Arash Farzaneh

Confetti

"I swear, I give up! There are no available single guys in this country," Emily said with a sigh as she sat down to have coffee with her friend Joan. Joan smiled at her despairing friend and replied, "You mean you haven't looked hard enough. I'm sure the place is filled with Mexicans who would die for a guerita like you."

"You know what I mean. I'm not looking for those pseudo-adventures. I want something more substantial."

It was a hot sunny down in downtown Morelia. They were seated under the wide colonial arches of the Portal cafe which overlooked the main square. It was buzzing with life. There were quite a few couples strolling along idly, hand in hand, glancing into each other's faces, gleaming with love and joy. They were also on the benches, engaged in lively conversations, eating and sharing ice-cream and gaspachos, laughing and having a wonderful romantic time. Emily glanced at them with dark envy.

"Why not me? Why am I the one left behind? What's wrong with me?"

Emily was not unattractive, and many of her friends had reassured her that she had a magnificent personality as well. Back home, in Canada, she had had a few relationships, and although they had started so promising, they always ended up in misfortune and disaster. Love was nothing but a connected series of heartbreak for this young woman who had such high hopes and grand expectations. She was quite a romantic and idealistic person, but all the guys she had met were not quite on the same page or wavelength. They did not care about the intricacies of personal involvement, the exciting journey of discovery of the many beautiful but hidden facets of the loved one; all they thought about was getting drunk, scoring, and then bragging with their so-called buddies. Emily was sick of it all, and it had been one of the determining factors she had decided to leave behind her own rather shallow culture in order to start anew and afresh in this new surrounding, which she had expected to be exciting, exuberant, and exotic.

After a few months of one disappointment after another, even in far-away Mexico, she began doubting herself even more and was on the verge of either embarking on another adventure in another land, or to pack up, give up, as she said, and return back home to look forward to a long, joyless, uneventful life.

Joan, however, had lived in Mexico for quite a few years now and had managed not only to meet a loving and caring husband, but she had actually started a family. She had two daughters and was very content with the direction her life had taken. Emily was hoping that some of her friend's luck would rub off onto her. In fact, Joan had tried her best to help her desolate and disillusioned friend on many occasions, playing matchmaker and arranging and setting up dates, but all, unfortunately, to no avail.

"You know, Joan, the only guy who strikes me as a sweetheart is your brother-in-law, what's his name...?"

"Which one? Mario, Humberto...?"

"Humberto! That's the one! Man, what a sexy name!" She lit a cigarette and added with a sigh, "Pity, he's married though! He would have been the perfect guy!"

"Yeah, Humberto is a great person indeed," agreed Joan.

"Totally. You know, best thing for me would be to wait and hope he gets a divorce or something..."

"Come on, Emily, don't be so sarcastic. Before I met Enrique, my life had been a mess, and look at me now. I am quite happy. I mean, there are little problems, misunderstandings that creep up in every relationship, but, all things considered, I could not wish for anything better."

Emily puffed angrily on her cigarette. Last thing she needed to hear was that her friend was happy and satisfied with her life, while hers had been so sad and depressing. She remembered her latest partner, a sleazy Mexican guy whom she had met in a bar and who had already cheated on her in a matter of days! She swore never to enter another bar again. 

"Well, then where can I meet a decent fellow, tell me. At work, they are all bozos and don't interest me at all. And then, well in church, no. Those are too religious and would bore me to death with their babble. So what else have I got left? Where to meet that special someone, huh?"

Joan shrugged her shoulder and looked onto the street. There was the usual constant flow of traffic and the occasional honks of impatient drivers.

"Hold on a minute! I know!" Joan exclaimed suddenly with enthusiasm.

"Yeah?" Emily looked at her, still in a lousy mood, yet with a slight sparkle of hope in her eyes. Maybe her friend could really help her out this time.

"Well, who was it...I don't remember his name, this guy at work mentioned..."

"Oh no, no more fixing dates. No offense, Joan, but your working buddies have been one disappointment after another."

"Hold on, Princess. Just hear me out! Don't worry, I have realized what an awful matchmaker I am; it's not one of my strongest talents, I know. But this guy I have talked to has mentioned a special event they have around here. It takes place every Sunday. It sounds really cute and exciting actually. What happens is, both men and women go out to a plaza and walk around in circles. Men in one direction, like clockwise or something, women in the opposite direction. So they walk on and on and when someone sees somebody they like they throw confetti on their head."

