[short story] koi no yokan

He walks into the waiting room, sees all the other patients eagerly waiting to be called into the doctor’s office. They all nod in that peculiar manner; they are here because of necessity, rather than choice. He sits on the only available chair and takes out his cell phone. It’s so warm inside that he has to struggle not to yawn.

But then he looks up and notices her.

It’s always such a shock to see someone beautiful in places you wouldn’t expect to see anything of importance.

At first, he doesn’t give much thought into it. His eyes keep darting around the room, scanning the austere furniture and white walls. Waves of heat scratch their way out of his chest. He can feel it in his blood, he can feel his body hot as a furnace. He runs his tongue across his upper lip.

A certain photograph grabs his attention; a black and white picture of a public phone’s handset hanging inside the booth. The more he stares at it the more it seems that the handset is oscillating, spiraling on its metallic chord. So he glances back at her.

His mind is drowning in a mesmerizing and ridiculous dream… in which the passage of time becomes irrelevant.

She doesn’t notice him, mostly because they’re sitting in opposite sides of the room. But this allows him to sink deeper in bizarre and quiet contemplation of her beauty. He has never seen features that are so finely chiseled, and lips that, quite honestly, are begging to be kissed. Furthermore, she has the strange custom of constantly liking them and that only makes his heart boil inside my chest.

Quite simply, he’s rather smitten with her. And he doesn’t even know her name. What for?

A burning exhaustion starts to burn inside his veins. His hands resting on his knees, he can feel them almost shaking.

All he wants to do is kiss her. To kiss her lips, to kiss her chocolate skin. Chocolate… that’s one of the few words on his mind right now. He’s almost sure her skin tastes like it too. He affords to smile at all these thoughts; he’s such a cliché.

People coming and going, people knocking at doors, people coughing, and he is afraid to look away, and he’s terrified to look at her. Honestly, he doesn’t know what to do. He feels as if he has met her before. Sometime, somewhere, maybe in an entirely different lifetime all together.

He is trapped in a dream from another life…

He wants to know her, to analyze every single inch of her body and every aspect of her personality. He wants to know her past, to know everything there is to know about her.

And the more he stares at her, the more he’s certain that he has always been in love with her. Even before he met her. He can’t explain this ridiculous thought. But it’s not a thought, a theory… it’s more like an instinct. Somewhere hidden, somewhere deep inside his soul, he feels it. She is everything he never knew he needed.

He is afraid that if he looks closely at her, if he inspects her, she will prove to be less than what he expects her to be. It’s like he’s holding a lottery ticket in his hand and he’s afraid to take a look at the winning numbers for fear that they’re not the numbers on his ticket.

He feels as if something extraordinary is about to happen. As a second stretches like a rubber band, unwilling to break, he feels as if they’re meant to be together. To be happy together, to grow old together, to wither away under the cruel waves of time. Together.

He likes everything about her. Her small, black eyes, her plucky lips, her curly hair. Maybe it’s just an illusion, a bizarre mirage, but he can swear he can smell her perfume from across the room.

No, this is not right. Falling in love with a stranger is dangerous. Heck, falling in love is dangerous. He has no time for silly games of courtship. He has plans, he’s busy. Besides, what is he supposed to say to her? How can he make her see that he’s the man she is looking for?

“Excuse me, miss but I am… well I don’t have a terrible disease or anything. I just tend to cough a lot when it’s cold outside and it’s really hard to breathe. But I am sure there are some pills that will fix me in no time.”

What if she isn’t looking for a man? What if she already found one? Her one and only?

No, no. He has to come up with something, he has to tell her something great, original, funny. The very best pickup line ever invented.

“So how are you feeling today, Lisa?” the nurse asks and places one hand on her shoulder.

“Fine,” she whispers, her voice warm and lovely.

Lisa. A little bit of her mysterious charm has been unveiled.

But why does the nurse know her by her first name? They seem to know each other quite well. Does she have a terrible disease?

“What’s your birthday? I can’t seem to find your file anywhere,” the nurse says as she looks around the waiting room.

“June the twenty first,” she replies.

“What year?”


She is two years younger than him. Zodiac sign: Gemini. That means she isn’t a very passionate or affectionate woman. At least, that’s what astrologists say.

A shame actually. To have lips like hers…

When she goes inside the doctor’s office, he knows he has to think of something to say to her. He’s next in line, she’s going to come out of the office, and he’s…

He’s a man of words. At least, that’s what he likes to believe. He’s thinking of all the books he has read, all the stories he has written. All the movies, the love songs… he wants to tell her something no other man has ever thought of telling a woman.

A single sentence that would turn indifference into love, a few words stringed together that would make her feel what he feels.

All this thinking makes him feel dizzy, as if he’s sinking in quicksand. Inside his head, he’s already built the perfect stranger, and he’s absolutely certain this stranger’s the only one who’s going to help him conquer the world.

If only she’d hold his hand…

He looks around, but is certain that if he would press one finger against the wall behind him, his finger would go right through, as if the wall were made of butter.

Reality is far away.

Only the words he needs to say matter.

Something brilliant, something no other man has had the courage or wit to say. Or the heart. Or the passion. He’s the only man who ever loved so deeply and foolishly.

When the door opens, he stands up quickly, but then freezes in front of her.

She keeps the door open for him. Smiles.

And he says, “Thank you,” and walks past her into the doctor’s office.


  1. Cristian, A great short story that is up to your usual standard. I know you have been very busy doing other things recently, but do not give up on your short stories as I am sure they are enjoyed by many. Regards, Phil

    Liked by 2 people

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