Only a Short Story

"Pharmacy Tuxedo"
I met you in the pharmacy once. That small, hidden place on Bell Street. Don’t you remember? Well, I do. I always will. It was that same morning that I found the tuxedo in my closet, tucked back behind my suits like it belonged there. I still don’t know why it was never returned after my senior prom. Or how it managed to make the move from my parents’ house to my apartment undetected. Or, even more curiously, how it still fit perfectly seven years after it was last wanted. Because it did. It was a perfect fit, cummerbund and all, and the minute I put it on – no darling, I don’t know what force possessed me to do so – I knew that the day was going to be special. I felt that deep inside me, just as you must have this morning when you slipped your wedding dress on. I was right of course, the day was brilliant. It brought me you.
You walked into the shop around noon – positively sauntered really – and passed me by with not a single look. And I knew in that moment that you’d noticed me. A man wearing a full tuxedo, standing in the middle of a pharmacy, completely enchanted by you could not be so caustically ignored. Not unless it was done on purpose of course, which it must have been. After fifteen minutes in that pharmacy, and as many stares, I knew that it must have been on purpose.
Do you remember now? Still no? Well, you continued to ignore me, and went looking at inane products, wandering through different aisles until you stumbled upon the chocolate. You stood in front of it all, the boxes and bars and truffles and did nothing but stare for a full three minutes. I know because I counted the seconds as I watched you, counted the seconds as I stared at you with obvious longing in my eyes, grateful that you were willing to grace me with your presence. And in that wonderful moment of studying your face and figure, your entire being really, I fell in love with you. Yes, I did fall in love with you right then and there. Hopelessly in love and you hadn’t even looked at me. If I hadn’t known that you had meant not to look at me, I do think I would have died of grief right in the middle of that pharmacy. But I knew you sensed my presence, knew you realized I was there. Even if chocolate did hold higher importance.
I think I was living off the knowledge that someday it wouldn’t. That someday it couldn’t. Someday you would love me more than anything else. You didn’t then. You knew I was alive and breathing and wishing with all my might that I could kiss you, but you didn’t love me at all. You thought I was just an idiot who was making a mockery of all things worldly by dressing up in a tux for a visit to the pharmacy. And so you ignored how your heartbeat quickened with the sight of me, how a faint pink blush rose in your cheeks, how you had to work so wretchedly hard to keep from peering right back at me. You ignored Fate’s pull, and you did win that day. You stared at chocolate and magazines and chewing gum and gave me no peace of mind. And because I was a fool dressed in a tuxedo I could do nothing but stare at you and hope you’d be kind enough to give me your heart.
I knew that in the future you would relinquish it quite gladly. In the future we would be madly in love. I knew that like I knew the moment I saw the tuxedo in my closet that I would have to put it on. It was Fate. It had to happen. It was impossible to ignore. I just didn’t want to wait for the day that you would love me back. I had to though. You were so stubborn then, just as you are now I suppose – you know that’s true love, why deny it? – and you weren’t about to let me love you like that. Not yet, not when I looked like such a moron.
So you walked out of that pharmacy with two bars of dark chocolate and absolutely nothing else, not even my love – you refused to claim it. And the man in the tux remained behind to know that for once he had been handed happiness. Even if it had walked away from him. I would have been devastated if I hadn’t known on some indefinable level that one day we would be together again. I could feel it in my bones, in the very air which was now constantly perfumed. I knew that you could not thwart Fate again.
I see now that you won’t ever remember that day in the pharmacy. Fate’s scorn and pride has led to that – she does not like to be ignored. And I’d like to think that maybe that’s for the best. Maybe it’s for the best that my idiocy is only a story to you, only a lover’s romantic flight of fancy. But now you know why it is that the day you walked up and introduced yourself to me and smiled, I could only grin like an imbecile and ask you to marry me.
This part of the story you should remember. You do? That’s right. You said yes.

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