sounding their honks when he was only halfway across. Some cars were not very patient in the rush hour and one of them accelerated just as Connor stepped in front of it. Connor jumped back just as quickly as the car braked (and honked like there was no tomorrow) but Connor gave a curt bow of apology and ran on.
So close to death. Another street closer to her.
His eyes searched the sea of colourful heads bopping up and down. His eyes failed him. He trusted his heart and walked straight ahead, bumping into people occasionally and turning around once or twice, just in case he walked passed her without realizing. His heart was beating furiously and his mind was spinning incessantly but just as before, the image of her materialized out of nowhere and he could see her standing just a few metres in front, waiting to cross another road. He ran passed everyone in his way just to reach her (but not without apologizing if he bumped into them).
As he finally caught up by her side, he half panted but fully smiled. Her companion let out a soft cough and giggled. She furrowed her brows at first, and then suddenly turned her head to face him.
His grin certainly touched his eyes.
"Hey there. I suppose you don't believe in love at first sight then," he paused to catch his breath, "But it's your second sight of me already. Do y-", he was cut short.
"You don't look any different and definitely not any better, than the first time."
"Well, if you let me know where I can find you, I can go groom myself a bit and walk pass you again," he said with a cheerful tone.
She raised an eyebrow and smiled rather kindly. "Even if you walked pass me ten times, it would make no difference."
The traffic light signaled for the pedestrians to cross the road. She began to step forward but Connor froze on the spot, completely dry of any other ideas. A whole ten seconds passed and she was nearly on the other side of the street when Connor's legs made a sudden sprint and went after her. He passed her and made sure she caught sight of him for the third time. She smiled but ignored him and walked on. Connor let her chat and walk with her companion for another good few minutes but followed her inconspicuously and never letting her out of his sight. Then he made his move again, he walked pass her for the forth time. A few minutes later, the fifth.
Her companion and her giggled but stepped into a boutique and spent a good thirty minutes inside. Connor never left the side of the door. When she stepped out, Connor heard a clear "Thank you, Ms. Pierce," from a female voice before the door closed behind her and the companion. They were both holding a few new bags. His lady in maroon saw him standing there and shook her head.
"Are you stalking me?" she asked (but without any hint of anger).
"Oh no, I was just standing here…looking at something I was thinking of buying," he replied while pointing a finger at the window of the store she just walked out from.
"And what was it you wanted to buy from there?"
Connor had no idea. He had not looked into the store, he had simply leaned against the side of the door when she walked in. He turned his head in hope to find the mannequin wearing something interesting which he could claim he wanted to possess and oh yes, interesting it was. The female plastic standing behind the glass window was half naked, clad in a skimpy pair of red female underwear. Connor looked up at the store's name : Sally's Lingerie.
Connor blushed four shades deeper as his jaw dropped open.
"Just as I thought," she commented and began to walk away.
Connor regained his composure and went after her.
"Well, I figured that if lingerie appealed to you, I could get some and put them on so that I would be appealing as well," he said. Not very smart but it was enough.
She titled her head and laughed the laugh that caught Connor's heart in the first place. Then she said, "You can wear a bra and I still wouldn't give you my number."
Connor faked a shocked look and pouted. She laughed yet again before walking away.
He then kept allowing them to be alone for a few minutes and then purposely walking across their paths, appearing before their sight. By the time she reached the next traffic light where she stood waiting to cross the road, Connor was prepared to run across and meet her there on the other side but it was not to be.
As the light turned green for the pedestrians, Connor casually strolled across the road and waited on the other side. He caught her eyes from across the street and smiled warmly, waiting for her to come across as well. Before he realized what was happening, the red light had come on to stop the pedestrians from crossing the road. Cars started zooming in between them. Connor's face contorted in confusion but magic happened. She waved him goodbye from across the road and tilted her head in the same natural way as she laughed good-naturedly. As the image of her was lost amongst the sea of people, Connor felt incomplete. Who could blame him? She had walked away with his heart in her hands.
It took Connor a mere fifteen minutes to catch a cab and head back to the doorstep of his apartment. He wasted no time in turning on his computer, going online and login in straight to the directories.
Thank you, Ms. Pierce.
He typed in Pierce and the city name then he smiled. One second later, he frowned. There were a good one hundred and thirty four Pierces in the search result. Connor's throat gave a low moan but a second later, the look on his face said confidently, "I will find her."
Connor printed all the names, addresses and telephone numbers out before his more logical side took over.
What if she's not listed in the directory?
Oh, she has to be…
Let's say she is…but it is under a different city. What if she doesn't live here?
She lives here…
She could be from out of town.
She isn't. She lives here.
