Lavender and Cherry Blossoms
There was that smell, the one that filled the air every time that I passed by those sliding automatic doors. It wasn't like I was going to smell the things that were really taking up the most space in there; that would have meant that it smelled like clothes. It didn't matter the space that they occupied, the clothes could have filled all of the area in the shop that this one thing didn't and I still would have smelt exactly what I did. All I could smell was the one thing that I really cared about in there; well I didn't really smell it, or her I should say. I smelled her perfume, the aroma that she always floated in the center of.
I can't name the exact smell to you, but I can tell you what it reminds me of. It reminds me of home, of warm winter nights, cool winds in the summer; it reminds me of the smell after it rain, the first sunrise of winter. It reminds me of the enchantment of summer nights, the comfort of an old coat. All and all, it made me fell like everything I ever wanted to do was possible.
But that probably wasn't because it of the way it smelled, no one smell can do all of that. I mean some of those are too contradictory. Besides what's most important isn't the smell itself, but what it signified. It signified that she was there, somewhere in between those four walls.
Her name, what was her name you may ask. Well it doesn't really matter, the name didn't make her—a name doesn't make anyone. Things that make a person have to be earned or fought for…
No one really has to fight for their name, its not earned—they're given to you at birth. Therefore all they really serve as is a tag for a system of communication, of course a name is part of who you are, but its not who you are. By those means the name isn't important. Hardly any name is original, whether you're a John or Jayce, somewhere, someone in the world more than likely has that name.
She and I worked in the airport, but not doing the usual things like moving bags around on those little carts or security at that checkpoint. She worked at one of those clothing stores that just outside of the terminal. The kind that sold those shirts, the ones you always see people buying that say the name of the city that the airport is in on them. Except no one ever bought them there because they were overpriced by about ten dollars. Hell, they were overpriced by about ten dollars outside; these shirts in the airport were outlandish.
Yet she seemed content in her job and it paid well. Whenever the occasional costumer came in she flashed her big bright smile and helped them out with an aura about her like none other. She seemed so satisfied.
I, on the other hand, worked in a store that sold last minute supplies for people that were just going out on their flights. We had some pretty cool little things in the store, like this light that you plugged into the USB port on the side of you laptop. It got power and wrapped around to light your keyboard so that you could see to type on night flights.
The store got a little business, but not enough to keep any normal venue open—but in the world of airport shops, we were raking in some money. My store was only two down from the clothing ones that she worked in. I would walk past there on break everyday, I would look in at her, wave and maybe I would stop in from time to time and say "Hey, what's going on." It wasn't like she and I had so many costumers in and out of our stores or anything.
Then there was those days that I could actually spend time with her. I would bump into her at one of the eating establishments that were set a little further down the path. That was how we met after all, one year six months ago, the day before Thanksgiving. She had been sitting at a two person table alone at the Chili's and the rest of the place, due to the holiday season rush had been overflowing with people. The seat across from her had been the last in the place. I had my heart set on Chili's.
So I stopped and asked, "Mind if I have a seat?"
She looked up at me, her eyes seemed to glimmer as she did, she glanced around and then back at me, "Looks like you don't have much of a choice in the matter," she said with the smile still on her face.
I smiled back and set down, for some reason I felt witty and smart, just from the way that she looked at me. From that moment I hit the chair, I felt this new power in me, like I could suddenly do more. And then all at once, just by looking at her I was nervous. She had the kind of beauty that came to a person over time and with much heartache. Like she had been ignored earlier, not for being ugly, but just for not standing out, but that's what made her stand out. She wasn't flashy or too into her looks, she knew that she was pretty, but didn't flaunt it.
When she talked to me at the table that day things seemed to go just the way that they should in a first conversation with someone. She told me where she worked, and told her that she was just two places down from me. I hadn't really noticed her yet, she had just started there that week and prior to her being there I had always walked out for my break going away from her store.
It wasn't until I met her that I started to pass that way everyday. It started just so I could stop by, then after a while it became like a force of habit. I would come by and talk to her, hangout in the store and talk with her. She in turn would come over to the store I worked in and see what I was up to, some days she would even come by and bring me a coffee.
Little did she know I hated coffee, I couldn't even drink the stuff. And yet I found myself drinking it every time she brought it to me. I would stand and talk to her; sipping on the muddy tasting cup of fancy coffee from the Starbucks. I wished she had brought me a vanilla bean instead of this.
I would go for a day or two just passing her by on the way to my break before I actually got to spend time with her in most cases. I don't know what she thought of it at first, it was just kind of an at work thing. Then one day, totally at random, she asked me if I wanted to go to lunch out to this place up the street called Diane's. I'd never heard of it, and I had already eaten, yet I still accepted.
Back then I think that I didn't realize what was going on in my head; I think I only saw her as a friend, but hindsight is always clearer. We actually did things outside of work pretty often after that incident. We talked to each other on the phone just for fun and I even gave her a ride to work one day.
Things just started to change for some reason, it had been about two months since we had met and then I started to realize that I was as nervous around her sometimes as I had been when we first met. I didn't think about what was going on, I recognized the feeling but couldn't put my finger on it. That's how it always happens when you first start out, you don't know what's going on, you know something's changed but you can't tell what.
Today was a little different, I decided to stop into the clothing store just to talk to her. From the moment I stepped in things seemed different. I could see her standing over by stacks of pants; she was hanging shirts on a rack. When she turned back and saw me she smiled. I walked up to her and asked her what she was doing later that night, she seemed a little shocked, as if we had never done anything outside of work. But she still answered, "Nothing."
I smiled, "How about we go out to the boardwalk?"
The idea seemed to spark a twinkle in her eyes; she just nodded and then said, "I like that."
Another question burned right in my chest, I just had to ask her. My hands went into my pockets and I sighed, it seems kind of random now that I think about it, "What perfume do you wear?"
"I don't wear one," she said.
"Something about you smells really good," I said.
She thought for a second, "Oh, it must be my shampoo," she paused, "it's actually two shampoos mixed, lavender and cherry blossoms…"
I simply repeated her words…
"...lavender and cherry blossom…"