This tale was written for Fandango’s Dog Days of August #8
Today’s Prompt is: something or someone you admire
Here’s something I have had absolutely no experience with – falling in love and sharing love is special skill that’s completely avoided me. Anyway – I hope you like it.
Admiration to Infatuation
I’m Oscar and I admit my priorities, my reasons changed. I used to go down the park every day during my work break; just to decompress and relax before finishing my shift. Since she arrived, I had to go to see if she was there. To watch her train as she seems to do every day became important to me.
The park is a small little-known one tucked between the office blocks of the city centre. It boasts a single field too small for sports. An avenue of oak, lime and birch trees encircle it with benches dotted here and there. Very few ever venture there, that’s why it became my relaxing place until she came.
This particular day, I entered through the gate and turned left under the trees. I gazed through the sun-dappled light and a grin brightens my face. There she is, already performing a warrior-pose upon the fresh-cut lawn. At ease with the world, she moves with grace and elegance into a tree-pose. She lets out a breath and rolls over her shoulders into a crab position. With impossible flexibility, she turns that into a downward-dog and finally a resting child’s-pose.
I realise I froze in admiration as she did her yoga. I picked up my pace and took a bench beneath a silver birch. It’s warm, so I undid my suit jacket and tried to relax in the sun. My eyes remained glued to her. I wish I knew her name. Her long chestnut hair in its perfect ponytail mesmerised me. The way her black-and-burgundy striped sports vest accentuate her pretty shoulders and her fit and elegant shape always leave me longing to be with her. Yet I know I won’t ever get to talk to her. I can’t even bear to go over and ask her name.
With her yoga complete she’s a picture of focus as she daintily rolls her spine straight and stands with beautiful poise and closes her eyes. Then she’s off running, a half dozen steps see her turning majestic cartwheels and front flips. Landing on slightly bended knees, I noticed her steal a look at me as I swiftly averted my gaze. I dared to look back in time to see her vault and twist into backflips to land back beside her things. For a while longer she practised her gymnastics with me watching, doing everything I can not to go near her. I didn’t wish to scare her or make her go away. To never see her again would be worse than never speaking to her at all. This is the seventeenth workday in a row I’ve enjoyed watching her. I know I’m becoming obsessed; how can you not when you admire a person in every way.
She was done with her exercise. I knew she’ll leave now and I could troop back to work. She rolled her mat into her rucksack and popped her shoes back on. I could feel her relaxed aura as she walked with great charm from the field. Only then did I breathe again. I know one day I must stop being a creepy coward and talk to her if I wish to become a part of her life. I—
“Heya, handsome. I’ve seen you watching me for a while now. Do you intend to do anything else?”
I looked over my shoulder and nearly had a heart attack. My adrenaline spiked, my mouth went as dry as the Mojave desert and I found myself struggling to breathe. The lady I admire and desire more than anything is stood two feet from me. “I … Umm. Y-ahh … I err – Hi!“ I flushed tomato red and felt red hot. At least the little demon in mind was active. ‘Well done you, idiot! This is why you couldn’t go and talk to her – you become a bumbling, babbling, prattling donkey!’
She giggles like an angel. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“Scare … I er – oh no, you-er twitterpated me. That is to say, you, um. You left me dumbstruck with your bod—” ‘Shut up you ponce!’ “I mean charm.”
“Aww, you’re sweet.” She came around in front of me and smiled in a way that allowed her hazel eyes to fill with pretty energy. “May I know your name?”
“Ha! You’re going to have me arrested for stalking you, aren’t you?” ‘Blockhead! Of course, she isn’t.’
“Oh, no. If I thought you were doing that, I’d bring a cricket bat to my next practise and break your legs with it.” Her smile vanished in place of an evil sneer. Just as quickly she winked and laughed again. “Well?”
“Sorry, I’m Oscar. I-um … I work in the offices o-over there. I’m an – er apprentice solicitor. Y-you can sit if you like.” I return her smile and patted the bench beside me. ‘Hey look out! I did something nice and without sounding like a prat!’
“Thank you, Oscar.” She accepted the invite and joined me.
I smelt the rose and vanilla notes if her perfume and felt as if love hearts were floating around my head like the cartoons.
“Solicitor, hey? I thought you always looked handsome in your suit.” She put out a hand and ran her fingers along my lapel. “I’m, Hayley.” She smoothed her ponytail and I nearly passed out.
“N-nice to meet you um, Hayley.” ‘stay nice!’ “So, um … I admire your training ethic. You practising for any-anything?”
“I’m a gymnast, I’m in the county league. I’m not so good but I love it keeping me fit. This park is wonderful to practise in instead of the gym sometimes.”
“I think you look amazing doing it.” ‘That it, you tosser, get all creepy again!’ “I’m sorry, were you needing something when you came over?”
“Thanks for the compliment. Well maybe … You see, I think I might do better if I had a personal cheerleader,” she says with her sultry gaze locked on me.
“Y-you er, you want me to wave pompoms at you?” ‘Shut up and go home already! You have no chance!’
At least I made her giggle at me again.
“Something like that, Oskie.” She played her hand over my chest. “When you’ve finished putting naughty people behind bars later, I’m betting you’ll be thirsty and hungry. W—”
“Oh yes – yes, I’d love to go on a date with you!” I blurted. ‘Desperate much!”
“That’s great, Oskie. I’ll see you at five.” Hayley got up and walked away leaving me close to hyperventilating.
To my complete surprise, she actually was waiting for me after work. It was then to my relief I learned that she’d turned on the ‘sultry madam’ act just to play with me in the park. She really was the elegant, charming lady I knew she was all along.
We’ve been married for forty years now and I still admire her now – as much as I ever did.
Thank you for reading! Do check out the Short Stories tab for more fun tales.
Have a great day!