Chapter 1: Chance Encounter
Today was the day, I was to marry the heir to the Peterson pack. I knew what was expected of me and what was best for my pack, but something about this entire arrangement seemed wrong.
Taking a deep breath, I stopped walking and closed my eyes. "This was your idea, get yourself together," I thought to myself.
The cool breeze blew through my thin jacket causing the wind to hit the shirt that was clinging to my sweaty chest. I open my eyes, the once empty park site in front of me was now filled with a single woman, a soft pink dress towered over her knees as she sat, hand out feeding the birds surrounding her.
The light denim jean jacket protected her arms from the occasional harsh wind. The golden locks trailing down her back seemed almost like they were mirroring the sun in brightness. She stands, the dress is shorter than its first appearance, stopping before her knees as she turns to me.
“Sorry if I startled you," she apologized. Her voice was as delicate as her physique, and I found myself at a loss of words. I was in awe. For as long as I had lived here, I had never once come across anyone as breathtaking. "Are you alright?" She questions taking a hesitant step toward me.
"I'm alright, was just in my head for a moment," I find myself trying to explain. I must have looked like a raging lunatic to her by now. She shocks me by smiling, a small laugh leaving her perfectly tinted pink lips.
“I can relate," she simply replies. She can relate? How could she possibly relate to making one of the biggest decisions in your life, not for yourself, but for a community of people? "I've been coming here for the past three weeks trying to find the answers to all my questions. Eventually, I stopped asking questions and just started enjoying the scenery." She held her hand out to me. I opened my hand to her as she placed breadcrumbs onto my palm.
"What did you do about your questions? Did you ever get them answered?" I asked.
For some reason, I was invested in her now. I didn't know her name or anything about her, but I knew at this moment she had my full attention. All thoughts of my father, my pack, this arranged marriage was gone. All I could focus on was this moment in this park with her. I mimicked her movements as she crouched to feed a new set of birds that had landed near us.
I placed my hand on the ground allowing a small bird to come and take various pieces from my hand. I smile softly at the interaction. I look up to meet her gaze, her once cheerful blue eyes seemed dull, clouded by whatever she had been pondering over for the past couple of weeks.
"I didn't mean to pry," I quickly apologize, noticing the shift in the atmosphere. Her vivacious smile returns and her mood resumes its infectious manner. This woman was something, a sight for all to see and admire.
"No, you did nothing wrong. I've had my answer for a while now. I'm just afraid that if I admit it then I'll lose all the peace that comes with being here," she admits.
Peace. That's what she feared losing? That and this place. Sure, this place was beautiful, the grass was evenly watered and the flowers were in full bloom, even the ones that weren't made the park look more than inviting.
But the most peaceful thing I've seen here is her. From the moment I got here I was overrun with stress, but the moment she spoke to me all that stress somehow melted away and was replaced by this giddy feeling in the pit of my stomach just for having a moment of her time.
"If you're not here for answers then why come?" I had to know more about her. I had to push this conversation for as long as I could, I just had to.
"I'm supposed to be meeting someone," she replies. She dusts off the remaining crumbs in her hands and stands, lifting the sleeve of her jacket slightly to reveal her watch. "I hadn't realized how long I was waiting. I should get going."
What was her rush to leave? Was she not as invested in this conversation as I was? Why did I even care? I don't even know her name and here I am stressing over whether she enjoyed our small talk or not.
"Before you go, can I at least know your name?" Could I be any more desperate? I was getting married and even if I weren't I was never going to see this woman again.
"I'm Havana," she answers, her smile is small yet, memorizing. The small glimmer of white reflected underneath her top lip. "What's your name?"
I had once again drawn a blank when talking to her. My mind had been admiring and studying her that it came to a blank when answering her question.
"Michael...my name is Michael," I struggle to get out. She nods acknowledging my answer. She begins to take a few steps backward signaling that she was leaving, and this was the end of our conversation.
"It was a pleasure to meet you, Michael."
I wave, putting my hands in my jeans pocket, watching as she turned her back to me to leave. It was the calmest thing I could do when my insides were going wild at hearing her say my name.
She suddenly stops walking and turns to face me once again. "Oh, and Michael, I hope whatever has your mind gets resolved," she says. Funny, the only thing that had my mind was her and if I would ever run into her again.
As she continued her walk away, I couldn't look away. My feet wouldn't move even when she was no longer in my eyesight. Havana. Why had I never seen her before? Where did she come from? Why was she so easy to talk to and so distracting from my obvious problems?
It wasn't just her beauty that had me captured, but her entire presence demanded that I give her my full attention. What was happening to me? No matter what it was I had to get myself together, my future wife was on her way to officially meet me.