Which one should I pick? Sometimes we reach a fork in the road of our live, crucial crossings that challenge us to pick a direction from which there will be no way back. Moments we would remember forever. Decisions that have an effect on the entire rest of our lives. I reach one such fork this morning, the decision I had to make was, undoubtedly, going to be a crucial one: which dress should I pick? Green or red? Red or green? Or maybe red? Take a deep breath and don’t panic, girl. Easier said than done. This is not just any old dress we’re talking about, this was going to be the dress she would wear to the party of the year. And what’s even more important: HE would be there too. HE was no other than the man of her dreams: intelligent, handsome, with a great sense of humor – and single! The question in such cases should of course be WHY, but she felt that sometimes good fortune would surely shine on a girl like her as well, a single girl in a big city. Right? So, he exists, the perfect man, she will meet him today, and her main preoccupation at the moment is how she can make herself look as pretty and enchanting as possible to make that man fall head over heels in love with her. No pressure, obviously. Could all of it really come down to the color of her dress? The answer was simple: yes.
Green or red? Red or green? Or maybe red? The green one was beautiful and a perfect fit for her. It accented her figure in all the right places and felt so marvellously soft on her skin. She loved the color and the cut, but would it really be the right dress for the occasion? ‘Remember’, she told herself, ‘I am going to meet HIM this evening, the man I’ve been secretly dreaming of’. The real question was: would HE think the dress was the right choice? Green or red? Red or green? Or maybe red? Red. Red is sexy, red is a promise and red is a clear message. What’s more, the red dress had a lovely slit on the side, revealing her leg whenever she felt like showing a bit of skin. Surely, the red one was perfect: she would be impossible to ignore. No one would be able to. Yes, the red one. She was right. Leaving the house, men looked at her greedily, admiringly, longingly, which made her feel wanted and desired. Let’s face it: which girl doesn’t love to feel desirable?
The room seemed to be hers, she was the center of attraction, no one could ignore her presence. No one but HIM. The man she went through all that trouble for, the only man she really wanted to be seen by. A moment ago she was confident and sure of herself, suddenly she felt a wave of slight nausea: the whole room seemed to stare at her, to smirk condescendingly at her misfortune. The room seemed to shrink, everythign was too tight, to small, the room, the party, herself. Right there and then, her heart burst into a thousand pieces. How was it possible to feel so alone in a room full of people? The feeling became unbearable, and maybe it was because she felt she had nothing left to lose that she eventually walked over to him and asked him the question she had on her mind all night. How did she get to this point? Thinking about it, they never really dated. After all, dating means you meet up, just the two of you. But that never happened. They only met with others, hung out together in their clique, stole a secret glance here, sought a casual touch there, but never went as far as opening up about their feelings in the slightest. No deep look into the other’s eyes, no moment of mutual recognition. He was a book with seven seals, and maybe that’s what she liked so much about him. He was not like the others, who she could read so easily. He never really seemed to react to her flirtatious advances, either. And we always want what we can’t get. But was that really all there was to it?
She was confused, her emotions took her on a rollercoaster ride, her thoughts were circling around the one question she carried in her heart for such a long time: ‘Do you find me attractive?’
She saw the surprise in his eyes, followed by a spark of hesitation, a seemingly endless silence and, eventually, the answer: ‘You are an attractive woman, I really mean that, and I would love to stay friends with you.’ His answer was like a slap in the face. She felt the blood rushing to her face, her body was numb, she had difficulty breathing. Each second stretched into eternity. And still, as by the time she had composed herself, only a moment had passed. She would not tear up. Not now. Not here. Not in this red dress.
She forced herself to smile, somehow managed to bend the corners of her mouth up. The result was more a grimace than a smile, but who cares. And hey, at least he tried to be kind about the put-down. True, as far as put-downs went, it could have been a hell of a lot worse. But that didn’t change the fact: she was rejected. The message was loud and clear: ‘even if you wear the sexiest dress in town, I don’t want to date you’. Somehow she managed to reply, maybe with a little bit too much bitterness in her voice: ‘How kind of you to phrase it like this’. As soon as she had uttered the words she had to turn around and leave. There was no way she would be able to keep up her front any longer. She didn’t want to let this kind of drama into her life, but sometimes it still found its way in. She stormed off and left the party of the year without another word, the party that everyone would talk about, not least because of the dramatic exit of a certain mysterious lady in red. ‘Do you know what happened?’, people would inevitably ask each other.
Days and the weeks went by, and they never heard from each other. ‘Get over it!‘, she told herself, reprovingly. She tried to force herself to let go, to not make too big a deal out of it. Yes, she had a crush on that guy, and he was not in love with her. It was what it was. You can’t have everything and everyone in life, right? What other choice did she have than accepting this simple truth? And it was also true that his words, in a way, came as a relief. Why bother if he didn’t even find her desirable in that incredible red dress? Exactly. Thinking about it like that she managed to accept the reality of the moment and to keep her composure whenever necessary. She knew they would meet eventually, it was inevitable, and the inevitable always tends to happen: they bumped into each other, first on the street, then in their favorite café. Time didn’t take the sting away completely, but the sense of rejection abated, and the hurt began to dissolve. From time to time they even chatted with each other. Nothing deep, of course. After all, it was still clear what had happened: she had asked, he had answered, and their friendship had died before it was even fully formed. Before the fatal evening, she would reply to his texts within seconds. Now she would take hours, sometimes days. She wasn’t even playing hard to get, he just got less important as time went by, gradually turned into one of those faces on the street, someone you would still say hi to, but who – for her – would blend more and more into the background of the big city universe they moved in. All that remained was the memory of a legendary party. But it wouldn’t be the last…
Red oder Green? Green or red or maybe green?
A year had passed, and she didn’t ask herself that question anymore. The decision was no longer dramatically charged. This was not a fork in the road, this was not a decisive moment. Picking that green dress off the shelve was easy. That’s how she felt, that’s who she was. She may not have been a sex-bomb, she may have been a little complicated, she may have been a nerd. Well, that was who she was, being herself was what defined her. And she had learned her lesson: there was no point in trying to be someone you are not. It just doesn’t work. If someone just isn’t in love with you, no sexy dress in the world will change that fact.
Green. The color of hope. Yes, she was hopeful again. She was hopeful that the man of her dreams, whoever he may be, would notice her even in this somewhat bland, green dress. And she was hopeful he would like her, just the way she was. Suddenly she saw him, and their eyes met. It had been several months since they last saw each other. He walked up to her. ‘You look so beautiful!’ he said. ‘Green suits you so much better than red’. She smiled. ‘So, do you find me attractive now?’ ‘I always thought you were beautiful and still do, but that night you asked me the wrong question.’ She looked deeply into his yes, and for the first time she noticed the fire in them. It was burning only for her.