A Fated Encounter

I snickered knowingly when I feel his eyes burn into my back yet again. I whipped my head around to meet his gaze; fiery amber eyes clashing with startled brown ones. He was definitely not expecting me to notice him and was quite embarrassed. It was painfully evident by him hurriedly casting his gaze to the ground, suddenly more interested in the trash littering the area than in me.

I was still in awe that I was even at this concert. Liquid Lagoon performances almost always sell out the moment they go on sale. It seemed fate was on my side though; a radio show was giving away a ticket to their concert here, and I happened to be lucky caller number seven. Unfortunately, with only a single ticket, I was unable to attend this concert with Russell. However, I now wonder if that was what people would call a ‘blessing in disguise’. After all, this attractive guy was checking me out, and no one was here to stop me.

I quickly finished off the rest of my drink and started to walk towards him, my bright red hair swishing in its long ponytail. He was still gazing intently at the ever-so-fascinating plastic bottles and burger wrappers that littered the dull concrete flooring, so when I went to introduce myself, he practically fainted in shock.

“Wow, I didn’t know I looked that bad,” I said teasingly.

“No!” He blurted out in a flustered frenzy as he tried to recollect himself in vain. “Not at all! You’re beautiful!” The instant those words left his mouth, his blush brightened tenfold.

I gave him the most charming smile that I could manage. “You think I’m beautiful? That’s so sweet.” I slid into the seat next to him as I extended my hand.

“My name’s Anna.”

He ogled at my perfectly manicured, crimson nails, his mouth gaping open in a stupidly adorable manner. I giggled flirtatiously as I asked him what his name was.

“Oh! M-my name is Shawn,” he stutters out hastily and awkwardly shakes my hand. I take this moment to scan over him myself.  My eyes were immediately drawn to a glint of gold that flickered under the stage lights and I noticed a rolex watch sitting elegantly on his wrist, signifying that must have a decent bit of cash. I couldn’t help the thrill rushing through my veins with the knowledge of this fact. He has black, unkempt hair that looked strikingly dark against his pale complexion. He possessed a rather sinewy physique that normally would not fit into the criteria I had with men, but I contemplated making an exception for him, just this once. Besides, Russell was a huge muscle head and to be honest, that got quite boring very quickly. I think the most distinguishing feature about him, however, had to be his eyes. It was difficult to get a long, hard look at them, with them darting all over the place as he refused to meet my gaze. However, when the strobe lights from the stage hit them in a certain manner, I could see tints of amber flare up in his rich, chestnut eyes.

Disturbed by the silence that hung in the air between us, Shawn began to ask me questions about myself. Like what my favorite food was, where I was from, if I had a boyfriend (which I said ‘no’, and it’s technically not a lie; Russell and I are engaged to be married this summer).

After he was through with his trivial interrogation, Shawn offered to buy me a drink, which surprised me. After all, I had just met him and the beverages at this concert were outrageously expensive. Nonetheless, I eagerly accepted his offer.

He gave me endearing, affectionate smile and promised me he’d be right back. After he walked off I began to wonder how lonesome my paramour must be right about now. Not that I actually cared. Russell and I had been dating for only six months before he proposed, and I couldn’t help but pity the fool.

To be honest, I never really even liked him. I liked his face. I mean, who wouldn’t. He had long, dirty blonde hair that brushed his shoulders. That coupled with his icy blue eyes and muscle-bound body; it was enough to make any girl swoon.  I was never serious about him, and I didn’t think he was serious about me, up until the day he proposed. I told myself I would never get married, never get tied down to a single man, but then I took a look at the ring he was offering me. Several sparkling diamonds were elegantly placed to form a single, stunning rose. It looked glamorous. It looked expensive.

I said yes.

“Anna…? Anna!”

I was ripped out of my thoughts by a gentle voice calling out my name in a fluster. I looked up to see Shawn, holding two unopened cans, with his eyebrows furrowed in concern.

“Are you ok?”

“Yeah, just…thinking.”

He then looked at me with a sincere look in his sepia eyes that made my heart pound erratically in my chest

“You wanna talk about it?”

The look on his face was so real, so genuine that I almost felt guilty about deceiving him. Almost.

“The only thing I want to talk about is you, Shawn.”

