Paul had lived on the dark edge of life. It finally caught up to him and he spent several months in jail. Theft being the number one judgement. Drug use turned from social to everyday living.
Saying hello and goodbye is what consisted of their conversations but at night when Paul laid down he started to dream of her. In his dream he was in love with her and he asked her to be his wife. She quickly accepted and he spent their entire marriage giving her every heart‘s desire.
But in the day hours the coldness whipped through his heart as he could not get more than a passer-by look. When his roomy wasn’t visiting Paul would question him about his sister. He learned that Pamela was her name. She had moved out from the family house when she was 13. Living with friends and on the streets she had worked her way up to being a manager of a fine lady’s specialty store.
Paul touched his lips as he formed the word of this sister. The beautiful eyes with long lashes. He discovered that Pamela only lived in the city next to him. Paul was getting out soon and he was determined to make his dream reality.
When the day came and his release was final he went to his hangout and grabbed all he owned. He took the cash he had saved and moved to the city Pamela lived in. He found his way to where she worked and stood in the shadows swallowing in her beauty.
He found himself a job, a respectable job as a window washer for a huge department store near by. He begged for an advancement on his pay check and for unknown reasons the manager granted him his wish.
He took most of the money and rented a room at a boarding house. He built himself a routine of walking by where Pamela worked on his way to his job. After work he would walk back by her store. Sometimes he was lucky and he would see her.
One time as he was standing outside in the shadows she exited and looked his way. She stopped in her tracks and he came out of hiding. “don’t I know you? Oh yes, you are the guy who was bunking with my brother in jail. I see you are out now? Well I hope you learned your lesson and do not make another visit. My brother still has another six months to learn while he sits there.”
” I wonder if you would go out to dinner with me this Friday?”
Laughing she said, ” you are kidding I think. You spent time in the slammer. I am sorry but I don’t think so.”
” But I have changed. I learned a great deal while I was in there. I had plenty of time to think. It wasn’t like I was in for murder or anything. I just got off on the wrong track.”
” Well I feel like I know you and yet I know nothing about you. Why don’t you give me a few days to think about your offer. I will look for you then and give you my answer.”
Paul smiled his biggest smile in hopes of winning the answer yes. They parted and life went to the same rhythm and dance. She would see him and give no answer. He took it up a notch and started sending her flowers and cards. He took a nice chunk out of his pay and bought her the biggest box of candy he could.
It happened on a Thursday afternoon. She came out and he was standing in his regular spot. She looked his way and he came towards her. She smiled at him. He noticed her smile.
” Well I have given it a lot of thought. I know you have done some bad things before and I am not crazy about it. But you also are the only man who has ever worked so hard and so long at trying to get my attention. I will go out with you and tomorrow night shall be the night. Pick me up about 7. Do you drive? No? Well meet me here and you can walk me to the next block where there is a nice restaurant. Where some nice clothes.”
He stared after her, watching her walk a way. Finally, what he had dreamed and waited for was going to happen. Tomorrow night, less than 24 hours from now. He hurried home and went through his bare closet. If only she would have made the plans for next week. Maybe I could have managed to buy some decent clothes. If only I hadn’t been spending my extra money on flowers and candy.
The next evening came and he was waiting for her. He had bathed and put his best clothes on. She walked up and he took a deep breath as he drank in her beauty. They walked the steps to the restaurant. She seemed in a hurry and he had to pick up his pace to stay with her.
Once inside she told the waiter what area she wanted to sit at. She placed the order for the two of them. He sat there his dream being cracked around the edges as he began to see the light.
The conversation was more one-sided and he didn’t understand what she was talking about most of the time. All he knew was that it was about her work and that she had this plan and this meeting.
Dinner was served. She ate with grace. He ate with comfort. The conversation was as cold as her heart and the life was slipping out of Paul. After a respectable amount of time had been spent she announced she needed to get home. She had to get up early for a meeting.
” I appreciate everything you have done in drawing my attention Paul. You seem very nice. I gave it a shot but I just don’t feel anything for you. I am sorry. Will you kindly not stand outside my work anymore? I am sure there is someone out there for you if you just give her a chance. I will call a taxi. Thank-you for a nice evening.”
She gave him a peck on the cheek and a quick smile. He had lost. His heart was being torn out of him. He didn’t go straight home, but instead took the long way home. It started to rain and then it was pouring.
He laid down on the edge of the street feeling the wires pulling on his heart. He lay there letting the rain drops wash the memories of her smile a way.