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A Stranger's Concern

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“Why are you crying?”

 

I asked that when I saw her crouching behind a dark alley. I almost choked up in laughter when she turned at me and stumbled on her feet. She must’ve thought that I was some kind of a bad guy. “I’m not someone suspicious, miss,” I told her and noticed she was staring at me.

 

I looked at myself. I was wearing a black cardigan and black slacks and covered with a black cloak. Well, it was night and really cold. I chuckled. “I do look suspicious even though I told you I’m not.”

 

Her back was against the wall and both of her sides were blocked by wooden boxes. She was still looking for a way to escape. I sighed gently. “Miss, may I know why you were crying just now?” I asked gently, taking off my sunglasses so she can trust me more. She finally looked at my eyes and understood that I was just curious.

 

“It’s none of your business.” Her brown almost bronze hair fluttered when a breeze went by.

 

Ouch. I narrowed my eyes, just trying to ‘threaten’ her a bit. It worked. She backed away even though she had nowhere to go. “Okay, correct me if I’m wrong. Today is supposed to be a special day for you…anniversary, maybe?” I gazed at her. Bulls’ eye! But she still won’t say anything. She was just glaring at me with teary eyes. “And, something happened. A person who you should celebrate it with couldn’t come. Or…won’t come.”

 

She threw a punch at me but I successfully evaded it. “Why are you asking that when you already knew the answer!?” she exclaimed. Tears were starting to fall again from her already red and sore eyes. “Why are you crying?” I asked her again. I could tell her all theories I had in mind but when a girl like her cried, theories were just theories.

 

I gave her a handkerchief. She took it reluctantly and blew her nose. “You’re right. Today is supposed to be my boyfriend and my third year anniversary together. But as I was waiting for him in front of that tower clock, I saw him walking arms in arms with another woman. And she was wearing the same necklace he gave me, damn it!” She blew her nose harder. I looked at her and noticed there wasn’t a necklace around her neck. “I already threw it into the sewer. I won’t trade it for money because since he can buy another one for another girl, it must be cheap.”

 

I nodded in agreement. “But then, why are you crying? Was it because he cheated on you?”

 

“I confronted him, you know?” she glared at him. “Three years! I gave him my three years of devotion and loyalty! He even told me that he thought it was supposed to be tomorrow! Joke! I’m just upset that he was seeing other girl other than me considering he was the one who asked me out first,” she said and took a deep breath. She then stood up and smiled at me. “Thank you for listening. It feels good,” she said. I smiled and refused when she wanted to give me back my contaminated handkerchief. “I’m not finished,” I told her when she was about to leave.

 

She looked at me in a weird way. “Am I supposed to pay you with my body or something?” she asked as she covered her chest. I laughed. “As much as I want to but it’s not that. I can help you get back at him. But only if you want to.” She stared at me like I was a nutcase. “How?” finally she said.

 

“Let’s take this conversation somewhere else…like a café?”

 

………………………………………..

 

I learnt that her name was Kara. She was a high school teacher and the man who supposedly dumped her was a teacher in the same high school too and his name was Willy? William? Maybe William. Heck, men don’t interest me. I had arrived in front of Kara’s school with my red Ferrari. It was the end of the day and the students had begun to swarm out of school. I smiled at myself and put on my sunglasses as I stepped out of the car, with a bouquet of red roses in my arms. The female students immediately noticed my presence and stared at me as if I was some kind of a star. I waltzed my way nonchalantly towards the teachers’ lounge where Kara told me William usually be before heading back home.

 

Murmurs and whispers filled the building as I passed. Finally, I reached my destination. I knocked and opened the door. “Excuse me,” I said loud enough for some attention. All of the teachers were gathering there fortunately. I saw William immediately after Kara showed me his photo yesterday. And as planned, Kara was nowhere in sight. “Yes?” a female teacher who was nearest to me replied. She too had the reaction similar to the female students just now. I took off my glasses and showed her my million dollar smile. “I’m looking for Miss Kara Francis. Is she here?” I asked. As expected, William butted in. “She’s not here yet. May I know why you are looking for her?” I noticed a chip of annoyance in his tone. But that was just what I intended.

 

He was also staring at my flowers. “Oh, this? Miss Francis helped me a lot yesterday. Last night was supposed to be my debut as an artist and at the last minute, my escort bailed out. I was on a verge of humiliation when I saw her drinking coffee alone in the hotel bar. I had to do something you know?” I told them my story and some men nodded their heads indicating that that was exactly what they would do.

 

“We talked a bit later and I found out that she was an art teacher and that she was teaching at this school. She refused to tell me her phone number so I apologize if I cause a disturbance by coming to this school,” I said finally. All of a sudden, we heard the door was opened.

 

“Vincent!” a sweet voice called out to my name. Everyone including William turned to the voice. “Oh, sweet Kara! Here you are!” I exclaimed to express my gladness in seeing her again. We hugged and exchanged kisses on the cheeks. Everyone was in an awe to see her behaving that way. Well, I can see why. To be honest, she was just like any normal woman out there but last night, she looked special. She was special. That was why I chose her. I needed to bring out the beauty in her.

 

Another female teacher stepped in. She was prettier than Kara but there was an air of a snobbish around her. Kara had told me that this woman was the one who she caught being with William. “Kara, he told us he was an artist,” she started. Kara looked at me. “He was holding an art gallery last night. As my plan that day was cancelled,” she glanced at William for a moment and continued “so I went there as I knew there was going to be an art gallery by a new artist. And it was Vincent’s. Oh, Vincent. You shouldn’t have come. I told you it was okay.”

