The Cover…But Definitely Not The Book

She commanded that courtroom,
Captivating the jury,
Co-opting the judge…
Tearing down my case as opposing counsel.

I couldn’t decide what was more powerful,
Her brilliance,
Razor sharp wit,
Or perfectly tailored silk suit…
Shimmering.

Her eyes spoke with authority, and
Blazing confidence.
Drawing…with their intimacy,
Every person in that court,

Into her world…

Me included.

When the case ended,
I knew the verdict before the
Jury Foreman opened the envelope,
And read what was a foregone conclusion…

All, in favor of her client.

As others left that courtroom,
She, on one side of the aisle,
And I, on the other,
Both struggled to force documents
Into our attachés.

Then, our eyes met.

“You were absolutely brilliant,” I testified…
Speaking nothing but the truth.

A small, wry smile creased her
Perfectly adorned,
Glossy lips.

“You beat me badly, but fairly,” I added.
Acknowledging her victory.

At that point, I should have stopped,
But I couldn’t.

“It’s been a long day, and an even longer trial.”

“Would you be interested in drink?”

Why I thought she’d join me…
I have no idea,
But I asked nonetheless.

“Your case was a loser from the start,” she opined.

“And your witnesses totally let you down.”

She was right… again.

“But all that is past.”

“Yes…I would love a drink,” she replied.

I was stunned.

As we made our way from the courthouse,
We pushed through the perfunctory,
Small talk.

I was guessing a sophisticated woman
Such as this, would lead us
To the Ritz Carlton,
And some classic jazz playing in
The Lobby Lounge…
Most likely, asking for a glass of champagne.

But as we moved farther from that
Courtroom,
And closer to our lives,
We took an unexpected path…

To neither sophistication,
Nor elegance…
But to a dive bar.

Rhythm and blues seeped from
The walls, and spread across the
Tiny dance floor.

The bar, lacquered from years of
Spilled drinks,
And spilled emotions,
Spoke to her…

Surprising me.

Two bar stools were waiting unexpectedly
For us.
As if ours…
As if reserved for the unthinkable.

This perfect,
Sophisticated,
Genius,
Beautiful woman…
And me.

As she established her presence,
There,
With me,
The cover of this book,
Was shed,
And the depth of this woman
Began unfolding,
Page after page.

As she let down
Her perfectly coiffed locks,
Waves of silky
Tawny hair,
She shook all loose…
Her mane and,
Her outward persona.

Here…
Now…
She gifted to me her true self,
And heart.

All of the preceding days of the trial,
Defining her in my eyes,
Were slowly peeled back.

Her whiskey…neat
Both satisfied,
And smoothed her.

The suit jacket loosened,
As she opened to me.

Regardless of outward appearance,

Regardless of strength conveyed,

Regardless of her victory…
In probably everything,
She pursued…ever,
She spoke to me.

This perfect person
Who somehow,
Someway,
Chose to spend her evening
With me,
Yearned for something more.

In that moment,
My mind and heart,
Were opened.

All of us fall short of our dreams.

All of us long for connection,
To others…
And to our true selves.

Neither of us knew,
That night,
What the future held for either.

But this was clear…
As we made our way to
That tiny dance floor.

Tonight…
Perhaps of all nights…

We had a chance to learn more,
So much more…

About each other…

And ourselves.

 

© 2017 W. C. Stacia, Jr.

 

 

 

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