A STRANGER'S DREAM
Storyline: She's just a loner who doesn't mix with the crowd despite the crowd wanting her desperately. He's just a playboy who promised to be good for the night. Each searched for a hiding place and found an isolated balcony, and each other.
"Dreams are the touchstones of our character." ~Henry David Thoreau
They first met in his sister's 21st birthday, where the sons and daughters of the rich gather. They, just like the rest of young invitees, knew that somewhere in that party was their fiancé (fiancée) whose identity will remain a mystery, in their case until her 20th birthday. So to say, it was the agreement. But, fortunately or not, destiny just couldn't wait.
She just had to feel suffocated, uncomfortable with the attention people were giving her because of how she looks and who she was. She was tired of their pretenses to like her. So she left, walking off without being seen to a restricted area, the hall's balcony.
It happened that at that time, he too was uncomfortable. He knew for a fact that he was liked. At least it was true for the females. The men were obviously jealous with the attention and looks of admiration he was receiving from their dates. If he wanted, he could have easily made his leave. But it was his sister's birthday and he promised to not cause a scene. So he thought of an acceptable excuse to escape the crowd, at the very least, since he couldn't leave the ball. He pretended to be drunk with a headache and excused himself to leave. He walked off crookedly as an act to the balcony.
It was a cold night, and the stars were surprisingly visible considering the preceding nights were either rainy or stormy. In short, it was such a perfect scene from the balcony if something romance related was to start.
She was too silent, sat though uncomfortably with her knees touching her chest, her arms around them. His presence was also so behaved that neither of them notice each other's presence. That was, until she sighed. There, they met. Emerald found amber, amber found emerald. You know what they say about 'spark?' Well, they felt it. He was a womanizer and he felt it. She was a NBSB, too precious, too protected, too guarded to fall, but she felt it. They felt it, the butterflies in the stomach, and all that magic, but neither said a word. Besides, they were to get engaged with someone else. Neither of them thought that reality could prove they were destined to be together, a very strong and beautiful combination of light and dark. The silence was broken when he felt his headache, this time for real. He really drank too much after all.
Normally, she'll prefer to keep away from strangers, but seeing his uncomfortable state, she took it as an exception.
"Ahm, I have some medicine with me. Here, take it." She offered, giving him the orange tablet which he hesitantly took. She insistently took a bottle of water from her bag and handed it to him.
In all honesty, he was amused. God knows he only wanted to get some privacy, but apparently, God didn't want him to have it. Instead, he just had to find some strange woman near his age who carries hangover medicine and mineral water.
After she saw him lean back against the thick wall of the balcony, looking more comfortable, she too kept her distance and returned to her original position before he came.
Neither talked nor made a sound. She was trying to digest the fact that she was there, alone in an isolated balcony with a total stranger who doesn't care about her existence because apparently, he has a problem of his own. At least it was better than being asked to dance by bachelors who were only interested because of her family name.
Finally, his coughing broke the silence.
"Ahm, you okay? You want more water?" She asked, concerned.
He weakly diverted his gaze to her, and with half eyes opened shook his head. Then once again, he closed his eyes with some hope of falling asleep. He too was uncomfortable to be alone with a beautiful woman. Normally, he wouldn't be bothered. He was a womanizer after all. Nevertheless, he can't be more thankful the stranger was not like other girls who'll take advantage of him when he's in this state. Surely, he thought if she was like them she would recognize who he was and make a fuss. Seeing as they were there alone for a couple of minutes now and she didn't seem to be interested, he can't help but feel relief.
"Hey, mister, if you can't sleep, do you mind playing a game with me?"
Now, he didn't know what came to him but he found himself nodding, mesmerized by his innocent emerald eyes. It felt as if he was talking to someone from another world. If she wasn't a goddess, then could she be an angel? He didn't know, and neither did he care. To him, that moment of peace was enough.
Still pretending to be drunk, he met her eyes assuring her he was listening.
"Have you heard of '10 Questions?' You and I are to ask each other ten questions alternately. Since I don't know you, and I don't think you know me, it could be fun. You game?"
Here he was, of all possible things he could be doing, he was going to play '10 Questions' with an angelic stranger. If it was someone else, he would have answered sarcastically and humiliate the one who offered to play the stupid game. But this time, he couldn't control himself. She was too innocent, too thirsty for a real conversation. This, he sensed.
