The first thing one would notice about this man is that he looks like a work of art. Not in the handsome Greek statue kind of way, no, but straight up pretty. He was tall, lithe and carried himself with a willowy grace. Pale milky skin dotted with blemishes. Delicate features of the face that seemed to be masterfully carved out of soft clay. Messy brown hair that curled artfully over his brows. Tiny eyes the colour of honey, framed by big golden glasses and a slightly crooked smile which had no right to look as adorable as it did.
This man looked like he belonged to a Romantic painting or something - certainly not in this bar, under the harsh orange lights and surrounded by the smell of sweat and cheap booze.
He doesn't look like a person who spends their evenings away in a bar yet this is not the first time I have seen him here. For the past month or so, I have found him sitting at a corner with a drink in hand every Friday night while I performed on stage. I had this little fantasy, I wouldn't lie, that maybe - just maybe - he came just to listen to me. It certainly did not help that the whole time his deep gaze would be fixed on me and out of all the people there, he was the only one paying any attention to the covers of random pop songs I was playing. Something tingles down my spine everytime I think about it.
I have been thinking about talking to him for some time now. I wasn't really sure of what he wanted, I didn't know what I wanted either. But what's the harm in trying once right? It had been like forever since someone had caught my eye and anything that would provide an escape from the stresses of my life, I would grab it with both hands.
I glanced at him as the last song I was playing that night ended. He was alone at the corner table, slightly bent forward, face propped up in his palms, looking my way as if he were there in the audience of a serious concert and I was the soloist. I cast my most charming smile his way. It seemed to hit him like a bullet- he was dumbfounded for a while before turning pink all over - which I noticed even under the golden lights of the bar. He fumbled with his hands and awkwardly turned away.
Man, he sure was adorable.
I suddenly felt a rush of adrenaline and rushed off the stage as quickly as I could. I need to talk to this guy. Back stage in the tiny room I hastily packed away my violin, had a quick look in the mirror and I ran off. Didn't even stop to say hello to Dan or collect my wages for the night.
I need to talk to this guy, catch up with him before he has a chance to leave.
As cliche as it may sound, those few minutes felt momentary. Like an incredible change in my life was just around the corner and I would regret it if I let it slip. I never had much trouble talking to new people yet was rehearsing the words I would say to him in my head- "Hey I have seen you around here a couple of times. I am Brett by the way, would you like to grab a drin-"
The corner seat was empty. I looked around for the now familiar figure, maybe a bit frantically, but he was nowhere to be found. A mix of panic and disappointment settled in my chest.
"He's gone." Ria announced from across the bar.
"What?" I didn't even have time to feel embarrassed that I was being so obvious.
"You're looking for that Asian guy in the white cardigan right?"
"Yeah." I hated how dejected I sounded.
"He just walked off as soon as you went backstage." Ria came around and gave me a loose hug. "I am sorry Brett, don't feel too bad will you?"
"Oh don't worry about me," I gave her a thankful smile, "I have seen worse." I immediately scurried out; the silence of the streets and biting chill of the weather hit my face.
I walked home that night with a sinking feeling in my stomach and a bitter taste in my mouth.