She’s hurrying through the rain to the street car that is on the brink of pulling away from the oh-so-close stop. There, made it. Whew. The bangs that are slowly-but-surely growing out are plastered to a dewy forehead and the tome-like library books got some rain but they should be fine. Ear buds are pressed into place so that Jeff Mangum sings ever so louder before drops of rain are brushed lightly from a messenger bag. She settles in the hard seat and straightens her back to observe her surroundings.
Immediate eye contact is made with a pair of clear blue eyes and perfectly mussed hair. Male eyes and male hair. Yep, he’s good looking. Male eyes are suddenly looking back and there’s a flash and a jolt as female eyes quickly dart away.
Glance out the window.
Think about what could be arranged or nonchalantly messed. Look out the window again. Is he staring? Does he notice her? Look toward the window across the aisle. She will look at everything but him no matter how much she wants to.
Fingertips tingle, ears buzz, toes go numb in soggy boots; she ever-so-carefully sneaks a glance at the coif with legs through the corner of her right eye. He is staring. Both smile with half their mouth, a mirror-image of the sideways grin, a “no big deal” facade belying a turmoil of fluttering in the stomach region. Both look away.
She feels his gaze return to her right cheek as they pass the park.
Change the music on your phone.
Gaze with feigned interest at a book.
Run fingers through damp hair.
His stop is here and there’s motion toward the sliding door. She looks once more and chances a full-mouthed smile that he mirrors yet again. He steps off and his back is to her. She follows it with the glare of the sun and her own reflection in her eyes. The street car pulls away as he turns his head to look again. He is walking away, smiling at her, hair bouncing, shrinking toward amorphous anonymity.
She holds his gaze, making the eye contact last as long as possible, the streetcar still permeated with the remains of desire, longing, and what-ifs. She stares at this smiling stranger and looks on as he walks full on into an oak tree.
Yep. True story.