Determined, Connor went through the names with extremely small sized font one by one. He grabbed a nearby pen and crossed out all the names which sounded either definitely male or maybe male. Then he crossed out all the names which neither indicated whether they were females or males. He was left with thirty nine names.
What if she was one of the names you crossed out?
No, she isn't.
Your brain thinks she might be.
My heart knows she's not.
Bracing himself for a long evening, Connor started dialing the numbers to each of the thirty nine names, starting with those who lived near the streets in which he saw her just less than an hour ago.
The first number was answered by an old shaky female voice.
"Ms. Pierce, please," he requested
"There's no Ms. Pierce. It's Mrs. Pierce here," the shaky voice replied.
No, this could not be Her.
"Sorry, Mrs. Pierce. I must have got the wrong number."
One down, thirty eight more to go.
"Hello!?" A man's voice bellowed.
"Oh, hello. Ms. Pierce, please?"
Connor read the name from the directory, "Celeste Pierce."
"I am Celeste Pierce," the man answered.
"Oh, I'm sorry, sir. I-"
"Oh go fuck off."
Connor let out a sigh. His fingers started dialing the third number.
"Hello?" came a sweet female voice from the other end.
"Hey. Can I speak to Ms. Pierce, please?"
"Hold on a moment." Connor was a tad bit disappointed.
"Hellooooo?" Another female voice spoke, just as sweet.
"Yes, this is she."
"Ms. Pierce, I am calling from, err, Sally's Lingerie and I wanted to tell you we have accidentally overcharged you this even-"
"I didn't go over to Sally's today."
"Oh, I'm sorry then. My assistant must have given me the wrong number."
"It's okay. Goodness knows how many Pierces visit your store," she said with a little laugh.
Connor laughed along, knowing only too well the exact number of Pierces in the city, "I'm sorry to disturb you. We'll see you at Sally's soon then. Have a good day."
Connor hung up.
What the hell do you think you are doing? There's no way you're gonna find her!
It's only the third number and we're giving up? No way.
That girl was so sweet and you have her number already!
But that girl isn't Her.
You don't even know Her.
Connor started dialing the forth number. The ring seemed endless. Nobody picked up. The same happened to the fifth and sixth number.
Uh-oh. What if she hasn't gone home? She was still shopping just now ya know.
Connor pondered for a minute. Then he decided to keep dialing.
Two hours and eight minutes later, Connor has dialed every one of the thirty nine numbers. Two were actually men (one even an old man), five were elderly ladies, one was a fierce missus, two which said Ms. Pierce went outstation, and seventeen others were female Pierces of all sorts - friendly, angry, irritated, impatient, sweet, flirtatious, talkative, single, married and one, from the moaning sounds emanating behind her, was definitely in the middle of something...errr… something. One of those seventeen left Connor a clear memory, she did visit Sally's today and was more than overjoyed to hear that she had been overcharged. Connor was not sure is she was The One. Thus, he then mentioned that her companion had also accidentally left an important belonging there.
That was when she said, "Oh, Jake left something there?" and Connor knew it was another wrong hit.
Eleven of those numbers went unanswered. Connor could only sit back and try again later.
After a nice relaxing shower, a dinner of take-away pizzas and half an hour of pacing around his apartment, Connor lifted the phone again. He started on the numbers that went unanswered.
The first two remained unanswered.
The next one said that Ms. Pierce had moved out a week ago.
Shit. What if this is Her?
"Could you possibly have the number to her new home?"
"Sorry, I don't but I heard she moved across the state and won't be coming back."
Phew. So it can't be her.
The forth number was a ruddy boyfriend who started scolding his girlfriend for having a guy calling her. Connor decided she wasn't the one either. His Her did not look like the type who would let her boyfriend dominate the relationship.
Then it struck him.
What if she already has a boyfriend?
Connor shook that thought out of his head and proceeded with the next number.
"Hello, may I speak to Ms. Pierce please?"
"That would be moi."
"Ms. Pierce, I was wondering if you dropped by Sally's Lingerie today," alright, after so many phone calls, Connor's original script had changed slightly.
"Why would you wonder such a thing, I wonder?"
"Sir, if you are a complete pervert who is stalking me, I sh-"
"No, no, Ms. Pierce, you misunderstood me."
Ms. Pierce chuckled. "I have? Pity. I was about to say that I shall pull open the curtains to my apartments and strip for you by the window."
Connor gasp. A little too loud.
"Enjoying it already?"
"No, no, Ms. Pierce. I didn't mea-"
"Ohh…why don't you just come up to my room. I know you want me."
Connor slammed the phone down. Then he regretted.
What if that was Her?
No, it couldn't be. She's not like that.
Yeah, like you know.
Connor ran his hand through his hair. He was getting a little frustrated. Okay, more than a little. Nobody has ever captured his breath the way her laughter did. But what if his logical mind was right? What if none of these numbers belonged to her? What if she was married or had a boyfriend? What if she was not the person he thought she was? What if…what if…?
