Monday, May 27, 2013

ORDINARY PEOPLE | C01 | "Shower to Shower"

Shower to Shower.
I need a bottle of Shower to Shower.

I push my wagon through the health and beauty section looking for the Shower to Shower. I turn the corner of the hair products aisle when I first see him. A quick glance of instant attraction; the kind of chemistry that draws two people together is aflutter. He is not a "pretty boy" by any stretch of the imagination. In that moment, I realize that I have never seen such beautiful skin. Coffee brown. His shoulders, broad and wide. The way the sweater lay on his chest indicates the body underneath. I'd bet that he plays rugby.

I quickly move past him, looking for my Shower to Shower powder.  I love the smell of that powder. I'm not leaving the store until I find it. I am doing laps in the health and beauty section and am still unsuccessful in my attempt to find my powder. I pass 'coffee brown' again. He looks up at me and grins.

Is he grinning at me? I blush and move past him for the second time. I notice that his head is shaped like a football. Very oval. Not round. His legs are hidden beneath a comfortable pair of khaki pants, white low-cut tennis shoes, and a beige light-weight sweater with a thin blue stripe across his chest.

Was I looking that hard? He looked a little lost and quizzical, like he wanted to ask me a question. I keep walking down the aisle and giggle as I realize he's standing in front of the feminine products. Where is the darn Shower to Shower?

As I round the aisle again, my cart collides with another cart. 

"Sorry. Excuse me," Coffee Brown grins.

"It's okay. No harm done," I retort.

I suddenly feel self-conscious about the current condition of my hair. The humidity of the day has rendered my hair a birds nest of frizz. Couple that with the aroma of my drying sweat rising from my gym clothes and I am a total disaster.

I begin to maneuver past him but he's stopped still and unmoving.

"Whoops. Excuse me," I tell him.

"You're not excused. I'm not moving," says Coffee Brown with a faint accent.
"I have a question to ask you, if you don't mind."

"I don't work here. I'm a customer just like you are."

His arrogance makes me gag and just like that, I imagine stamping a big "ACCESS DENIED" across his forehead before filing him away in my mind. My 30-second  size-up of him was obviously just physical. His exposed conceit is not exactly my cup of tea.

"I know that," he says, with his chin up and his eyes staring down at me.

I attempt to shuffle past him. He moves his cart to block my progress. I look up at him dead in his eye, tilt my head to the left, and purse my lips. A wicked smile parts his lips, revealing a beautiful set of white teeth.

"So do you have time for a question, Miss _______," he trails off, waiting for me to fill in the blank.

"You can't pronounce it even if I tell you what it is," I tell him.

"Try me."

Even though my name is the simplest name you could imagine, I instantly try to think of the long Hawaiian names in my genealogy just so I can be right. Hmmm... I have the perfect name.

"Keli'ikuhalahala. Try that," I respond.

He repeats after me. My great, great, great, great grandfather's name rolls off his tongue. Surprised, I pull my cart back, shrug my shoulders, and step around him.

I turn around to see if he's following me and watch him, with his back turned already, walk away from me. Weird! I roll my eyes and wonder what just went down. I make my way to the check out, thoroughly frustrated that I didn't find the Shower to Shower but more frustrated by my interaction with 'coffee brown'.

As I'm loading my car, I hear a motorcycle pull up to me. I look up expecting to see 'coffee brown'. He has invaded my thoughts in such a short period of time. At first, it was the sight of him in front of the feminine products that caught my attention in a good way. Then, his arrogance irritated me. Top it off, he walks away from me after our little interaction.

I turn to see who has pulled up next to me and find 'coffee brown'. In his hand is a single, yellow rose.

"Miss Keli'ikuhalahala, this is for you," he says.

He hands me the rose, revs his engine then takes off.

My mouth is agape as I stand there with this yellow rose in my hand. I notice a few people stare and grin at whatever they just witnessed. I don't know how the audience interprets the exchange between 'coffee brown' and I but my brain is reeling. I watch him ride away. I don't know his name. I know nothing about him except for my very confusing first impression.

I sit in my car thinking about the last thirty minutes. What just happened? Why am I sitting here in utter disbelief about the events that have transpired. My hunt for Shower to Shower resulted in a yellow rose from a complete stranger. The mystery of him takes root in my mind and I wonder when our paths will cross again.

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