"Confetti?" Emily cried out and clapped her hand in a loud laugh. "That's hilarious! That sounds like fun!"

"Yeah, if the woman likes the guy, she throws confetti on his head and that's the way they meet."

"Ha! How wonderful! I love it!"

"Yes, I think it would suit you since you are, you know, rather shy when it gets to going up and talking to men."

"Hey, it's just my principles. But this thing you're telling me about sounds really cool. And it's every Sunday, you say? Where?"

"Yes, every Sunday. It's a small town nearby. I will ask around if you like..."

"Please do! I can't wait to go there! This coming Sunday, OK?" Emily said in an ecstatic voice and believed to make out a dim ray of hope in the existing darkness of her daily life.

They arrived there an hour before the scheduled event. Emily was wearing her favorite dress; she was going for a simple yet elegant look. She wanted to give the best impression of who she was, so she had decided not to put on too much make-up, just enough to accentuate her pretty round eyes and her soft pallid skin.

Nonetheless, she went to the event with mixed emotions. On one hand, she was obviously excited and hoped for the best possible outcome. Yet on the other hand, she did not want to throw herself into the arms of the first Latin lover who threw confetti onto her; she wanted to weigh her options carefully. Without doubt, she was nervous and looked around to see what kind of people she could spot in the small town. Truth be told, most of them so far had not pleased her very much.

Gradually, the plaza filled up, and a lot of young men and women appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Many of them were well-dressed, had chosen their best look and were out there, with beating hearts and a nervous smile, to meet the special one. Their pockets were filled with multi-colored confetti.

Joan walked with her friend for solidarity's sake, but enjoyed the spectacle very much. There were more than three or four dozen people walking in circles and glancing at each other with probing, curious looks.

The men were more obvious and direct in their demeanor, whereas the women were more subtle and often waited for the men to take the first step. It was strange for the two foreign women to walk in their ranks, and they received a lot of attention. Only a few minutes in both of them had confetti in their hair. Emily laughed heartily, and Joan had great fun as well. Emily felt good about herself and took all the attention as a compliment, but she did not respond with confetti because none of the suitors up to that point had managed to capture her interest.

Until she spotted a young well-built man who was wearing a short-sleeved silk shirt and had a clean-shaven face with radiant passionate eyes. Just the first eye-contact made Emily melt and she got a nervous sensation in her stomach. She secretly pointed him out to Joan who agreed with her and said she should make the first move.

With her tightly-clenched fist full of confetti, she walked near him. However, despite of her intention to initiate the silent conversation of love, she choked and did not act. Joan coaxed her and shoved her with the elbow as a sign of encouragement.

The second time around Emily mustered up all her courage. "It's now or never!" she thought, and the confetti flew up into the thin air, danced playfully in the warm summer breeze and slowly descended on the young man's head like colored snow-flakes.

"He noticed me! Oh, my God! Oh, my goodness! Hope he will respond! Oh, my God! I'm so nervous!" Emily whispered to her friend with her hands trembling slightly. Joan told her to calm down. They were just about to cross him, and Emily had a tough time controlling her pouncing nerves.

I really hope he will respond! Please, answer me. This one I really like.

The young man smiled at her and reached for his pocket, and confetti, like a blessing from above, symbolized his assent and sealed the deal.

Both approached each other. He spoke to her in Spanish, introducing himself and asking where she was from. "Canada," she said simply in the hope he might know some English. But, in the end, she thought, it would not matter. Love had its own language which did not need to be spoken; they would find the necessary means of communication, anyhow. Besides, Joan could act as a translator for the time being.

It turned out that Joan's presence was not needed. He spoke very good English, and soon enough they were engaged in a stimulating conversation. Joan watched them closely and saw the formation of a happy couple. She could tell that both were attracted to each other.

Her first impression of Antonio, that was his name, was quite favorable. He seemed like a well-mannered, well-meaning, and caring individual. Joan remembered her own wonderful and fateful day when she had first met Enrique, her husband.

After a while, Emily signaled her that they were going to a cafe nearby. Joan nodded and realized that she had never seen her friend in such good spirits. Her cheeks were flushed and her eyes were glowing with happiness.

They walked away, side by side, close to one another, their hands almost touching. Joan sat down on the bench, brushing off the confetti from her hair and shoulder and smiling and thinking that, in a way, she had contributed to the happiness of her friend.

 

 

All rights belong to its author. It was published on e-Stories.org by demand of Arash Farzaneh.
Published on e-Stories.org on 01.08.2008.

 

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