No more what ifs!
He dialed the next number.
"Pierce's residence," a male voice wafted through the mouthpiece.
"Is Ms. Pierce in?" Connor asked.
The man chuckled. "Hold on a sec."
Then Connor hear him shout "Honey, there's a man looking for Miss Pierce!"
Then a very familiar voice replied, "Oh, tell him she's not available."
The man chuckled again. A few seconds later, someone else spoke over the mouthpiece.
"This is Mrs. Pierce."
"Yes? Oh, are you calling from Platinue? Is my new ring ready?"
Before Connor could answer, she went on, "Oh, I'm so clumsy. I should have never misplaced my ring. Now, I've gone walking around for a week without a ring and everyone thinks I'm single."
Sweat broke upon Connor's forehead.
"Mrs. Pierce, I'm actually calling from Sally's Lingerie," Connor tried to go on politely.
"Yes, the store overcharged you today."
Please tell me you haven't been there today. Please tell me you haven't been there today.
"Is that so? Would you give me a minute? Let me check my bills."
Connor almost screamed out in agony. His other fist was clenched up tightly. He could almost hear the devil's laughter ringing through his ears.
"Well, the bill looks right."
"I'm sorry to bother you then, Mrs. Pierce. My assistant might have given me the wrong name. By the way, we found a piece of lost jewelry in the store today. Could it have been yours or your friend's?" Connor just wanted to check that this was really Her.
"Hmm…I did not lose anything today. It could be Zizi's though. I could ask her for you if you'd like. She's a little clumsy and she's from out of town. She'd be devastated to have lost anything."
Connor was only paying half his attention to her. He could not have cared less about that ZZ woman. He wanted Her. Connor sighed.
The Pierce woman laughed. "She's really clumsy I tell you. She tripped over her new red heels today."
Connor almost did not hear her. But something about that line rang in his ears and he snapped up to attention.
"Ms. ZZ tripped over her red heels? Was she hurt?" he asked.
"No, thank goodness. Her new maroon dress tore a bit but she's fine."
Connor's heart started pounding in his ears.
"You said she's from out of town, Mrs. Pierce?"
"She's enjoying the city, I hope?"
Mrs. Pierce laughed. "The city is enjoying her more like it. This is just her first day here and three men have already hit on her. One of those silly boys even when as far as to following her around the streets."
"He must really like her."
"Maybe. But she's not interested."
Connor's heart took a pause.
"Oh, why is that? Is your friend married, Mrs. Pierce?"
"Nothing like that. She's as single as single can be."
Connor's heart leaped with joy and started thundering again.
Then Connor heard a distant male voice shouting, "Honey, are you chatting with a stranger again?"
He heard Mrs. Pierce laugh.
"Oh, I better go now," she said to Connor.
"Wait, Mrs. Pierce, I wouldn't want to trouble you any further about this matter. Would you be kind enough to give me Ms. ZZ's number so that I can give her a ring and ask her about the misplaced jewelry?"
"I can only give you her cell. She's currently staying in a hotel."
A minute later, Connor was jumping and thumping the air with a piece of paper in his hand containing the hotel name and number to a certain Ms. Rosalyn MacKenzie.
The next morning, Connor woke up very early (if you believe that he slept at all) and did some grooming before picking out his smartest looking casual wear and took his best overcoat out of the closet. He made himself breakfast while whistling and humming "You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me Haappyyy (he took a pause here and checked out his reflection on the Refrigerator door)...when skies are grey…"
He set out early and stopped by two different stores. Then, with a smile permanently planted across his face, he practically skipped to her hotel.
He waited jovially at the lobby for almost an hour, greeting everyone he saw. Like a rose amongst a bed of thorns, she appeared in a white knee length dress and less spiky hair. The image of her blew the wind (and every other metaphoric organ) out of Connor. He sashayed his way into her vision and bowed like a gentleman before her.
"Good morning, my lady."
She stood there dumfounded for a few seconds.
"How…How did you find me?"
"Oh, fate works in mysterious ways, my lady, but the streets of this city do not. I will find you one way or the other," he said so confidently he almost forgot all the trouble he went through the evening before.
Her expression was neutral. Then she said, "But I've already told you that even if you walked pass me ten times, I will not-"
"And therefore, this would be the eleventh time I am coming across your path. I walked pass you ten times yesterday. Ten was not good enough for you? Eleven sights should be sufficient," Connor said with a wink.
The look of delightful surprise on her face gave Connor an extra push. He whipped out a single red rose from inside his overcoat and presented it before her.
"I never said I like roses," came her retort.
