It was a rare burst of social interaction that brought me to the party, a mingling session of the honors students on campus. It turned out to be just a bunch of students dressed nicely, roaming the university's guest house munching on finger food while chatting the evening away.
I was about to leave when I noticed the tail of a red dress disappearing into the other room. Since everyone was dressed semi-formal she stood out from the crowd. I stuck my head around the corner and caught a glimpse of her face. She was a beautiful creature, with flowing amber hair and a wonderful smile.
I wanted some information so I asked a friend of mine if he knew her. He gave me a name, Jennifer, but could provide me little else. I decided to and I watch her out of the corner of my eye.
In about an hour of casual observation between idle chatter, I made several key observations. She had been a dancer at some point, I could tell by the way she walked and carried her weight. Judging from the way she spoke, it was apparent she was not only well versed in English literature but also at least fairly fluent in Spanish. Lastly, and most importantly, I could tell by the way she was darting from conversation to conversation that she was just as miserable was at this party as I.
When she stepped outside into the garden area I decided now was as a good time to talk to her. I broke off my current conversation and hurried outside and walked up beside her.
"Well, this is a perfectly miserable time," I said casually.
"Yes it is," she replied calmly.
"So tell me something, do you prefer Shakespeare's comedies or tragedies?"
She spun around to face me. "How did you know I read so much Shakespeare?"
I grinned slightly, "I overheard you quoting Othello earlier, very nicely I might add."
"Well, thank you," she said.
"So which is it?" I asked again.
"Well, I like the comedies for light reading but his tragedies are best for serious study."
"So you study him seriously?" I asked.
"I study many things seriously."
"Like dance I assume."
"Well, that was a long time ago, but yes, I did and still do it as a hobby. But how did you know that?"
"It was just an observation," I replied.
"Well, did you happen to observe anything else?"
"Not much, just that you were intelligent, interesting and just as miserable at this party as I am."
I was a little bit confused, "No."
"Then you missed the most important observation you could about me."
I got a sinking feeling in my stomach, she spun on her heels a way from me and looked over her shoulder. When she glanced at me, it all came together, I saw beneath the make-up and flowing red dress. It all added up but before I could speak she said, "Better luck next time!"
It was the girl from the outdoor café.
She began to walk away but before she could take a step I lightly grabbed her wrist and she spun around to face me. Our eyes met for a second and suddenly they became the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I couldn't bring words up but I managed a huge smile and then began to laugh at myself. She started laughing and we found ourselves needing to take a seat to catch our breath. Once we recovered, we started talking, but this time as friends.
A year later she would become my fiancé.