Copenhagen: Just a little something down the streets of an unfamiliar place is a short story written by letterthief and shared with The Ugly Writers under the theme Break Out.
Copenhagen: Just a little something down the streets of an unfamiliar place
There are 7 continents across the globe with 7.8 billion other people in it, 747.6 million in Europe, 5.7 million in Denmark and then there’s us. There’s you and me. No matter how much I decrease the size of the area where I could meet you, what are the chances that I would find you? Is there even a chance at all?
But say there is, and so if I did, what are the chances that I would be yours and you would be mine? Do you see it? It’s like you’re looking for that single pinhead needle in a hay stack. Searching for an end in a road that never ends.
But I found you.
In the streets where I didn’t ever think of nor imagine meeting you. In the streets of an unfamiliar place, you were the familiarity I had been looking for.
We met in the most unromantic way. With me stumbling my way down the stairs of the hostel we’re both staying and you heartily laughing with your circle of friends while sitting at the sofa in the lobby. Your laughter echoing at the small space, but you couldn’t care less even as the other guests looked at you in dismay.
You were enchanting.
You shot me a look when I tripped on my own as I walk towards the reception. My things scattered on the floor, and in an instant you were picking up some of the pieces that fell out from my bag, casually asking me, “Are you okay?”
I could barely mutter a coherent response even as I cleared my throat multiple times. So I nodded vigorously instead, and you chuckled while helping me stand up.
“You’re traveling on your own?” You inquired with a gentle smile, your eyes soft with kindness and I felt warmth as I received that smile.
I quickly muttered a simple yes, and you nodded in understanding. You bid goodbye and told me to enjoy my trip, but before you can go back to your friends, I sloppily grabbed your hand.
“Excuse me?” Came my question with trembling voice.
You turned to look at me with curiosity, and I let go of your hand, my cheeks burning in red with embarrassment. You were waiting and I was hesitating, but in the end I mustered my courage and bravely asked for your help with the directions of the places I’m supposed to visit. But your answer was entirely different from what I was expecting.
It caught me off guard.
You caught me off guard. I realized there and then, that you live by spontaneity.
You were a free spirit.
You were the definition of free and alive.
Instead of giving me the directions so I can go off on my own to see the places on my list, you offered to tour me around instead. You didn’t even wait for my answer, you just smiled and next thing I knew I was surrounded by people I don’t know, with their crazy jokes and boisterous laughter.
You were the center of it and it was truly captivating.
Oh what are the odds that I’d stumble upon you on this trip, I asked myself.
Was that it then that I liked you? No.
It was when your loud voice dragged me into one of those spurs of the moments, and crazy I might say, your group of fun and crazy people that you’re surrounded with, just out of the blue do. And I wondered if I was really supposed to be in there, to be part of your circle, but you included me when I was hiding away. You were always quick to take notice of my awkwardness, and it draw me in before I even knew it. Slowly, like lose thread being tightly pulled in.
Remember when you and I went to Tivoli? It was out of my list but a place I definitely want to visit. So, imagine my surprise when one random morning, you came knocking on my hotel door with a cheery voice, greeting me and telling me to dress up. You didn’t take no for an answer and so I quickly did what you told me to.
“Where are we going?” I asked you once we’re out in the streets. Your answer came only after you finally hailed a cab and lightly shoved me in.
“Tivoli Gardens, please.” My eyes widen at your words that’s directed to the driver, and I looked at you in question. But you were just grinning at me, and sitting comfortably after the taxi started moving.
“You said you wanted to visit it, right?”
“So, we’re going.”
Your answer was simple, and you didn’t explain anything else after. Just that, and I found myself amazed once again at your spontaneous tendencies. You were carefree and I envied your carelessness.
I don’t know if that day at the park meant much to you like it had for me. But even though I didn’t show it much, it did. It meant so much more, that a simple thank you I uttered to you can’t ever be enough.
Because I was an awkward person, and a complete stranger to a city you loved and know by heart. Yet you didn’t think twice to reach out for me and yes, it maybe cheesy but it’s like you’ve found me.
