The weather seemed bright and the chirping of the birds on the trees was as though in response to the song playing in her heart.
Lara knew she was smiling sheepishly even as she strolled towards the park. She had chosen that spot because she was not only an introvert and thus, hated crowds or selfishly because it was a stone throw from her house but also because it was one of easiest place to sneak off to without raising suspicion at home.
It was the first time she had done anything rebellious and it felt good.
To her defense though, it was for a good cause. Lara had lived with loneliness since she could ever remember and today, that was going to change.
She was meeting the love of her life, the fact that she was going to be seeing him for the first time did not seem to matter at that particular moment.
All that mattered to her was that the loneliness was about to overwhelm her and she was desperate to do away with it.
She had grown up with busy parents and being an only child, her only companions had been toys and her stern nanny. This affected Lara grossly and though, she was a very interesting person, nobody got to know because she kept her distance from people.
The people who had tried to be her friends had eventually retreated when they discovered she was unsociable. She had decided she had a problem when at her final year in school she had not experienced any serious wooing from guys.
Of course, she had had her share of silly guys coming up to her but even with her minimal knowledge about these matters, she had known they were just leeches.
The fact that once she hit puberty, her previously not-so-attentive parents monitored her like a hawk worsened her situation.
How they were able to do that amidst their cumbersome schedules was beyond her but of course, they had servants –her driver, for instance who drove her to and from school and knew all her movements – who for unfathomable reasons pledged unflinching loyalty to her parents. Little wonder she was a recluse at 22, a normally fun and perky age.
Well, it was just as well everything was about to change. As hard as it was to believe and though this was going to be her first date, she found she wasn’t nervous at all. She was actually anticipating seeing Joe.
They had been chatting for months on end and she was sure they knew more about each other than most conventional couples. He had made it easy for her to tell him anything even as he had also regaled her with different tales about his life.
The fact that he looked good in the picture she had seen was just a plus, she was not superficial at all, and outward appearance had nothing on her. She did indeed appreciated that he caught on with fashion but considering she was not vain, even if he lacked fashion sense, all she needed was that he be good to her.
It was more important to her that he was a hardworking man with potential, that they could talk on the phone for hours without getting bored, he could make her laugh, he challenged her and made her want to be a better person, he gave her something to look forward to each day and that simply, he made her happy.
She concluded that he had to be her soul mate; there was no doubt about it. Nobody could understand you that well otherwise. Now it was time to see him and she couldn’t be happier.
Eagerly, she turned into the street where the park was and raised her head to scan the area.
When he called her at home to tell her he had gotten to the park, he had told her he was putting on a multi-colored shirt on Jeans.
She was wondering where he could be as she neared the park, then she sighted him. Her first reaction was mild shock that unsteadied her, then horror, then full blown disdain. In a heartbeat, she ran into the mini-mart that was just adjacent to the park so he wouldn’t see her.
Luckily for her, he had been facing the opposite direction when he stepped out. She tried to calm herself don when she discovered she was getting agitated, which as far as she was concerned was overreaction. To say Joe was turned out to be unexpected was a huge understatement.
The guy had zero fashion sense and all the talk she gave herself about caring more about his personality flew out the window. When he had told her he was putting on jeans, she had naturally assumed it was blue or black or even one of those other cool colours of conventional denim pants. Yellow would never have crossed her mind on a grown man, especially as he combined it with a multicolored shirt.
This was totally unacceptable in the world of fashion and she should know, next from movies, fashion magazines were her hobbies. As a matter of fact, it was supposed to be illegal, this was one of the days she wished Joan Rivers was alive.
There was no chance she on earth she was letting this relationship or whatever it was go any further. She was just so glad the mini-mart was crowded as usual, thus nobody noticed her rambling. It struck her then that she might have jumped to conclusions and they weren’t the same person.
With her heart in her mouth, she took and called him while peeping through a window to see who would pick the call. Her heart literally stopped when she saw him pick the call, just as she heard his melodious “hello”. She had forgotten he also had one of the best voices in town.
The sickening feeling in the pit of her stomach increased as a notch even as she held the phone to her ear and heard him say, “Hello, are you there, Lara? Can you her me?” With a resigning sigh, she hung up and switched off her phone.
She knew there was no way they could work, not with him dressing so badly, she quickly suppressed the tiny voice in her head telling her maybe it wasn’t a habitual thing and today was just one of his bad days.
If he could dress like this on a first date, then it would be worse, not better. She wouldn’t bother that some people would question why she wouldn’t even spend the day with him at least considering the stress he must have gone through to come over but she could not stand spending a second with him, looking like that.
She wasn’t going to think about her earlier opinion about outward appearances either, appearances were important, if not a priority. She refused to feel guilty about this, he was solely to blame he wasted his time coming all the way amidst the heavy traffic.
There was a reason why the saying, ‘the way you are dressed is the way you will be addressed” is so prevalent. She could imagine the horror that would be on her mother’s face if she were to meet him, and not to mention how embarrassing and awkward it would be to be seen with him.
The fact that he was everything else she wanted in a man or that she had thought he was her soul mate did not seem to matter at this point. In fact, she was beginning to doubt that because the man for her wouldn’t be that out of touch with fashion.
How a sweet and intelligent man like him could lack dress sense was beyond her. The picture she saw must have been his best look ever and little wonder he had not shown her more with that silly excuse of been camera shy; she couldn’t believe she fell for the oldest trick in the book. Well, it didn’t matter anymore; they were done.
She rather be alone than spend another minute with him via internet or otherwise. It wasn’t even like she was desperate or anything or like that, she was still very young; she had ample time to find the right one. It was just so bad Joe hadn’t turned to be the one.
Awesome personality or not, she wanted a guy she could be proud to be seen and associated with.