Oddly Pronounced

A beautiful woman stops abruptly in her tracks. Her eyes locked on a man in the crowd. Taken both by surprise and intrigue, she found something different about him. Suddenly, the man was coming toward her, smiling. She realized, too late, that she had been staring at him. And the reason was he had a very weird nose.

He was suddenly only inches from her. His smile seemed off center because of the nose hanging over it. Without realizing what she was doing she took a step back. It could have been perceived as an offensive gesture on her part, but she didn’t know him and reflexes acted on their own. He was a bit too close.

He noticed that he was in her space and spoke first. “Excuse me, ma’am. I didn’t mean to…er… intrude.” He took a step back following her action.

She smiled. “No, no. It’s I who should apologize. It was rude of me to stare. But…” She waiting, hoping he would say it for her.

When he didn’t, she couldn’t find the words to finish. Was he going to force her to explain herself. “You see, I…” She tried to look him in the eyes, but the nose kept stealing the spotlight. “It’s just that.. Well, you see, I couldn’t help but notice that you have an oddly pronounced nose.”

He wasn’t surprised by her blunt statement. He knew right away that she wasn’t shy. She spoke to him as if she had known him for years. To him, it already seemed they were friends. He was struck by her. She was beautiful in many ways, so he admired her features closely. Her eyes burned into his soul. It took a moment for him to reply. He knew her curiosity would only be sated by first-hand knowledge that only he could grant her.

He stepped closer, taking back the ground he had given up a second earlier. He let his face fall a bit and made his voice softer, as if she has learned a secret that he couldn’t allow out into the world. “Look, I don’t know how you knew. But, you’re absolutely right. All my life, my nose… Well, I pronounce it, SCHNOZ.”

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