That night at the park made me realize it wasn’t just a mere crush that goes away after some time, although the place was magical and surreal, somehow being with you that night was the reason it was magical for me. Just as I was drowning, there you were, laughing whole heartedly and you were a breath of fresh air.
You were that for me. You were that different. You were different from all those I have met before. You were that feeling of familiarity I had been looking for God knows since when.
You were entirely different in so many senses but how funny it is to think that I hated you at some point. Because you’ve made me question things, and you’ve made me feel something I’ve never felt before. It’s ironic that I’ve felt such things because thinking about it, I know you were not mine to begin with, and to make things worse, I know you can never be.
Until maybe, you finally decide to stop waiting.
Yeah, waiting. You told me you were waiting for a person you don’t even know if they will even be back at all.
“That’s why I’m here, again and again.” I remember hearing these words from you.
“I know, I’m pathetic. Very unlike me, right?” You casually asked, and I agreed on my mind, but didn’t say anything to you. After knowing you for weeks, it’s indeed so unlike you, but then it made you more human to me.
Because when I met you, you were this carefree spirit; free and alive. But when I got to know you more, I realized you were this tired soul that kept on relieving something that has long ended. So, as you took time to notice me when I was drowning on my own, I took notice of the times when your smiles and laughter will falter every once in a while.
You have fully caught my attention, and I was even more enthralled with every detail I get to find out.
“I like you.” I blurted out to you when we were walking at one of the streets near the hostel. I don’t know where that courage came from, but it’s too late to take it back. You were silent, and I thought you didn’t hear it, even though I know that was just a wishful thinking on my end. Then I heard you clear your throat, “Don’t.”
“Don’t like me.” You repeated.
“Why?” I asked you, although I know the reason why.
“Because I can’t like you back.”
“I know.” I told you, and it was the truth. I didn’t really expect for you to like me back when your heart was out there waiting for someone.
“So, don’t okay?” I didn’t answer and let your question hung lose in the air. It wouldn’t make much of a difference either way even if I say yes, because those 3 words were just the top of something growing deep.
“Thank you for making this trip memorable.” Were the words I said instead. You looked at me with that radiant smile and I felt my lips slowly curl into a smile too.
Somehow, I felt sad and happy at the same time thinking how my trip was almost done. Sad because I’d be leaving with nothing but memories of you and happy because I’d be leaving before, I fell into a love that leads to nothing but heartbreak.
“How many more days left?” You asked me just before I went in to my room. I was confused at first until I realized you were referring to my flight.
“Two more.” Came my timid answer, and you nodded with a serious face.
“Don’t forget to see me on your last day, yeah?” I smiled and nodded to you. This made you grin and you shooed me away, making me chuckle.
“Give me tomorrow to think.” I heard you mutter under your breath and I turn to look at you with a confused face. But you just shook your head with a grin and continued shooing me to go in my room.
“Okay okay. See you.” Chuckling as I go in, dismissing what I heard. Just as I closed my door, I heard you talk. I heard you say something that was loud for me to hear but not too loud for me to catch all of it. “For the first time in years, my heart was shaking today.”
“And I’m not so sure why.”
“Was it because of you?”
If everything that I heard was right, I didn’t savor the glee it made me feel because I didn’t want my hopes to go high just to be crushed down. So, I let it slide. I let your words hung lose once again on air, in the middle of an empty hallway.
My last days went by quickly and I didn’t see you nor catch even just a glimpse of you. I was set to leave for Airport, in about half an hour to catch my flight but I was contemplating whether to really see you one last time or not.
Because I might do something crazy like ditching my flight and staying a bit more. That thought throbbed at the back of my mind, but I also know that it’s pointless even if I stayed. I just didn’t expect to bring home with me, something so memorable and heavy to remember; you.
I would remember Copenhagen and every time I would, I just know that I’d remember you and the way you made me feel more than the place itself. Oh I would love to not just bring home some memories that will surely haunt me, but also you.
