Porch Light A short Story by Stephanie Mann

 

Victor was a man of humble beginnings, he thought back to his past as he looked out of the large picture frame like window. The parted sheer curtains with lace accents that displayed a feminine touch. To look at the curtains that lined the huge window in his bedroom made Victor very sentimental. He sat there deep in thought thinking about his old concept of home. He sat there in a chair facing the window looking down the street. His neighborhood seemed to depopulate as the day reached for night. His mind wandered back to when he was younger and he met her, his dream girl her once got away. She was slim, pretty and sassy, and would not let him get away with anything. She also would never back down from a fight. He would know, he tested her many times, to the point of annoyance. Debate lined their interactions and though he yearned to embrace her, he could not, his pride would not let him be undone by her. She liked him but had no idea how much. Time went on and the two of them eventually drifted apart. Victor withdrew, became inconsistent, and in some ways cold. Her name was Yana, and she was every bit of a handful, but was also very keen on understanding Victor in such a way that made him yearn for personal space.

Victor soon graduated college with his Master’s degree and remained very community focused. Yana became an artist and moved away to pursue her dream in the Art capital of the world, Paris France.

That should seem like the end but it was only the beginning for Victor. Victor lived for years in the Twin Cities, working and advocating for his community against all odds. He tirelessly fought. When he had an opportunity, he would get caught up in flirtations that lacked staying power. He soon felt disinterested in the matter of love altogether. This left him jaded, and this feeling started to leak into his passion. He found himself waking up, just to go back to sleep again and the hours that lay in-between were used to even work or de-escalate from working. He would think back to Yana in moments when he was lost in his thoughts, her words that would coach him out of his funk, her touch that would help create an incentive. This would bring a smile to his face inside the dark of his thoughts he could see a bright light calling him out of his funk. When he finally came back to reality, his time of rest would be over, he would hustle back to work again, and be on auto pilot during the day.

Yana was deer in the headlights stunning, this only a conversation with her would reveal. She was very stylish to the degree of always making her backdrops look like paintings. Victor could not deny that the things that made her different are the things that made her stand out. It soon got to the point where Victor thought he saw mirages of Yana everywhere, somewhere was someone who looked like her, but only from a good distance, and this was the kicker. Victor did not trust his sight, but more importantly he did not trust his heart. He denied these visions as his annoyance with her increased.

A secret grew in Victor like a whisper that turned into a large scream.

5 months passed from the time that Victor had distanced himself from Ayanna, he had little flirtations that fizzled out, he had a load of work ahead of him, but he still found the simple distraction surrounded him. He stayed in contact with Yana via social media, and saw how her life was taking off and it seemed as if he had his chance, and that the time had passed. Yana was taking the world by storm and she was everywhere, for real after the short time since they parted. Victor started to feel that maybe he was the one that was holding her back. He became resigned to feel happy for her but not enough to stop thinking about her. He tried as much as possible to distance himself from thoughts that would wander back to Yana in anyway. She had a tendency to be ever present, he then realized he was still holding on to her.

Then one-day Victor was at a social gathering and he could not believe his eyes, he saw the most beautiful woman, she was so gorgeous, he could not take his eyes of her. She worked the room, she had pizzazz, he did not recognize who she was. He felt guilty because for moments at time that evening he could not even remember Yana’s name. He was not shy about looking at the beautiful woman either, he was transfixed as if hypnotized by every movement, he felt so utterly entertained by this beauty, but she stayed distance, and pretended not to notice that Victor was staring at her.

Finally, it was the portion of the event where the DJ came in and started playing reggae and the crowd went wild and headed to the dance floor as if on cue. For a moment Victor lost sight of his beauty, but after a while noticed that she too went to the dance floor. Victor followed her with his eyes, but a feeling struck in him that was unusual, he paused and couldn’t move. As she danced, he squinted his eyes and watched her, he knew at the very instant who she was. Yana, and it seemed obvious as he stared at her, but it must have taken him all night to figure out who she was. He had imagined her in every way for months and when he finally sees her again it was with the newest eyes. Her confidence made her beautiful, her grace made her stunning, and her backstory made her inspirational, and all of this magnified her beauty times a million. He knew who she was, but her did not know her, he spent so much time running for her that this prize that stood before him, was the only thing on Earth that he wanted. Victor after seeing her, felt it was time to leave, he did not know what to do at that very moment, and she seemed to be having the time of her life mingling around the room, and surely, she noticed him.

Victor turned to leave, but before he did he looked back at her for the last time before leaving out the door.  He headed down the hallway, passed the crowed, and out the door, before he could exhale, he saw Yana standing wide eyed in front of him. “I was rude for ignoring you Victor, she said, “but, I thought you did not even know who I was.” Victor didn’t lie, he told Yana he didn’t recognize her, and he furthered it but telling her about her “glow up”, and how fantastic she looked. Yana smiled from ear to ear, and this warmed Victor’s heart, he found himself reaching for her hand and holding throughout the whole conversation. After they were done, Victor went in but he kissed Yana on the cheek and skirted off as if he was in a hurry. Yana stood in the same spot until Victor was out of sight, then after that, Victor had no idea what she was thinking. He was in the middle of an anxiety attack, he went to his car and took a huge breath, he was sure Yana had moved on, and thought it rather precocious of him to even kiss her on the cheek, he thought how silly he must of look holding on to her hand as if he was going to kiss it at any time but didn’t. He left the conversation in the most surface level of places, speaking of superficial things, when there were plenty of other issues between them, and he left before Yana could tell him her thoughts. He sat in his car, and then realized one thing, he could not run from his feelings for Yana, that would not make him feel like a man so he had only one choice at that moment, and that was to man up.

Victor remembered how he ran back into the event to look for Yana, but was snatched out of his thoughts when the porchlights came on. He then quickly got up from the window and ran downstairs as if he was late for an important appointment.

He could smell and aroma that wafted from the kitchen, and there she was standing in the door way like a picture in a picture frame. “Hey dear, I did not know you were home, were you sleep?”. Victor knew two things at that moment he was definitely home and he was no longer dreaming.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.