I wasn’t paying attention to where I was going. I was in a hurry to buy my burger/soda and get OUT of the crowded mall and outside onto the courtyard nicely settled under one of the big green shade umbrellas. Just to relax to the sound of the gurgle of the fountains and…
CRASH! My books scattered over the floor. I still can’t believe I ran into that guy.
Sometimes I feel like such a klutz! I bent over to pick up my journal just as he was doing the same thing. YES, we bumped heads. It would’ve been comical had I not suddenly felt so self-conscious, so inept.
“Sorry” he said softly.
I gazed up into green/blue eyes that turned away too quickly. A brief flicker of eye contact. There was something about them. Familiar, yet not. What was it? We both crouched down to gather up my wayward belongings.
“My fault, I wasn’t paying attention” I mumbled almost incoherently.
I tucked my notes back into my journal as he handed me my dog-eared dictionary. Was that a smirk or did I imagine it? It was gone the instant I perceived it. Fingertips brushed up against mine briefly, sharing a sense of welcome home and connection, before the touch slipped away, averted before I could grasp them. Too short, like the eyes, only a quick flash of contact.
Why do I feel I should know you? I suddenly thought of the pen that I kept tucked in my ponytail during work and hoped like heck I hadn’t forgotten to remove it this time. I swept my hand over my hair as if I were brushing the wisps out of my face. Thank god it wasn’t there, bad enough to be running into people. Who are you? Talk to me. Let me hear your voice. What is it about you?
“Well, here you go” he glanced at my last book as he placed it on top of my pile.
We stood up. One last quick look in the eyes, through my eyes almost, not near long enough for me to see through his, a glimmer of warmth, a brief smile…Then he was gone, swallowed up by the crowd with my quiet “thanks” bouncing back toward me off his disappearing back.
I was left with the image of his eyes burned indelibly into my mind and a vague sense of something missed, that if I had only said something to keep him there longer I would have discovered what that missing thing was. It felt important, but it was too late, he was gone. I lost my chance.
I no longer hungered for food. I had a bellyful of wistfulness.