Chapter 10: Libby
Walking into Times Square is like walking into Wal-Mart. It’s bright, colorful, loud, and obnoxious.
Like the rest of New York, the entire street is lit up beautifully, and the pedestrians walking up and down the sidewalks are a mix of New Yorkers and tourists. I give myself a once-over and conclude that I’m passing as just another person taking a walk, but when I begin to get caught up in all of the tourist attractions, I know I’ve lost the Yankee’s respect.
“Wow,” I sigh, staring at the gigantic American Apparel I always saw on Tumblr. “This is real life,” I remind myself, repeating this to myself periodically when life doesn’t seem real. Having to snap myself out of my phase after about fifteen minutes of wandering around the street, I maneuver myself to a spot where no one is busy walking or calling a taxi, and fish Liv’s beloved list out of my pocket.
Scanning the list, I immediately spot one: Go to Times Square. “Ha! I’m done!” I giggle to myself, mentally checking that one off. Looking for more, I find a few that are definitely not ones that I would love to do. Climb in a taxi and scream “Follow that car!” or Kiss a stranger in Times Square.
Biting my lip, I decide that I’ve had enough of taxi drivers for one day, and that kissing isn’t going to be such a bad thing... I think. “This will be an interesting first kiss,” I mutter to myself, folding the piece of paper back up and stuffing it deep into my pocket.
Groaning is exasperation, I look around at the busy bodies hurrying past me and down the streets. There are a few here and there that are stopped on the side of the sidewalks, calling cabs and speaking on telephones. This is going to be so frigging disgusting, I can’t even believe she wrote this in here-
But then my mumbling stops.
Because there, right in front of me, is the most saddest, most mesmerizing person I’ve ever seen before. Sad seemed like the right word for him, his eyes downcast and his clothes light and camouflaged within the walls of the building he’s standing against. Instinctively, without thinking, I step forward, curious about this man that I’ve never even met before. He was attractive, but he sends off a vibe that he doesn’t want to be bothered. Like he’s witnessed the worst thing a person can see, and if you talk to him, he will make you sad too.
But then he looks up, and suddenly I’m not afraid anymore. His eyes are the most breathtaking blue I’ve ever seen, and his curly dark hair is tousled by him constantly weaving his fingers through it. I take another step forward, and our gazes lock. My breath stops, and he gives me the most innocent look I’ve ever seen a grown man wear. Like he is pleading for me to save him from... from something.
We hold our gaze for a minute longer, and a warmth grows in my veins from just imagining his presence next to mine. I smile. And then the spell breaks.
My smile dropping, I watch as he looks back down at his sneakers and carries on with his life like our little exchange didn’t even happen. Flustered and utterly embarrassed, I hesitantly turn back around, when an inner voice screams at me to look back at him.
Dazed and utterly confused, I walk to where the sad man stands and wonder what the hell I’m suppose to do next. He blinks up in surprise, my presence obviously not expected by him. I gaze at his sharp face and his sad features, wondering what happened in his life to make him this upset and what is the key to his happiness. I search for my source of happiness, and come up empty. My thoughts are gone; my mind is numb.
But then his being is so vivid; his breath, my breath. His icy eyes and my heart thumping against my chest.
This is the night I kiss a stranger in Times Square.