Shawn then gave me a sheepish smile as a light pink shade dusted across his pastel cheeks. And as our conversation progressed onwards, both he and I began to forget about the insignificant thoughts that had previously pestered me.

As we chatted away about trivial things, I couldn’t help but realize that this was the best I’ve felt in a long time. Shawn just had this aura around him. I felt I could tell him anything and he would listen to every word I said, no matter how obscure or insignificant they might seem. Countless times that night I find myself wanting to tell him about my predicament with Russell, but managed to halt myself before the words would spill out of my mouth. I was never this undisciplined before and it slightly disturbed me that my guard had somehow lowered without my acknowledgement.  It was as if I was getting more and more intoxicated with each and every enticing word that was spoken with his alluring voice.

As the sun set even further into the indigo sky, Shawn decided to vocalize his inquiry about my profession.

“Yeah I do make a lot of money,” I blurt out elegantly and a little too loudly. I guess I might have drank a little too much, but right now I couldn’t care less “My job is so stressful, and this is the first day off I had in such a long time.”

“Really? Where do you work?” Shawn asks, intrigued.

“I’m a marketing manager at Holland Incorporated,” I lie as I reached for my drink.

In reality, I didn’t work at all. Russell was the marketing manager at Holland. But even if I was a slightly out of my right mind this evening, I still possessed enough common sense not to tell him about that little factoid.

“Gosh,” he says incredulously. “IA job like that must pay really well.”

“It does,” I declare arrogantly. “And I’m a pretty big deal there, too.”

After a moment in silence, I decided to turn the tables, “So where do you work?”

He timidly casts his gaze to the ground as he mumbles, “Nowhere special.”

“Really? Well that Rolex watch says otherwise.”

He keeps his head down as he muttered a single word: “Bag boy.”

It took all my concentration not to show my utter repulsion. He worked at a grocery store. That simply means this wasn’t going to last as long as I would have liked.

After the concert finished, he offered to accompany me to my hotel. He said he just didn’t feel right letting a young woman go home alone at 1:00 am, especially since I was inebriate. So we got into his truck and drove to the hotel I was staying at. The entire car drive back was just me trying not to regurgitate all over his seats, not that it would make much of a difference. His truck was completely filthy and not the kind of car I was used to driving in.

When we arrived at the luxurious, 5-star hotel, he helped me out like a perfect gentleman. I began to walk towards the revolving front doors when Shawn gently grabbed my wrist to stop me.

“Um, Anna?”

I turn around to face him. “What is it?”

“Could I give you a hug good-bye? I mean, if it makes you uncomfortable then you don’t-”

I cut off his incoherent rambling as I whisper, “I would like that.”

It was so like him to give such an innocent request, and I just couldn’t stop myself. When our embrace ended, I ended up giving him a peck on the cheek. After that, he quickly stumbled into his truck and drove off. I, on the other hand, quickly stumbled into my hotel room and fell into a state of unconsciousness.

I was woken up by a pounding throb in my head, pulsating in a constant rhythm. I groaned as I hauled myself out of bed and forced myself to pack up my bags. I then trudged my way down to the receptionist’s desk, and was repulsed by her gleeful tone.

“How was your stay here ma’am?” I grunted in response.

She then asked for my payment. I lazily looked in my purse for my wallet, eyes widening to the size of saucers  when I couldn’t find it. I checked and checked until eventually I panicked and dumped out my purse all over the front desk. In sheer horror I discovered that not only was my wallet missing, but my car keys as well.

The receptionist addressed me again, only this time, a lot less pleased. “Your payment ma’am?”

Without even bothering with a response, I ran to the parking lot, only to freeze in absolute horror. There, in the parking lot, was Shawn, gold Rolex watch shining on his wrist, elegant like always, chatting with a brunette, in a bright red mustang convertible. My car.

When Shawn spotted me, I noticed that his warm, sincere eyes were nowhere to be found. Instead, they were full with sarcastic sympathy, as if to say “Sucks to be you.” Then he put his arm over the brunette and sped off.

As I stood there dumbstruck, one thought echoed throughout my mind, starting of in a silent sorrowful whisper, and gradually growing louder and louder until it could no longer be contained by my mouth as I let a single phrase pass through the confinement of my lips.

‘What will Russell say?’

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