I had only finished a glass of water at the restaurant Bacchus’ when I chanced to look outside in a springtime reverie and saw a lovely woman sitting on a bench outside a neighboring building. I paid my bill and walked into the May breeze, inhaled a deep draught of the fragrant air generously borne my way from the park across the street. Dandelion seeds took advantage of the soft zephyr as well, as the wind lazily swirled them until they happened to become stuck between a trashcan and a wall, blades of grass around an ornamental cherry, or stray cigarette butts strewn about the city benches.

Walking past the beautiful young lady, we made eye contact. I saw a few strands of loose blonde hair, which had loosened themselves from the ties, play upon the sunglasses propped on her head. To my amazement and immediate pleasure, she smiled at me, revealing her glowing ivory teeth. I smiled a sheepish smile, looked to my feet and moved on. After continuing some twenty feet onward, I had the sudden urge to go to her and initiate conversation. I wondered what she was doing, a pretty gal, companionless, sitting on a bench.

Ordinarily, I am far too shy to talk to a strange female, but, as I was in a foreign territory, not a resident of the college town of Kendall Valley, and since I felt rather capricious and breezy, I turned around. She again spied me, and smiled as I approached this May Queen’s throne. Asking if I could join her “on this lovely day,” I sat down, not six inches from her bare knee. She was wearing a loose white blouse with light printings of garden flowers, a garment that left her fair shoulders vulnerable and reached just above her smooth knee.

She asked how I was doing and we went through all the trite salutations. Even performing that awful social ritual was glorious with her beaming vernal face in front of me. She showed no signs of feeling ill-at-ease, as such a fine woman is unlikely to feel when with a man; I, on the other hand, was fidgeting my feet and picking at my thumb’s cuticle with my forefinger.

I asked for her name and she said Lily. Lily! How fitting that this elegant springtime creature should bear the name of a flower. How much like a flower! Her hair as alluring as the petals to a honeybee, her sangfroid and familiarity with her terrain, like a perennial. Her eyes themselves appeared as an ultraviolet photograph of a daisy, dark in the corolla and giving way to gray and light blue. Yet the plant’s opulence could not rival Lily’s fresh, clear countenance, broad stem, and fertile effluvia. This Lily of the Valley sat poised, her pendulous bellflowers currently hoisted by her gown. She leaned over to me and

I got up, paid my bill, and walked past her, never again to behold her.