The Girl In The Polka Dot Dress.

I look for her sometimes. It’s something I do, unconsciously. I try to find her when I scan faces in a crowd, when I look at people in passing cars, when I look at pictures on the internet. Somehow I harbor this delusional hope that I’ll see her again.
Her.
I met her in a bar, a year ago. I wonder what I was even doing in a bar. I wasn’t of drinking age, and the bartender was no fool. Though he couldn’t really ask me to leave, he could withhold from me any alcoholic beverage. But I wasn’t interested in that. The only reason I was in that bar anyway was that I had seen a sign for something they called Band Music Fridays earlier on, and I was interested. So there I sat; a teenager in a man’s den. But I wasn’t afraid or anything. I just wanted to listen to some good music.

Indeed music was good. The band were well-rehearsed and they made the old tunes that they played sound better than their originals, if that was possible. There was also a certain character they put into each song, reflecting the original musician. The lead singer was just a clown, the way he could slip from his reggae style when he performed Bob Marley’s Jammin’ to James Brown’s eccentricity when he sang ‘I Feel Good’. I felt good. And I felt even better when I realized I wasn’t the only one enjoying the music. I mean, of course there were the few classic old drunks who couldn’t have cared if the band played crap provided the song had some sort of link to their youthful days that they were so desperately trying to relive by drowning themselves in booze. But in the corner of the clumsily arranged room, she sat, her head bobbing gently to the rhythm of the song, with a sheepish grin as if she knew how silly it was of her to be where she was but was trying to look nonchalant. The girl in the polka dot dress. She looked just about my age, and was drinking a bottle of water. From the assortment of beads she wore round her neck and wrists, and her Afro, one could tell that she was going for the retro look. The one that made the statement “I try to embrace my culture by mixing it with a little modern.” It was a classic look, and I liked it. She was not what I would describe as ‘straight from the middle page of a fashion magazine’ but she was a looker, without a doubt. I even saw a few of the younger patrons of the bar try to talk to her, but she brushed them off, easily, as if she was used to doing it. She had a way about doing it too. She did it so cheerfully that it was almost impossible to feel any bitterness after you walked away. As much as I admired that, it did kill my aspirations of talking to her. Maybe I was destined to be the guy who quietly observed from the corner. That’s when she got up and walked to me.
“What, are you too scared to come talk to me?”
This was indeed unexpected, but I can proudly say that I’m not one to freeze when such an opportunity comes. I’ve watched too many movies not to know what to do in situations like this.
“I’d like to think it was me being lazy. Besides, I’m not one for convention.”
“What, you believe sometimes the woman should also make the effort to come talk to you?”
“Exactly. I mean, you guys always advocate for equal rights and all that.”
She laughed. And I laughed because of the exhilaration I felt for making her laugh.
“You are funny,” she said. Then, before I could respond to that, which I probably could not seeing how the compliment was unexpected, she turned abruptly and looked towards the band that was playing. The lead singer was looking at her, motioning for her to come join them.
Then it hit me, maybe she was part of the band. That’d explain her being here. Without a word to me, she left me sitting at the counter and went to join the band. Apparently she was replacing the bass guitarist, and soon she was bringing to live Osibisa’s “The Warrior” and the crowd, made up of slightly to heavily intoxicated men and women, were screaming the chorus together in merriment. Hosa Hosa Ho! It was a good atmosphere, it really was. Even the melancholic bartender was smiling. I looked at my watch. I had to go, before my parents sent out a search party. I didn’t tell them I’d be here. I didn’t want any of them having a heart attack on my count. I tried to catch her eye, let her know that I was leaving, but she was so immersed in the music that she didn’t even look up at me. Not that she could have seen me, seeing how a sea of dancing bodies separated us. No worries, there was always next Friday. I saw no option to leave unnoticed. And I regret doing that.
It turned out the band was a moving one, and wouldn’t be coming back as I had thought. The next Friday, a different band came. I didn’t get to see her again. I couldn’t even get solid information on how to find her. She was gone. I can’t understand how I’d spend my time looking for a girl I exchanged just a few sentences with. But that’s what I’ve been doing since.

Constantly searching, hoping that one day I’ll chance upon her again.
I wonder if she thinks about me sometimes.

4 thoughts on “The Girl In The Polka Dot Dress.

  1. This is like a non-Disney version of Another Cinderella Story. Ergo, there has to be an ending. Even if it’s way later.

  2. e hard oooo i had a jss mate i never met again and have no contacts of hers its now a decade i last saw her and am still searching hoping one day i will find her. They used to live at kanda and everytime i pass by their old house memories flood ma head. I still remember dat smile of hers hope she still smiles just like dat. Hmmmmmmmm till i see her again

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