 

I shook my head softly and held her hands. “Hush, I never am without an escort by my side and you really saved me. Let me thank you again by treating you to dinner,” I told her. As she was about to say something, William opened his mouth. Dear Kara, what did you see in that all muscle no brain man? Maybe it really was a good thing you both were no longer together. “She told you it was okay, right? Then you shouldn’t bother her anymore,” he said.

 

Kara stared at him and turned at me again. “I’d love to,” she replied and she immediately grabbed her bag. We both left the school while suppressing our laughters. Immediately after we go into the car she started to laugh. “I bet he didn’t think someone like you would come to the school with that!” she pointed at the roses at the back seat. “Where did you get this car, by the way? Is it really yours?” she asked. “Yep. Everything is mine. Alright, let’s go and have our dinner then,” I said and started to drive away.

 

“Real dinner? I thought we were just faking it?” she looked at me in surprise. I smiled. “I always do thing efficiently. Plus, who knows if someone might come spying on us.”

 

I heard Kara giggled as she wiped her tears from laughing too much. “Man, that would be fun. Let’s go then!”

 

I took her to a beauty saloon first to get her face cleaned up since she was at school all day and she needed to freshen up too. She had her hair and face done with make up and I must say, she transformed into a gorgeous lady. After an hour in the saloon we headed to a boutique. I told her she can choose any dress she wanted and thanks for her artistic taste, she managed to find the most gorgeous dress without costing me a fortune. To match her dress, we bought a silver necklace to compliment her slender neck. “It’s a good thing I threw away that damned necklace,” she joked.

 

We walked out of the store arms in arms, both of us looking as charming as ever. She told me that I was really good looking now unlike how I was yesterday. I answered by telling her that I spent a lot of time trying to look good for her sake. She laughed sweetly. Then she whispered something to me. “William’s here.”

 

I smirked. “Let’s go to that restaurant,” I pointed to a small café by the junction. “So he can afford it,” she added. I turned to her. I was beginning to like her a lot. “You read my mind,” I said.

 

We both had a splendid time that we almost forgot William was there all the time, thinking we didn’t notice him at all. We both flirted and whispered and I’ve got to hand it to Kara, she was a goddess. Her smiled just dazzled everyone including the waiter who served us. Poor kid almost stumbled when he stepped on his own foot after Kara said “Thank you.”

 

When were about to leave as there were fewer people around, William decided to go towards us. “Kara!” he called out. She flipped her hair, a result of getting her confidence and pride back. “William? How long were you here?” she asked, still having that mesmerizing look around her. I smiled triumphantly. “You’re William? We met earlier today. I apologize for didn’t introducing myself earlier. I’m Vin…”

 

“I know who you are, you son of a gun! You’re a wolf in a sheep skin!” he shouted, claiming the attention of the people who were still around. Kara raised her hand and slapped William on the cheek.

 

“No, Will. That’s what YOU are. We are no longer together. Don’t you dare order me around. I can see anyone whenever I want to,” she said with a trembling voice. How I loved this woman more. “You can’t leave me Kara…after all I’ve done!”

 

She shook her head and chuckled sarcastically. “All you’ve done? Yes. I have the rights to leave you after all you’ve done to me. Dear God, Will! Yesterday was our third year anniversary together yet you forgotten it and even went out with another woman!” A loud boo was heard somewhere in the background. Clearly, people were watching us as if we were shooting a drama. “And do I have the rights to leave you?”

 

“Hell yeah!” more people joined, obviously taking Kara’s side. “Right now,” she took my hand into hers. “Even if I want to spend the night with Vincent, you are in no position to do anything to make me unhappy!” she said with pride. “You go, girl!” there were chants around us.

 

William stared at her in disbelief. “He won’t ever be serious with you, Kara! Can’t you see he would just play around with you?”

 

There was a woman said this in the crowd “I don’t mind if I can have a guy as hot as him for one night!” More people cheered. “You heard them, Will. I won’t mind either,” Kara said. A sigh of satisfaction was there in her breath. I decided now was the time I made my entrance.

 

“Sir, I think it’s about enough that you insulted me and Kara tonight. Lovers we may not be but as long as we can make each other happy, we are perfectly fine together. Now, please excuse us,” I said and grabbed her hand and led her away from Will. Her hand was trembling no more. I didn’t dare to glance at her until we got to the car. “Thank you,” she said as soon as I started the engine.

 

“It really feels so good. Maybe I should go out looking like this more often,” she said. Sensing a tone of happiness in her voice I looked at her. She was smiling as we looked at each other. “Yea, you should. Every guy was staring at you. You’d get a better guy next time if you keep this confidence up,” I replied.

 

I drove her back to her house. Without turning the engine off I looked at her. “We’re not going to see each other again, right?” she asked. “I told you in our agreement, I’ll be coming for you for one week just so William won’t bother with you and gives up.”

 

“After that?” she said, looking up finally. “Seabells is a small town. We might bump into each other someday,” I answered. She sighed slowly. “Maybe. Thank you for helping me out. If I didn’t meet you last night…” she said. “Hey, I told you. I chose you.”

 

She chuckled. “Yes. You did. And I’m truly grateful for that. I’ll write you the check after this is over. Good night,” she said and gave me a quick peck on the cheek. Darn, I was good at dodging punches and bullets but not kisses.

 

This was my job. Helping out damsel in distress. However I could never allow myself to fall in love entirely.

 

P/S: Gaaah! Lame title! I used up all my titles for my artworks! Don't mind the grammar and spelling mistakes. I know it already.

Previous short story:
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about the writer

Blake Zane

An Otaku and an Escapist. A Dreamer and Imaginative. Rides Pegasus and eats Ambrosia. Sleeps in the Clouds with Thunder as Lullaby. Eccentric but not Extreme. Loves but not in Love.
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