By Veronica Orozco @verozco
Translated by Juliana Achury (Craftisan Translations LLC) firstname.lastname@example.org
I saw him crossing the street. I saw him coming out of his door and coming to where I was. He was taller than I expected and his haircut wasn’t even trendy yet in Medellín. He was wearing a black t-shirt and a pair of black denims. He smelled nice. “He primped himself up for me,” I thought.
I didn’t have the time to make myself pretty. When I saw him, and smelled his cologne, he was all put together and it made me self-conscious about my half-painted fingernails and my unthreaded eyebrows. Today wasn’t the day we were supposed to meet in person. That day was two months ago but it didn’t happen. Today was just a normal day. Office, work, traffic, home. As always, I left my house at 7am, not imagining that at 2pm I would get a message saying: “I’m coming to Medellín and would like to say hello.”
When I got the message my first instinct was: “NO WAY! HOW COULD HE THINK THAT?! I’m horrible, I need a manicure after work, I came to the office with my comfortable-old-lady heels and, well, you just can’t give such short notice. Besides, he knew he was coming at least two days ago, and he could have told me then.” But, after a while, I thought, “Darling, shush. It’s not like he’s the love of your life.” So we agreed to meet at 6pm. I would pick him up after work and we’d grab a drink somewhere in the area.
I had never heard his voice nor shook his hand. Our friendship was based on text messages, Twitter mentions, DMs, inbox emails and every possible social media. “What if he has sweaty hands?” I thought. “What if he has a squeaky voice? Ha, ha. No way. What if he’s gay? You can expect anything from online friendships.”
He crossed the street and hopped into the car. Time didn’t stand still, nor there was a love song playing in the background like when Cupid shoots an arrow in the movies. Thankfully, this was not the right time for it anyway. Nuns in my school clearly stated that you meet the man of your life and marry him forever. And, even if I didn’t say it out loud and hid it behind my modern woman speech, the idea of having already used my only chance at eternal love haunted me on daily basis.
His conversation seemed shy compared to my non-stop mouthful of nervous words. It is amazing how much nonsense you can say per minute when you’re anxious. But after a while we settled into a comfortable state and our energies stabilized. We talked for hours, interrupted only by our own loud laughter.
It was so easy talking to him. Looking him in the eye gave me peace of mind. Making him laugh made me happy. Too bad time didn’t stand still, or a love song didn’t play, or I didn’t marry him on what the nuns said was my first and only chance at love. Too bad, otherwise there was a beautiful possibility that he was the love of my life. We talked about love and broken hearts, happy and miserable jobs, divorce traumas, dream travel destinations. Accompanied by cigarettes and wine, we talked about every possible subject without censorship. It’s so nice to finally meet you.
We went back to the car and I drove him back. While driving, we agreed on meeting again. “When you go to Miami, let me know. I’ll do the same if I come back.” He opened the door to step out and looked me in the eyes. We didn’t say a thing, just smiled. And then time did stand still. And Can’t Fight This Feeling by R.E.O Speedwagon started to play on the car radio.