The Mirage From Last Night
by Jerome Baquilar

Her beauty just shone upon me, and only me, so it seemed. Was I the only one aware of the stunningly beautiful woman that had just walked in on the party? Absolutely the prettiest face I'd ever seen, shiny long black hair that almost tempts you to run your fingers through it, and such a sleekly slim and thin muscled body to support all that beauty.

I didn't believe in love at first sight, and, I think I forgot about that just about then. I fell in love, right then and there. But, I had a problem. A rather large problem to have to overcome.

I could never let anyone know, not friends, especially not family, practically no one but perhaps the woman of my affections, about my innermost, intimate feelings, especially when it came to matters of love. I had my reasons, and I firmly stuck to them throughout life ever since I could remember.

My best friend was sitting next to me, at the party thrown by a girl cousin of mines. We were talking baseball, until I saw her. Then, I have no idea what he was talking about, all I was doing was nodding at whatever he was talking about. Still, he was sitting there right next to me, so, I was basically restricted to sneaking glances at the girl every chance I could. Every stare brought about a sudden change in heartbeat in me. Every change in heartbeat brought about visions of unbridled, pure love. Each vision tempted my body to just walk right up to her, and ask her to dance with me. Even if no one else was dancing. Even if there was no music playing. The romantic music that played itself in my heart would be more than sufficient. Alas, for all intents and purposes, I was nailed down to that chair, next to my chatty buddy.

Every second that passed by was torture. Like seeing a mirage in the desert, I was teased by the possibility. I went through emotional hell, for hours, it seemed, though I'm sure it didn't really reach one. Then, the idea dawned upon me.

Damn my secrecy, damn the "morals" I held for myself, and damn if everyone else finds out about it. The imaginary nails that held me seated suddenly vaporized. I was going to seek her out, talk to her, get to know her, maybe dance with her. Be with her. I looked around, and...

Like the mirage, as I got close to being with her, she vanished. Nowhere to be found. I looked all around the place, but apparently she had already left. My spirit sank lower each second that passed by that I was realizing she might no be there anymore. My.heart nearly stopped when I realized that I simply came around too late. Or, did I? I kept hush about why I was walking around for those few minutes, looking for her. I told my friend that I had to go to the john. He didn't seem to think anything otherwise as he continued talking about things I wasn't paying any attention to. So, it remained a secret. For a while longer, at least.

My thoughts of desperation did come up with an option, even with my chance apparently gone. This was my cousin's party, and, the mystery girl came alone, meaning my cousin should definitely know her. I could find out who she is, and perhaps, where she lives, but inevitably I would have to reveal my reasons. I don't need to tell you how what a loud and gossippy person my cousin is.

Was I willing to pay that price? That was the question that kept begging for an answer in my mind. And, the answer ended up being a resounding "yes".

I ended up paying the price, of course, as I found out what I needed to know, which was, where she lived. My cousin told all her friends there that I had a thing for her new friend, and showed promise of telling all our relatives as well. My secret was out. I felt so embarassed by it, but, I thought that she was definitely worth it. I would've done it all over again just for her. Instead, I thought out my plan of going to her house, and getting to talk to her, getting to know her, just being with her. I didn't sleep the whole night, thinking about it, and the personal price I paid for that chance.

I decided to go out to her house the next day. I thought that the afternoon would be as good a time as any to make my "move". As good and appropriate a time as any to find her at home. I was so excited, my heart was throbbing, my knees were shaky, and I hadn't even thought of how to introduce myself, much less start up a meaningful conversation! Then, as I walked up the driveway, towards the front door of her house, my heart stopped.

I saw her standing in front of the door, of course. Unfortunately, she was with some other guy. They were kissing each other long and intimately. As they stopped kissing, and started to walk down towards the driveway, I ran away from there, as fast as I could, not bothering to look back. Not wanting to think about what I just saw. Not remembering what I had to sacrifice to be in this position, a position I now wanted no part of. She really was a mirage.

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