Blessing at a Bar

Love at First Shot

She’d been waiting for her boyfriend to show for over two hours, with no phone-call or text to settle her emotions. Long-distance puts strain on relationships almost universally, but the three months she’d been away at her new job seemed to promote an unsettling indifference in her boyfriend’s actions. Normally, she’d have fled the scene at the hour mark, but it was their first anniversary together, an event she was hoping to celebrate at the bar they first met at. Suddenly, just as she’s lifting her head from her phone, an immaculately-groomed stranger appears and sits across from her.

He begins asking her about her dress, whether she had purchased it from ‘Starlite’ (A high-end clothing retailer, though not with any locations in driving distance). After confusingly correcting the mistake, she watches him ramble on about the dress’s similarity to designs he’d helped select for the store’s new fall collection, and charmingly note that she wore it more appropriately than any of the model stock-photos with the piece that he’d seen. After signalling to a waiter and ordering a water with lemon, he flashes her a simple grin. Just as he was coxing out of her a description of her professional involvement as an overseas realtor, she hears a projected cough off to her side.

Wearing a hoodie and jeans, her boyfriend raises an eyebrow before stating that he must be interrupting. Just as she processes what the metallic tone of his voice implies, her boyfriend is already making his way out through the bar’s exit. She gives her stranger a panicked nod which he reciprocates, as she races after him. Outside, her eyes flicker toward a distant figure obscured by the evening rainstorm climbing into a black SUV. Running through the soaked lot, she reaches the driver’s window just as the car starts. Tapping the window adamantly, she thinks she sees him roll his eyes before driving off. Shocked still, she eventually makes her way back to the restaurant.

Hesitantly reentering and approaching the nearest restroom, she looks to her table to see the stranger signing a paper before giving it to a retreating waiter. Their eyes meet, and she waves him over before retreating momentarily to the restroom to dry herself off slightly. After reemerging, she politely thanks him before pulling up her purse, at which point the stranger gently stops his hand over top her wrist. He muses, “It was my treat… I just couldn’t watch two gloomy rain clouds in an evening if I didn’t have to.” After a pause, she attempts to give him a hug, but bangs their foreheads together in her rush of adrenaline. Looking up, she sees him let out an uncharacteristically high giggle and outstretch his arms – before she pulls herself into him assuredly.

This visual assignment instructed me to choose or take a photograph a photograph of two people clearly in love, then use it to describe a story with a point of view about the romance in some way. I decided to use the chemistry between the characters of the movie “Crazy, Stupid, Love” as my inspiration for a fictional story which ends with the photograph being shown above. I wanted a couple whose photograph had an interesting element to it, and immediately thought of how the female protagonist had searched out the male character in the film to embrace him sopping wet (Even as relatively unfamiliar strangers). This made me think of creating a strangers-meeting storyline, and I was excited to somehow figure out how to justify her appearance.

In creating the story, I also noted that the man was dressed quite fashionably. This made me think of his career being within the fashion industry. I also thought of having her get into a confrontation with someone, as rain is a symbol of rebirth/baptism often within literature, and is often correlated with emotionally volatile moments in life. From there, I simply wrote of a meeting between two strangers before introducing the conflict and then settling it and any loose ends between our two story’s leads.

I view this assignment as a creative success. I was impressed with my own ability to flesh out the narrative and then complete the story-lines as quickly as I did, and I found that I justified the image details within the photo while layering additional emotional weight to it. It was also amusing to me that the story ends with the photo shown, and I felt proud in that creative choice. I’d view this assignment as average in difficulty, since the creation of a story took fairly long for me to tweak to my own satisfaction.

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