"Ahh... but you don't have to like them, my lady…" Connor said as he broke the stem, stepped towards her, brushed one side of her hair behind her ears and gently placed the rose between her ear and her face.
"…As long as the rose likes you. Oh, your beauty complements the rose," he praised with a cheeky smile.
"And next," he began with a wave of his hand and strode to a chair nearby. From behind the chair, he pretended to magically produce an adorable little bouquet of lilac gloxinias. He bowed again before her, very gentlemanly, and held out the bouquet for her.
"I never said I liked gloxinias either."
He looked up, hurt written across his face.
"Do you know what gloxinia's represent, my lady?"
"I'm afraid I don't. Would you care to enlighten me, my kind sir?" she asked, playing along.
"My lady," he addressed her politely, "gloxinias mean love at first sight and I have exactly eleven here for you."
Her face was expressionless for a while. Connor wondered if she was touched, or shocked, or even possibly, horrified. Then the magic moment came. For Connor, it all happened in slow motion. She tilted her head ever so slightly, her eyes lit up playfully and she laughed from the heart.
Connor could have melted right there and then.
She took the bouquet from him but said, "I also said that even if you wore a bra, I would not give you my number."
"But my lady, what use would your number be when I have already found where you reside?"
"I could go to another hotel."
"Oh, you're a heartbreaker. Fine then, what if…" Connor started to take off his overcoat and unbuttoned his shirt. It didn't matter that he already had her number, he still wanted her to give it to him herself.
She gasped in surprise as Connor took off his shirt to reveal his almost bare chest. Well, if it wasn't for the piece of sports bra he just purchased from Sally's, his chest would have been bare.
Then he said, "And even if me wearing a bra isn't enough to get your number…" He began unzipping his jeans. It was already a quarter way down his rear when she spotted a shiny red thong beneath it. She quickly reached out to stop him but he had already pushed his jeans all the way down. She tried to look away but the lacy thong covering his crotch screamed for attention.
"A bra and a thong. Would that be enough for my lady to give me her number?" Connor asked good-humouredly.
She looked at him and laughed. Connor, all six feet of him, almost naked, save the sports bra and red thong (he clearly has never purchased a set of lingerie before) standing in a crowded area in hope of wooing the one woman he knew he had fallen in love with the day before.
"You're crazy," she said between laughter.
"Yes, I am. I'm crazy for you."
She gazed into his eyes. He gazed back at her. We will never know if Cupid was behind the flying sparks when eyes meet, but we do know that sparks flew when those two pair of eyes met. Connor froze in anticipation. She smiled sweetly.
"Alright, alright. What do you want?" she asked with her hands akimbo (and a smile across her face).
"Your number. And possibly a date tonight. How does dinner sound?"
She seemed to be considering. "You're not interested in my name?"
"Should I be? It is you I am interested in and nothing else."
"That's weird. Don't you need a name to call me by? I need a name to call you."
"Ah, I already have names for you. Sweetie, honeybee, cupcake, bella, superwoman, badgirl, babe...my lady. You can call me asshole for all I care."
She laughed that laugh again. Connor was about scream I Love You if it wasn't for the hotel manager who coughed politely and said "Sir, if you don't mind," while holding out his shirt for him.
Connor chuckled and dressed up again, but not before she helped him out of the sports bra. It wasn't until then that they finally realized that an audience had gathered around them, watching curiously and listening intently.
"So is that a yes for dinner at seven? And maybe a tour around the city right after this? Along with your phone number?" Connor asked brightly.
She nodded slowly but assuringly.
Connor leaped into the air and shouted a "Yes!"
Then he smiled quite shyly and asked in almost a whisper, "What about a kiss…or two… or a few dozens later this evening? And maybe whole future together?"
She returned the smile and looked down shyly. "Who knows? Maybe."
In a swift, graceful, movement, Connor lifted her up and swung her around while shouting a loud woo-hoo!
The audience cheered and applauded and there they stood, in the middle of a throng of clapping and whistling audience. It took a full ten minutes of them smiling shyly and blushing before the crowd fully dispersed. Connor was then looking at her and nothing but her. She looked up into his eyes and everytime she did that, electricity sparked and she had to look away while biting lightly at her lips.
"So, my lady, your number, please?" Connor finally asked.
She smiled and began telling him a series of number which he had already memorized the night before.
"And my kind sir, I don't really fancy calling you asshole. Your name please?" she asked oh so sweetly that Connor knew he was probably dead and lying in heaven.
"Connor Wayne at your service, my lady."
If you were there and listened close enough, you would have heard a small but significant voice just when she was about to tell him her own name.
Rosalyn Mackenzie. Check.
A/N - if you're one of my readers for MMatJ, I'm SO Sorry I haven't updated. Writer's block plus College deadlines equals to inability to write & update. Sorry! I'll get back to it ASAP!