She took the scenario as a new experience. Talking to a drunken person about your dilemmas wouldn't hurt, would it? He probably wouldn't even remember what happened when he was sober. Too bad, he wasn't really drunk. She really wanted to talk about how she hated being part of an arranged marriage, which was why she avoided any men in fear that she'll get to find out who her fiancé was. Whoever he was, she didn't want him to be interested in her. As a matter of fact, she wanted him to call it off. But she couldn't. Though she was positive her present companion was going through the same problem, it would harm her if she speaks of it. For some reasons, she knew it will. So instead, she talked about the other thing that she can never talk about with anyone who knew her.
Talk about weirdness, to play a random game, of all people with a drunken stranger. But she didn't have a choice did she? He was the only one that will not be lying. As she learned from her experience with her friends, the only good thing about drunken people was that they're honest.
So here they were in an isolated balcony under the veil of the starry sky, two random people who were strangers to each other, both tired of living to other people's expectations, ended up finding each other.
"What's your dream?"
The man had his brow rose, which she assumed was because he didn't understand her question. Sighing, she revised her words.
"Given a chance to start afresh, what kind of person do you want to become?"
He thought for a while, and after a deep sigh, looked up to the sky.
"A better man." He said, more to her fascination. Besides, there's no harm telling a secret to the innocent child that he sees in her.
"And you?" this time, he looked at her.
She grinned. "In that case, a better woman."
"So how do you define a better man?" she asked again.
"I don't know, maybe someone who actually studies to pass, someone with a chance to be alone when he wants to think, someone who doesn't have to be pushed to climb his way to the top, someone who gets to dream a dream of his own, someone with a free will." To him, he thought it might have sounded like some complaining a twenty year old does when frustrated from work. But she knew better, she knew it wasn't just some random complaining. She knew inside the stranger, there was a man wanting to experience something he could never get. She knew, because she and he were dealing with the same frustration.
"How about you?" she looked surprised when he asked. She smiled, getting more and more amused by the time being, and after some thinking, gave her sincere response.
"I'd like to be in the spotlight. Call me boring or whatever but my parents never let me out of the palace. They fear that I'll be kidnapped, but I couldn't care the less. I want to be free, do things without thinking, without needing to ask permission. I want to be on stage, perform whatever, experience being loud even for once in my life. I want to be…"
"…someone I can never be…" they both said in unison with eyes gazed upon each other, emerald to amber, amber to emerald. The spark was abundant for the second time.
He too was becoming more and more amused by the time being. The fact that he began talking about things he'll never dare say to anyone who knows him surprised even himself. He learned of her fascination in trying new things, of how guarded she was at home and even outside, of how she would love to experience doing crazy stuff, things complicated, things outrageous, some even dangerous. As long as it's a fun experience that will take her boredom away, she said she's okay, as long as it's good of course. She was never into anything illegal, and it wasn't even because of her grandfather. It was just who she was, a pure hearted girl with an innocent mind. Indeed, this was how he sees her.
When it's his turn, he told her of how he deals with screaming girls all the time, of how it appeared that they never ran out of interest on him. He finds it ironic that he actually finds her attractive, his most ideal type, the one he never really go for in fear that her types don't deserve someone of his type, and yet he's confessing about his bad habits. He told her about his childhood dream of becoming an engineer. He told her how he seemed so good with what he does despite the fact that he didn't even like it, much to his dismay. If he wasn't good, then it's possible he won't be forced to be in his position, CEO at such a young age. But he can't change it. It just wasn't him to back out from a challenge of any form.
So these two, spent the night talking about each other's problems, about each other's dreams and deepest desires. Both good listeners, they understood and had a good memory of what the other was talking about, the exact words, the exact expression. Both had in mind that whatever was happening, it will always be a memorable night, one of the rarest nights when they could be themselves and forget about status and family interest. He even found himself staring at her, but before things get awkward, he pretended to fall asleep. Fortunately, she didn't realize he was acting. She found herself smiling, and still went on giving what she thought was a more appropriate end to their conversation. She really did enjoy her time with him, even if he fell asleep on her. When it was midnight, her chauffer finally found her and called from inside the hall. She left, but not before whispering goodbye to the sleeping stranger. Unknown to her, the moment she stepped outside the balcony, her new acquaintance's eyes opened, murmuring the name he heard was called.
He looked up to the night sky and for the first time in that year saw for himself, a falling star.
A/N: This is actually written as a CCS fanfic but I thought I'll post it here anyway. Reviews are gladly appreciated. :) Thank you for reading!