THE GIRL IN THE RED DRESS
There she is. Just across the room, the beige walls of the bar accentuating her dark presence as she sits alone with her head hung low. The faded yellow lights and thin layer of cigarette smoke make it impossible to make out her facial features. But something about her intrigues me. There’s something about this girl that makes me wonder.
“Who is she? Why is she here? And what is it about her that gets me so fascinated?”
The pungent smell of cheap alcohol fills my nose and snaps me out of my daydream. I lose my train of thought and as I look around at the crumbling paint and stained walls, I realize I am lost. I have no recollection of how I got here nor can I recall why I came here in the first place. Yet here I am, sat at this empty table in this cheap bar, staring at the figure across the room. The only thing I remember was following that girl. The girl in the red dress. Suddenly, she starts gathering her belongings and stands up, her deep blue eyes scanning the room once before she leaves. Mimicking her, I push myself off of the comfort of the chair and as she exits through the door, I follow her as well.
The wind whistles and whirls around me as I step out into the cold winter air. I brush away the strands of my auburn hair, revealing the scar that runs from the bridge of my nose to my right cheek. Once the hair is out of my face, I continue on my pursuit of the girl in the dress. The streets are dark and desolate with no sign of any light but the diffuse glow of the moon. Her long dress sways along with her steady strides as she walks down the lonely path. I match her pace and trail closely behind. We are completely isolated on these empty roads. There is not a single car or person in sight. The curtains are drawn in every house and every light is off. The eerie darkness and the deadly silence makes my mind flash back to scenes in horror movies.
The girl makes an abrupt stop. I don’t know why but she stops and stands still. Then she turn around, her auburn hair dancing in the wind as she spins. She looks at me, staring into my dark blue eyes as if piercing through my soul. I can see a hint of fear in her eyes like a deer in headlights. Then she runs. She runs hard and fast and I can feel the adrenaline surging through my body as I follow her. The wind hits me and my eyes tear up but I don’t stop. I can’t stop. Raindrops start falling and the fabric of my dress clings to my skin as I run. The leaves and branches of the trees obstruct my view but I trail along as best as I can. The girl in the red dress runs ahead of me, pushing away branches as she nears the main street at the end of the graveled path.
I hear her yelp as a branch scratches her face, leaving a nasty gash across her right cheek. She doesn’t stop though. She just keeps running and running and every once in a while she looks back to see if I’m still there.
“Stop!” I yell. “I’m not trying to hurt you.”
But she doesn’t listen. She just keeps running until she enters the main road. The rain keeps on falling, steadily beating against the asphalt to the rhythm of our footsteps. Far off in the distance, I can vaguely see an approaching car. Its bright headlights are like a wolf’s fierce eyes, trapping its prey in sight. I stand wide-eyed as the vehicle starts spiraling out of control, sliding on the slippery street towards the girl.
“Look out!” I warn her.
But the pouring rain blocks her hearing and I see her body slam against the hood of the car as the two collide. Then she falls limp on the ground, blood spilling everywhere.
I run over to help but as I bend down and see her face, my body paralyzes and I just stand there with my mouth agape. I remember now. I remember everything: the auburn hair, the blue eyes, the scar, the running, the chasing, everything. It doesn’t make sense though. None of it makes any sense but all I know is that when I look into the girl’s face I see me. The girl in the red dress was me.