She sat in a dimly lit corner of the coffee shop I often frequent. I've never seen her before so I assumed she was new in town. I couldn't keep my eyes off of her. Tall, tan, beautiful, and by the look of the book she was reading, incredibly intelligent. By some miracle, I was able to place my order. This may sound a bit trite but I felt there was an aura about her. I was unnaturally attracted to her. I can honestly say I’ve never felt this way about anyone, let alone a complete stranger before. She was completely and utterly captivating. I walked past her. . . Several times. I’m not sure what I was expecting. In a perfect world this woman would see me, call me over, and we’d talk for hours until the coffee shop closed. We’d swing by my place for a late night drink and she’d fall asleep in my arms. Lost in this daydream, I barely heard the barista call my name for my order. I thank the barista and retrieve my order. Normally, I’d just leave and kick myself for saying anything. Ultimately, I’d pine over for the rest of my life and always wonder what could have been with the unlawfully beautiful woman that sat in the dimly lit corner of the coffee shop. I’ve seen my share of beautiful women but this was different. I felt like I needed to know this woman. I felt like I needed to be a part of her life. I felt like she needed to be in mine.
“Hi.” I said
I tried again. This time a little louder.
She looked up.
I smile. In my mind I looked really smooth, however, in reality I probably looked like the creepiest man in the state of New York.
We stared at each other for what seemed like an eternity. It’s funny how a beautiful woman can turn an otherwise confident man into a socially awkward child that completely forgets the logistics of common speech.
“Hi. . . “
“You said that already. . . “
“I did. Sorry. I noticed you when I came in. I don’t normally do this and what I mean by ‘I don’t normally do this’ is I never do this. I think you’re absolutely beautiful. I know you probably get that a lot and I’m truly sorry if I’m bothering you but I’d hate myself for the rest of my life if I didn’t say anything to you. . . My name is Scott, by the way.”
There was an eternal moment of silence. She sat there and stared right through me.
I was completely shocked when she extended hand and said
“My name is Layla.”
“Nice to meet you, Layla. I’ve already said this but you are absolutely gorgeous.”
“Actually, you said I was beautiful. Not the same thing but I appreciate the compliment.”
She smiled. It was hard to gauge whether her smile was genuine or just polite.
“Well, listen. I would love to sit here and chat up the beautiful and tastefully sexy woman at the coffee shop but I have to be somewhere. Can I have your phone number and maybe we could talk or set up a date? I’d love to take you out to dinner.”
She sat there and stared straight through me in the exact same manner as she did during my first introduction.
“Sure. Why the hell not?”
I reached for my cell phone. Nothing there. Of all days to leave my phone at home it had to be the day I met my dream girl. THE dream girl.
“Shit. Hold on a second. I’m going to go grab a pen. Just. . . Stay here.”
“I’ll be right here waiting.”
I smiled. She smiled. At this point, I’d like to think she was charmed by my forwardness.
I ventured over towards the front counter.
“Hey, sorry to bother you. Can trouble you for a pen?” I asked the barista.
He handed me a black ball point pen. I took the pen and scribbled a small design on the palm of my hand to see that it worked. I was happy when it did.
As I walked over to the dimly lit corner of the coffee shop, I was surprised , and frankly shocked , to find that my dream girl had disappeared. And it wasn’t just her. All of her belongings, her books, her coffee, everything had completely disappeared as well. It was as if nobody had ever even been there. It was if she never existed. It was like she vanished.
I looked around the coffee shop thinking maybe she had just moved her stuff or I had misread her location. In hindsight, I now realize how impossible that would have been. I took my eyes off of her maybe twenty seconds at the most. No person could humanly move that fast. It was as if she was a. . . ghost.
Confused, I walked back to the front counter of the coffee shop.
“What can I do for you, boss? You can keep the pen, by the way.” the barista asked.
“Thanks. To be honest, I was going to keep the pen anyway but I don’t feel as bad now that you’ve offered it to me. That’s beside the point. Anyway, did you see where that woman went.?”
“What woman?” the barista asked.
“The beautiful woman that was sitting in that dim corner.”
“There hasn’t been a person sitting there all day.”
“Nobody’s sat there at all today.”
“That’s impossible. There was a woman there. A beautiful woman.”
“Are you sure about that, pal?”
“I’m telling you. I’ve been here all day and I haven’t seen any one sit there.”
“Are you sure? Her name was Layla. She was tall. Had a nice tan. She was well read and by the looks of it very intelligent. She sat in that corner over there. She was. . . Perfect.”
“Sounds like a real catch but I can assure you nobody was over there. Take it for me, kid. If something sounds like it’s too good to be true, chances are, it probably is.”