White and Gold
Tiffany stumbled and with a loud crack, her ankle gave way as she slipped on the edge of the curb. Other runners turned to stare, but none of them offered any form of help. Not even the man who had pushed her off the curb.
“Watch it!” he grumbled.
Tiffany stared after him in disbelief. He was hardly any regular runner: fair, flabby, arms not even swinging back and forth as he ran, his feet dragging on the floor. Other runners gave him annoyed clicks and grumbled as he pushed roughly past them.
Balanced on her uninjured right foot, she looked around for the pit stop. There was none nearby. She was four kilometers away from the finishing line, yet she had no motivation to limp all the way there. Her ankle was swelling up, she could feel it. She had gone for the marathon alone, and no one had offered to call for the first-aid from the nearest pit stop. Maybe some kind soul had gotten to it, but as Tiffany limped on slowly, no one came to help.
“Do you need help?”
Tiffany turned at the voice that appeared out of thin air to her left. Her ankle, unable to take the momentum of her sudden movement, gave way once more as the man who had just talked to her steadied her with both of his arms on her shoulders.
“Clearly,” he answered himself, giving her a warm smile.
He was tall, lanky and tanned. He pulled his red Adidas cap lower to shield his eyes from the rising morning sun. Without asking any further questions, he simply took her by her arm and helped her as she limped on.
“You came alone?” Tiffany asked.
“Yeah. I always do. It’s a hassle to have to wait for anyone else while running.”
“Oh. But…” her voice trailed, but he seemed to know what she was thinking.
“It’s nothing.” He grinned at her, showing a set of perfect, white teeth. For a long while, they said nothing. The minutes dragged on and finally, they reached the pit stop. A few people swarmed to her with a first-aid kit when they saw them approaching. The man helped her to a chair.
“Well, I’ll be going then.”
“No problem, Tiffany.”
Tiffany’s jaw dropped for a moment, wondering how he knew her name. It was not until he pointed at her race bib, gave a wink and turned to leave.
“Wait!” Tiffany called out. “What’s your name?!”
He turned and jogged backwards in small little steps and her eyes zoomed to his race bib. But in the place where she had put her name was the word “Runner.”
Without answering, he smiled again and jogged away. The last thing she saw, before the first-aid crowded around her with an extra chair to prop her leg up, was his white and gold Adidas watch glistening in the morning sun.
Tiffany stood in front of the glass display, looking at the pair of couple watch. Two years ago, another pair had been in that exact same spot of the exact same glass display; one of them now sat on her wrist, lonely without its partner. He had left, walked out of her life without even a goodbye. For many weeks she had wanted a new watch, to erase her of any memories, even the happy ones because they were the ones which hurt most. The problem was that whenever she saw a watch she liked, she could not bear to ditch the current one she had, the only gift and connection between them. Today, she had come to the shop, determined to get a new one; she had seen him in school the day before with a new girl, both of them wearing identical watches. It pushed her to walking into the watch shop to get a new one. She wanted to get rid of it where it had all started.
She had looked everywhere in the shop for a watch she really liked, but the only one she fell in love with was the female version of that pair of couple watch. Something about the watch had drawn her in deeply. It was white and gold, encrusted with crystals around the frame of the digital LED screen, which blinked rhythmically. What Tiffany really liked too was the subtle leopard prints lining the sides of the white leather strap. The male version was entirely the same, just that the watch was black, not white.
“Would you like to have a look at this? It’s the latest design.” The saleslady had snuck up next to Tiffany without her knowledge.
Tiffany just looked at her, then shrugged.
“It’s alright. I have no one to share it with,” she said, turning to leave.
“Oh! But a gentleman left his name behind to see if anyone would like to share it with him!”
Tiffany stopped in her tracks. What? Share a couple watch with a complete stranger? Now now, her ex-boyfriend owns a couple watch with a real girlfriend. What does that make her? Loser.
But on the other hand, she really loved the watch. Looking longingly at the watch shining in the display, she bit her lip. She did come to get a new watch… No one would really notice, right?
“Erm… Has he made payment yet?”
“Not yet. He just left the shop a few minutes ago. I could call him back.”
“Yes, yes, that will be great,” Tiffany said. “I’ll get it once we’ve worked out the payment.”
Tiffany rummaged for a wallet while the saleslady made the call. She waited for a while before the saleslady hung up.
“While we are at it, would you like to engrave anything on the watch?”
“Yeah, it will look like this,” the saleslady said, taking out a box from behind the counter. The pair of couple watch sat snugly in the box and she took out the black one. “Here. He had us engrave his name on the back of his watch. It’s free.”
Tiffany reached over the counter and peered at the watch. Upon the metal cover was an elegant inscription of a man’s name “Elijah”.
“What do you think, miss? Would you like to engrave something on your watch too?”
Tiffany glanced at the watch, thinking slowly. Her mind was still marveling on her impulse of buying a pair of couple watch together with a stranger and had not really settled upon the decision of engraving letters on the watch. The two ideas seemed very far apart for some reason, and she could not dedicate a proper thought to it.
“What do you suggest?” Tiffany finally asked the saleslady lamely.
“How about ‘Tiffany’?”
Tiffany spun around. Standing there, looking laid back in Oakley shades, a plain white tee-shirt and khaki green Bermudas was a tall, lanky man, tanned to the very tips of his fingers. Her eyes zoomed to his right wrist, where predictably, a white and gold Adidas watch glistened under the lighting of the shop. She looked from the saleslady, who nodded, smiling, and back to him. He removed his shades grinned. She could not help but grinned in return as they looked at each other in silence.
“Yes. Tiffany sounds good.” She laughed.
White and Gold © 2011 by Aubystories. All rights reserved.