Sometimes You See That Girl

Peter J. Stavros
3 min readAug 10, 2022

Sometimes you see that girl across a crowded room, and your eyes meet, and in an instant time stands still, and you’re lifted slightly lighter on the inside, and the weight of the world slips from your shoulders, and you stand a little straighter, a little bolder, and you forget what you were anxious or upset or pissed off about, and it makes you want to be a better person, stop drinking so much, stop smoking so much, eat more fiber and leafy green vegetables, floss your teeth, hit the gym, take long serene walks in the park, buy a new pair of pants, a new pair of shoes too, get eight hours of sleep, help old ladies cross the street, pick up trash beside the highway in a yellow safety vest, find lost puppies (and cats), return to church because God obviously does exist and you just got religion.

Sometimes you see that girl and your memory is wiped clean of every other girl who ever got away, who broke your heart, who made you cry, when you wanted to die, who wrecked your bike, who dinged your car, who scratched your records, who borrowed your clothes without asking, who stole your spare change, who stole your best days (and nights), who kicked your sorry ass to the curb, who was someone other than who you idealized her to be, who forced you to start over, again, and again, and again, who moved you to write, deep, yearning, passionate prose, bleeding onto the blank page, splattering crimson drops, your soul laid bare, which you never shared, with whom you wrongly presumed you could settle down, finally, have chubby babies and a starter home, red front door and picket fence, and you don’t feel like some stupid boy anymore.

Sometimes you see that girl, and she’s powered by a special kind of energy, and you just know that it’s different than before, and you have a hunch, without a doubt, without any consternation, that things are about to change for you and you need things to change for you, and it strikes you how empty and meaningless and bull shit your life was mere seconds ago, and you want to believe in fairy tales and “happily ever after” and sappy romantic comedies on TV, and serendipity and “everything happens for a reason” no matter how cliché, and you’re convinced that the universe has aligned to allow you to exist here and now, at this precise moment, in this crowded room, and a smile sneaks across your flushed face, and it restores your faith, and you can breathe, because this is how it’s supposed to be, it has to be, when you see that girl, and your eyes meet.


This short story is part of the collection, Three in the Morning and You Don’t Smoke Anymore, available on Amazon, Kindle Unlimited or order from your favorite independent bookstore (ISBN 978–1–0878–9822–3)

Peter J. Stavros

Peter J. Stavros is a writer and playwright in Louisville, KY, and the author of three short story collections and a novella. More at