Seize the Moment
by Norman A. Rubin
Chance governs all! Chance is luck, an opportunity, a gamble! Chance can not be predicted, understood or controlled. Chance is for the moment to be taken hold of and acted upon immediately. For chance does not wait as fate seizes the delay and the opportunity of chance disappears forever more.
The summer rain fell gently as Horace Launcey made his way from his employment at a counting house to a popular cafe-restaurant for his lunch break. The large droplets of rain were already drenching the streets of Gotham, which forced the good citizens to scurry. When Horace tread the wet sidewalks his opened umbrella clashed with others and his raincoat was splashed by gleeful drivers.
Horace Launcey braved onwards with head up in the rain. The tallish clerk, manly in his youthful years, dodged the passers-by, puddles, and other obstacles. When he felt the damp on his trousers’ legs he cursed angrily at the splashing motorists. Then with long strides he made a turning to a narrow street with his eatery in sight. At first he was unaware that there was another figure a few steps before him.
When he stared from under his hat set deep on his reddish head, his dark brown eyes saw the back of a young girl in front of him. Horace saw a vision of a lovely creature under the spread of a transparent umbrella. But without seeing the features of her face he knew she was beautiful, as she declared her beauty wordlessly by her mincing steps. The lithe figure was draped in a bright green raincoat belted with a slim belt of the same colour; her hair was covered by decorated scarf with a few strands of her blonde hair streaming through.
Horace slowed the pace of his long strides to a slow walk in order to remain discretely behind her. As Horace walked behind her he took note of her slender legs sheathed in sheer nylon with her trim ankles tapering to tan loafers. Horace Launcey’s eyes roved to the dainty movement of the swell and curve of her hips as she walked in the rain. Horace watched with the same sensuous fascination, which has drawn the attention of men for ages.
His mind searched under the green and he dreamily imagined the curve of her body on the white of her skin. Horace smiled at those fanciful thoughts. He a bachelor who was more or less satisfied with a comfortable bachelorhood.
A faint smile beamed on his angular face as he wondered what she would think of him as he admired her figure when he drank in the movement of her dainty steps. Then, he thought that the young lady would not be shocked and horrified; after all she displayed her allurement without shame for all to see.
Horace saw with pleasure that the nymph turned into the small restaurant, the same of his choice. He entered and noticed that it was not too busy, because of the rain. He took a seat alongside a small table in a quiet corner, one to face the young lady but not too near. His order was given to a waitress and he looked surreptitiously at the maiden as he waited for his serving.
Horace tried not to stare as she removed her scarf and shake out her blond hair. He watched as she ordered and he was not surprised that she was quite pretty. Her face was slightly oval with a prominent yet dimpled chin. Her pale green eyes under slim brows coursed to a perky nose to a full and generous mouth. It was a carefree and delightful beauty that caused admiration.
Horace’s simple lunch was served and in between mouthfuls he decided to guess the woman’s age. Perhaps twenty-five maybe a bit more he reckoned. But his thoughts were disturbed as the young lady stared towards him momentarily as she loosened the belt to her raincoat. The garment was pulled aside a bit for comfort revealing the soft curve of her breasts to his shaded sight.
Horace then noticed that the third finger of her left hand was not ornamented with a gold band. His thoughts raced as he told himself that this lovely darling has been dropped into his lap through the luck of the gods. “I’m not handsome by all means, but with a little charm on my part...”
Their eyes met once again momentarily but there was no sign from her that showed neither a sign of interest nor lack of interest. What did she think of him. Anything! “Hard to know what woman liked or what they found attractive in men,” he thought. His pulse raced as he tried to figure a diversion that would somehow force an introduction.
Time was slipping by as the restaurant was filling with hungry patrons. How to approach this pretty creature in public was on his mind. She didn’t look the kind that would be annoyed by the attention of a stranger or even call the manager in alarm. Yet, in his shyness he could not think of an answer.
Horace Launcey was in near panic when he saw through the scurrying patrons that the nymph of his dreams had risen from her table and was adjusting her raincoat. He tried to signal the busy waitress in order to pay his bill when he rose from his chair and adjusted his outer clothing. “At last,” he blurted out as he received his bill of fare. As the tip was put in the plate he saw the back of a green raincoat going through the door.
Horace pushed aside irate customers as he rushed to the door. He stepped on the wet sidewalk and searched with his eyes but there was no sign of the lovely nymph with mincing feet. He took long strides to main and busy thoroughfare. But the pavement on either direction was filled with hurrying passers-by as the rain continued to pour down. A curse was on his lips.
Call it karma or kismet but fate decreed that he would never gaze again at this pretty creature. It would soon become a vague feeling in the thoughts of Horace Launcey. Then later it would vanish completely.
Copyright © 2004 by Norman A. Rubin