By Alfred Butao
On this particularly sunny Saturday morning, Ricky was out at the mall with his father helping with grocery shopping as this was the month end, and you know how homes have to be prepped for the month to come during this period – foodwise ha-ha! Ricky was told by his dad to go wait in the car while he finished a couple of things and so Ricky started off to the car. Ricky was a clever young boy who always believed that cheesy romantics and affections lived only in fiction literature and film.
Having grown up in a neighborhood where most of his peers were older boys, true love for a girl was never really something real. Ricky came up to his adolescence with the notion that romantic love is a sign of weakness, room for exploitation and heartbreak. The older boys always made sure he stuck by this code by practicing what they preached, and made sure he had a front-row-seat to the promiscuity.
So, it was no surprise when his glimpse of this Pretty Young Flower seemed alien to him. He had never felt such… he had never felt at all. He was walking out on the front porch of the mall when he caught the glimmer of her eyes; the glow of her skin; the ambience of her step, young Ricky felt estranged from his own body, the same body he’d had for the previous 17 years. Draped in camo threads looking like a young rebel, she oozed pure finesse. Young man was instantly head over heels. Having no clue as to what he could do, he froze there in a stare – the same stare that night owls have when they spot a wild mouse that has no idea that it might end up in someone’s belly before the sun rises. Anyhow, Pretty Young Flower finally realized that there was a young man staring at her – and weirdly he caught a bit of her attention as well. Her being the flower that she was she approached him and in a low voice went “can I help you?”. Ricky immediately snapped out of his daze, confused and shy but still managed to stutter a few words “I-I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stare.”
Pretty Young Flower took the alpha role in this conversation because, well, young man wasn’t very much himself. “it’s considered rude to stare, you know that?”, “I really didn’t mean to”, “well, I have to be somewhere, see you around”.
Pretty Young Flower had walked for all of 4 seconds before young Ricky ran after her again having realized she was not something he’d get to meet every day. He grabbed her hand and told her he was sorry for bothering her again. “I don’t mean to take too much of your time, I just think you’re a very interesting person, and I’d love get to know you better”. “ha-ha! How many girls have you used this line on?” she asked with a smirk on her face. Shrugging, and with his face in his palms he proceeded “I’d tell you ‘yes’ but it might just not be as convincing as I’d want it to be. I’d love to keep you here and explain but I have my dad probably waiting for me, and you whoever you’re meeting here. If it’s not too much to ask, please can I just get your number so I can properly justify myself at a later time when we’re both freer?” Pretty Young Flower looked at him for a couple of seconds – almost as though she was examining him – and then said “I’m not too sure about you but okay, but I’m not giving you my number. Give me yours, if I give you mine you will want to ask for my name, and I don’t think you have earned the right to know my name!”
She pulled out her phone and Ricky dictated his tens to her, one by one as she punched them in her Samsung. Just as she was finishing saving the number “Ricardo!!!!!!” young Rick’s father yelled his name so as to seek him out. Running to their car, Ricky told Pretty Young Flower “I will be expecting your text this evening, oh and I promise I’m not a creep!”. She just shook her head, smiled and proceeded to walk into the pizzeria.
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