My Women's Day Present

• Chapter 1

We all had our off days. Having gotten up on the wrong side of the bed, and everything went wrong. Tights ripped, the heel broke, and then I missed my bus, being late for the most important job interview in my life – no big deal. Well, what about this: Women’s Day started not with a cup of coffee but with the falling from the balcony. Intrigued? This is how it happened…

It was a beautiful day outside, where even the trees were in full bud, ready to bloom. I woke up in a great mood for the first time in three months and decided to spend a day off productively: to clean the apartment, to get to the vet with Snowflake, my cat, and finally to do what I was preparing for the last few days: to go to the class reunion that takes place in the poshest restaurant of our city. All of my classmates were married, had lots of kids, and got considerable achievements in a variety of areas! Well, and I…

I’d lost some weight, gotten prettier, and actually also had career development. But who would have cared if a boyfriend had escaped to an unknown direction and kids… Well, it’s hard to make them alone. How could I have them? And something told me that it would be a measure of success for my old school friends.

 “At least, you’ll be the only one who fits into a size 4 dress!” I whispered to myself in a mirror and fixed my long brown hair, which curled tips reached hips. “You’ll amaze them in another way, okay?”

Having got over these ridiculous fears, I pulled my fingers out, cleaning the apartment hard and listening to some new Ariana Grande tracks. And things were pretty good till the moment I placed my butt on the balcony railing, and my favorite part of the song started to play. Having lost my common sense and instinct for self-preservation, I danced barefoot on the balcony frame with a soapy sponge in my hand and almost singing along to a tune.    

I wrung out the sponge, moved it through the wet window, and then… just all of a sudden, felt a puddle of water and foam under my foot. Some awkward movements, some efforts to keep balance, and… that’s it. The only thing that I actually remembered: my pedicure with the background of the half-washed balcony and the blue sky.

In my head, I was like, “Really? Is this the end?”. University studies, fancy job, and death at the age of twenty-five – was it all I could reach? I’d broke up with the boyfriend, the parents were always abroad, and I even didn’t have my bestie. The only one who would notice my absence – Snowflake.  But sadly, her paws could hardly reach the phone and dial 911.

I closed my eyes and put hands on my chest, getting ready to face sudden and painful death, but… instead, I landed on something warm, bounced off, and remained to be in the air.  It’s true magic!

Cautiously I opened one eye, then another one to test the waters, and I saw a man. He was in his mid-thirties, or maybe a little older. The stranger got thick brown hair, which was slightly curly; the piercing stare of blue eyes was kind of that you would never forget. The man had plump lips, the strong jawline, high cheekbones, and the Greek nose. Light stubble made him even more masculine. But nothing could beat the bag of muscles he got. How did I know that you might ask? He was wearing a T-shirt! 

 “It is March outside…” I whispered, shamelessly staring at his wet clothes, which clung to his well-muscled body. I got over some shock and whispered the words, which made me blush, “Damn! Am… I dead? Are you my guardian angel?”

The man chuckled without showing his teeth. This was weird, but I got goosebumps. Maybe that was all because I was wearing the delicate nightwear while cleaning up. Holy crap! I’ve never sworn so much in one minute…   

 “That’s right,” he said mysteriously with a sweet husky voice. My lower abdomen started spinning like a washing machine. What’s the f… flight?! Three months without a man and the first stranger became the object of a wild desire. “I doubt you can die, after falling from the second floor. The house is pretty low… But you could’ve easily broken your beautiful legs”.

I licked my dry lips, trembling with the cold, and pressed myself against the man. I’ll think about my behavior later: I am under stress. So I thought I had every right to paw random handsome life-savers! 

“What are you… doing here?” I murmured confused, pretending that I didn’t see how he was staring at my lips.  

 “I walked the dog, and suddenly someone poured the water all over me. Then I raised my head to say some “gentle” words and… here you were… flying!” He grinned and gasped out: “Right into my arms. Such a fortunate day, don’t you think so?”

 “A prey fell into a trap!” I uttered to myself, but then said out loud something more adequate:

 “It seems like you’ve saved my life today. And I… was born under a lucky star. Thank you. But now it’s time to let me go”.

Ignoring my words, he looked me over from head to foot with sultry eyes and asked:

“Are you intentionally cleaning the windows in such… revealing clothes? Want to gather a significant audience of viewers?”

And after that, the situation itself had ceased to be so funny and looked more like a ridiculous one. Flushed with shame, I got angry, rolled my eyes, and hissed:

“Exactly! And then I pick someone hot-looking to fall into his arms. What if one day a prince will catch me?!”

The man’s eyes lit up, and there was something in them that made me feel a heatwave through the whole body. I couldn’t breathe.

“Well, then the prey is mine by right, and I’m taking it with me!” He blew a big whistle, calling a dog and shouted: “Max, home!”

The huge German shepherd appeared next to us and obediently followed his every step as a faithful protector. It had frightening fangs and looked like a trained killer! I was even paralyzed by terror for a moment.  Its eyes were so scary. And then…

Sandra Bouchard

Edited: 18.10.2020

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