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3 Senses

Short Story

Photo by Michał Parzuchowski on Unsplash

The first time I met her we were both in a coffee shop. She smelled of honeydew and summer time. Her laugh was like a sunrise. It started out deep and dark and then slowly grew into a bright shining beam of light. I stepped up to order and told the man at the register what I wanted. He rung it up and I struggled with the change in my pocket when I heard her footsteps moving towards the door. 

I leaned over to the man and said, “I’ll give you a $20 tip if you can get that girl to stay.” He looked at me unsure for a minute. Time was running out. Her footsteps were slowly getting quieter. 

He sighed and said, “$20 isn’t too bad a price to embarrass myself.”

“Hey, miss!” he shouted to her as her hand hit the door and the little bell dinged. The soles of her shoes squeaked on the floor as she turned around, obviously startled. 

“Yes?” she said, sounding unsure. 

“Uh yeah... well you see... this man here in front of me... uh I think he wanted to ask you out or something,” he said. Her giggle was crisp and cute.

“Oh really now? Then why didn’t he ask me himself?” she said as her voice came closer to me. The man behind the counter was silent, probably shrugging. I pulled my wallet back out and handed him a $20.

I could feel her now. She was right next to me. I smelled the honeydew again. My glasses fell down my face a little as I turned towards her. She giggled again. 

“So I guess I’m worth $20? That’s good to know,” she said in a sarcastic yet warm tone. 

A laugh escaped my lips. “Well, ma’am, in my defense I haven’t gotten to you know you well, but I have a feeling you’re priceless,” I said with a stupid smile on my face. She laughed and her breath was hot and smelled of peppermint tea.

The cashier called out my name and I made my way over and took my drink from him. She followed close behind.

“Would you like to sit down and talk with me?” I asked hopefully. 

“Yes, of course,” she said. We made our way over to a booth near the bathrooms.

“You smell wonderful,” I said. 

She giggled slightly before saying, “Well, I’m glad.”

We continued to talk for a while and then she finally asked me, “Why are you wearing those dark glasses inside? I’m not trying to be rude, but it doesn’t give off the best first impression.” She sounded uneasy, but I was used to this question. 

My head hung as I uttered the words that would send her away. “I’m blind.” 

She seemed to stop breathing. The booth made a funny noise as she leaned back into her seeming to contemplate what to say next.

“So if you’re blind... why do you not have a seeing-eye dog with you?” Her questioned startled me, but I gladly answered. 

“Well, I know this shop so well I don’t need her with me. She’s at home which is actually just up the stairs to the left of this place. I live in the apartment above this shop,” I say. 

She continues to talk and asks how I lost my sight which I told her in detail. We exchanged phone numbers and I called her later that night.

The phone calls turned to dates, and the dating turned into a relationship, which three years later became a marriage. We’ve been married 20 years now and I’m still amazed at her beauty. The lightness she carries in her voice, the slow tapping of her feet as they hit the ground, that sunset of a laugh, and of course the smell of honeydew that radiates off of her. And since we’ve been married I’ve experienced the other senses. The smoothness of her skin; as smooth as velvet. The taste of mint lip balm on her plump lips. When people ask how I know she’s beautiful without seeing her, I simply tell them that you don’t need all your senses to know how beautiful someone is. Beauty is something within a person, and hers is magnificent.