A story about understanding self-worth and finding love in unexpected places.
Cheesy, I know.
Note: The title will probably change.
The moment I first laid eyes on her will be forever burned into my mind as one of the worst things I've ever seen. Don't get me wrong, she was gorgeous. Stunning, even. At first I found myself completely entranced by her, unable to look at anything but this beautiful creature.
Though that could have also been because she was four stories above me, swaying on the edge of a rooftop.
I should have been horrified. But I wasn't so much worried, as I was totally enwrapped in watching her. I stood frozen, one hand in my pocket reaching for a five dollar bill, the other holding my tinfoil-wrapped Chicago dog. I stood there for what seemed like forever, watching her long, dark hair and a red scarf be blown wildly around her head by the chilly wind. The sight of her was captivating. I felt as if I were witnessing some precious wonder, like when a wild animal ventures out and allows you to watch it for a while, before running back into the wilderness. Standing there at the top of that building, I could swear there had never been anything more lovely. It was honestly like the whole world was revolving around that nameless girl.
Then I was snapped back into reality. I glanced at the vendor with his hand out, waiting for payment, and dropped my hot dog without thinking. The reality of what I was seeing, this girl leaning over the edge of a building forty feet above a busy highway, hit me like a ton of bricks. My heart was racing as I zig-zagged through traffic towards the stucco building across the street. I still couldn't focus on anything else. Not the cars honking at me as they whizzed by, or the hot dog vendor shouting for me to "Get back and pay for the dog!". All I could think was to get to the top of that building, and get that precious person away from danger. I felt as though my own life depended on it.
I burst through the doors of the graying apartment building, making quite a commotion as I shouted, "Where are the stairs?" to a grouchy looking woman behind the reception desk. She barely looked up at me over her oval-rimmed glasses, frustrating me quite a bit, and said monotonously, "Sir, the stairs are for occupants only.". I walked briskly over to the receptionist. Her name tag read Linda. "Listen, Ms. Linda. This is life or death. Something's happening upstairs, and I need to get there, pronto." She didn't seem at all moved. But, she sighed and motioned to her left saying, "If you cause any trouble, I'm calling the cops." I followed in the direction she gave me, down a short, dim hallway decorated with tables full of business cards, baskets of fruit, and Chicago tourist attractions. At the end there was a door marked 'Emergency Exit'. I took the stairs two at a time, trying not to stumble in the scarcely lit stairwell. By the beginning of the fourth flight, my calves were aching, and my lungs were starting to burn, but I knew I couldn't stop. There was no telling how much time I had before that girl on the rooftop wasn't anymore.