The shimmery gray dress nipped at her ankles, skirting the tops of her feet with a sassiness. It had been an easy find, unique and affordable. It brought out her inner Roman goddess, accentuating all of her attributes and masking the flaws.
A company Christmas party. What could and should be expected? What was the protocol? Who was there to impress? It didn’t matter because this night allowed her to step inside of her comfort zone, to be someone that she wasn’t during the 9-5 monotony of Corporate America. This was her night to be herself.
Company Christmas parties…what was the protocol? Bring a date or go solo? In the end, she talked her roommate into coming along. They agreed on a few hours at the buttoned up Corporate America shindig before heading out to a much more laid back, casual atmosphere of a friend’s Christmas party.
Her clear acrylic heels adorned with rhinestones clicked on the staircase as she made her way to the next party. The shoes elevated her normal 6 foot frame allowing her to look out above the masses. She was at ease, all pretenses of being someone else released its hold upon her and exited through the closing door after gently taking a bow. She smiled as she was relieved of her shackles of dissimilation and could be with her friends, her chosen family, her village.
The drinks flowed, the music caressed her soul, and the card games stripped her of any monetary satisfaction, but she was content. Her body melted into the sofa as she engaged in friendly banter among her co-partiers. The evening was quickly becoming a propitiation to what had been a mentally taxing week, and just when she thought the night could not become more blissful, the door across the room opened.
A trio of males, past the age of being called boys, but still exuding a slight level of immatuturity that prevented them from being referred to as men, entered the apartment. They were all strangers to her, not one face exuding any sense of familiarity and just when she decided that the three were too mundane to warrant anymore of her curiosity, the third one came into view.
He was tall, dark, and handsome. Every fairytale cliché of Prince Charming was wrapped up into him. Tragic love stories were written about him, with tortured hearts and damsels in distress. It was at that moment in time, with the opening of that door, that her life would change forever. From that point forward in life, each step, each decision would be made with a new perspective.
Did he see her? Could he sense the quivers in her belly, the skipping of her heart beat? Could he possibly notice her, one girl in a sea of beautiful women?
She should look away, she thought to herself. How mortifying would it be if he caught her staring, but she couldn’t tear herself away from watching him glide into the room, a smile spreading across his face as he met each person. He was tall, black hair, with a slight little cleft in his chin. He was broad shouldered, muscles clearly seen beneath the sleeves of his shirt. He was the exact opposite of the skinny, non-athletic nerdy types she’d always been attracted to. He couldn’t possibly be interested in her.
Finally she decided it was time to look away, to not be quite so obvious, but it was a little too late. He’d seen her and shock of all shocks, he was walking over to her.
He introduced himself and she reciprocated. He took a seat alongside her on the couch and the conversations never seemed to lull. There was always something to talk about, something funny to be told, and there was no place else either one of them could imagine being at that very moment in time.
As the night waned, many of the partiers, her roommate included, decided to go elsewhere. She uncrossed her legs and begin to rise, in doing so she lost one of her shoes. At that moment, he knelt down and while grabbing the shoe, he cupped one hand behind her shin and slid the shoe back onto her foot.
“It looks like Cinderella lost her glass slipper,” he said with a smile and that is how the greatest love story came to fruition in 2003.