So hey, I surprised myself when I decided to see you despite that thought, which is still very unlike me, because I hate definite goodbyes and I’m sure you know, just as I told you. So what a luck for me it is that you weren’t around when I wanted to say goodbye.
I asked around your friends, and they all told me one thing without any explanation, “She already left.”
Where can you be?
You’re indeed full of surprises. You’re indeed simply courageous and spontaneous, it was so refreshing and overwhelming at the same time, but I want more of it, more of your carefreeness.
“There you are!” Your voice rang loud and clear in the open space of the airport.
“What took you so long?” Was your question the moment I turned to look at you. You were grinning ear to ear, standing a few feet away from me. I was in utter shock, and it took me minutes to process your presence.
“Are you really going to just stand there?” I broke in trance, and started walking, albeit too stiffly.
“What are you doing here? I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wanted to see you badly but I didn’t expect to see you here.” I rambled on as we fall into a better walking pace.
You were grinning, there’s a hint of playfulness on your lips and you’re trying hard not to chuckle. I had my assumptions but I didn’t voice it out, so I waited for you to answer.
“Come on, you have a plane to catch.” You stated simply instead before saying, “You have a flight to catch with me.”
I stopped walking.
My breath caught on my throat. I slowly faced you, and you wore your most serious face that I have ever seen.
“I don’t get what you’re saying.” Came my lame response at your admission. You chuckled lightly before getting back at your serious face.
“You caught my eye when you stumbled down on that stairs at the hostel, and how funny it is that just like how you stumbled back then…” You started, right then and there. Looking straight into me like you’ve always done.
“You had managed to stumble something inside me.” My heart fluttered.
“After so many years, my heart was shaking and pounding hard on my chest, not because of the adrenaline of doing something crazy, but because you just simply looked onto me.” Flashing me a smile, the prettiest one I’ve ever seen.
“All I’m saying is that I like you too.” I was at loss for words. You took a step closer to me, and I stood frozen.
“Imagine all the places I have been. All the people I’ve met and yet, somehow, you out of all of them had managed to make me move again.” Another step closer to me.
“I don’t know what’s in it for me, for you or for us, but I want to know how far this adrenaline you’re giving me, can take me.” One more step, and you just stood an arm’s length away from me.
“I didn’t know you were this hopeless romantic.” I mumbled, chuckling nervously at you.
“Sshhh. Don’t ruin the moment.” You teased, that bright smile now a full-blown grin.
You grabbed my hand.
My eyes widened.
You caressed my hand while cradling it both in yours.
You locked eyes with me.
“So, remember you told me that there’s 7.8 billion people in the world?” I nodded meekly. I wondered how much more can you make my heart flutter with your confession.
“You found me in the most unlikely place and timing.”
“And I’d like it, if you let me be that one person in 7.8 billion people in the world who will continue to look at you when everyone’s busy moving.”
“And in the right time, give you more than all the love you think you deserve.” You said casually but endearingly.
“That goes without saying.” I replied as coolly as I can, and you chuckled at me.
You squeezed my hands and intertwined it with yours, “Let’s go, before we miss the flight.”
And yes, I guess cliché love like this really do happen in real life and not just in the movies. One would say what happened at the airport was like a scripted scene from a romantic movie. But, I’d like to tell that no, it wasn’t and that yes, it’s entirely possible to find love, to find that one person out of the billions out there, just like they keep on showing in movies.
And it’s a thousand times better than films.
It was so much better for me, because it was you.
I turned to look at you and you were shaking your head at me.
“Never gonna let go of that airport confession, are you?” You asked me, and I answered you a hard no while grinning.
“Whatever makes you happy, love.” Was your response as you gave in with my teasing, and I chuckled at you.
“And Happy anniversary to you too!” You mumbled lightly to me, while snaking your arms around me for a hug.
“I love you.” I mumbled to you softly. I can feel your smile, and the way you snuggled closer and hugged me tighter.
“I love you too.”
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