i walk by the studio whenever i can. i walk down the sidewalk, scanning both sides of the road for her car. i haven't seen her since that last show. she was in that show. and i watched her up on stage. and when she was finished, i walked outside and watched her smoke her cigarette as i slowly walked away. not wanting to make a scene. wanting to be noticed.
and realizing that i wasn't. i walked around the building as if i knew where i was going, as if i had a purpose. when it was really just to waste time. in hopes that i could catch her getting into her car. because that's the last time we spoke. outside of her car.
but these days i don't see her any more. and if the door to the studio is open, or if the shades aren't drawn all the way then i'll sneak around and look in, just to see if she's in there.
i'm not sure what i would do if i saw her there. or if i saw her coming out of class. or getting out of her car. i would say "hi." but would i say anything else? would i tell her that i would like to get to know her better. perhaps over a cup of coffee? would i tell her that i really like her. that even though she doesn't want anything to do with me, that i still think about her. that i still think about what things would be like if only.
if only i had said something to her. that one time. before the last time that i saw her. if only i had caught her getting into her car. i watched from the doorway, and saw her walk away from the crowd, still smoking her cigarette. i watched as she got to her car and, fishing around for her keys, tossed the cigarette down on the ground. i thought about walking over to her that time. i thought about walking over and talking and just asking her if she wanted to sit and talk.
but it was safer to stand in the doorway. and by the time i had finally gotten enough courage to step outside into the cool autumn air and started walking across the sidewalk and off the curb, onto the street, across the street, she had found her keys and had gotten into her car. i neared and saw her adjust the mirrors, glancing at herself in the rearview, flicking a lock of hair out of her face. and i stopped, knowing i wouldn't get any further.
she drove off, and i was left to stamp out the cigarette she had left burning on the sidewalk.