“Drink with me my friend.“ she said. She poured the red liquid into the crystal glass and left it to linger on the table as she raised her own. The red of the wine mixed with the red of her lips as she drank, his eyes fixed on her mouth, hands shaking.
“Why are you not drinking?“ she asked, putting down the glass, as a small track of rubies rolled down her chin. “You are beautiful.“ was all he could say. She chuckled. “Honesty at such a late hour, how convenient.“ She batted her eyelashes and refilled her glass. His fingers rested on the table, not touching his own. “Let me tell you something about honesty. Honesty is hard. Honesty is strong. And honesty is deceptive. Why? Because none of us are really able to be honest. All we do is say we speak the truth while we actually hide and fear of it. None of us speak in all honesty. Even when we try to, we usually don't succeed. And why? Because it's in our nature.“
“Are you trying to say that I don't really think you are beautiful?“ he asked.
“Not at all. I am just saying that the real honesty lies deep within. It takes guts to bring it out, and it takes more to stand your ground after you've said it. I appreciate that.“
“Why do you think I am honest? If everyone's a liar.“ His blue eyes shone as he questioned. She smiled softly.
“I don't. I just said it, didn't I? No one is really honest. But I appreciate your attempt. It's more than anyone's ever done for me. Beauty is fleeting. And my beauty will fade with time. It's just a shell. That's why you are not able to be honest about it. Both you and I know that it is a temporary state, and we both know it's not worth a thing when you sum it up.“
“You didn't understand me.“
She looked confused.
“When I said that you are beautiful I wasn't talking about your looks.“
“You are really going to go by that cliche?“ she asked in a sarcastic voice.
“No. The beauty is in the truth itself. You hide behind that poise and coldness of your pale exterior. But you can't hide the truth. You're a hypocrite.“
“I say it in the best way possible. You can't give lectures if you are the one not applying them. But even so, your beauty lies within that that you hide. That fear inside that makes you tick, that frightened little girl that was never able to chase of the monsters lurking in the dark. Nor the demons in her heart.“
“Why do you believe you understand me so well?“ she asked.
“You talk big. You know a lot, but yet you don't see. Engulfed in your own despair and disappointment you failed to notice one crucial thing.“
“And that is?“
“That we are the same.“
At that moment she could see it. It was under her nose the whole time. This ordinary man, in his ordinary shirt, with such unordinary words. He understood what she felt and he knew exactly what she was hiding from. The same fears, and same dreams built them from scratch, they led them to this exact point where he could give her this important lesson.
She didn't refill her glass. He left his where it was from the start.
“I will find you again someday. And on that day, honesty will be right before our eyes. Until then, doll.“
The alarm sound woke her from her dream. Again. She wanted to know his name. Just once, not to let reality kill the joy for her. Just once, to be able to answer the questions correctly and get a answer to her own. But no, it was still not the appropriate time. So she stood up and prepared for her day.
Walking across the street she didn't see him. But he saw her.
“And that my dear, is the key difference. Until next time.“