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    Thursday, April 13, 2006

    The Girl in the Library

    [Like The Face at the Restaurant, "the purpose of relating the story is to highlight life's many fork-in-the-road situations." It is a moment in time, a person, a "what if" situation, and an indelible part of me.]

    Slowly the bead of sweat dripped down my forehead. Winding it's way amid the unseen nooks and ravines of my skin, it brushed my right eyebrow, dipped down toward my eye, and caused an insatiable itch rewarded by a quick flick of the wrist and a wipe.

    "Man, this wasn't what I had in mind," I thought.

    Sick. Fever. And I was stuck wiping my sweat with my starched white cuff. Clearing my throat I adjusted my tuxedo once again.

    "I don't know how much longer I can do this, feeling light-headed and all," I mused. My eyes drifted down to the new ring on my finger and locked onto a reflection of black hair.

    All at once I found myself at a desk on the bottom floor of the library, trying to separate my life from the muck. So many distractions.

    Like an underwater dance, moving oh so slowly, words sounding hollow, deep, and distorted, my life of the last two years swirled around me. Heck, the last fifteen minute walk to the library swirled around me. Swirling, swirling ... and BAM!. Snapped back to reality, seeing clearly, maybe too much so, I saw her.

    Why hadn't I noticed her earlier? I had sat right next to her. Black hair, the soft kind with a sheen that speaks to you. Eyes, wide, in that European way, contrasting the delicate asian features of her face like a heroine's eyes in Japanese anime. Simple shirt, simple clothes, but that smile ... that smile ... almost tangible like the sweet taste of strawberry in the summer.

    Her lips moved, and then I saw her eyes. They darted at me, then away into space, then back again.

    "Are you speaking to me?" I thought, as her eyes moved again.

    "What? Don't you think I'm pretty?" She asked.

    Did the words come from her moving lips or riveting eyes?

    "Of course. You're amazing." I replied, entranced with the woman before me. How could someone like this be found on the bottom floor of a library. Truly the best things in life are unheralded.

    "Then kiss me, you fool," said those beautiful black eyes. "What are you waiting for?"

    "You're kidding me," I thought. "I don't know you. We've only just met."

    "Kiss her, you moron," said a voice. "Obviously she wants it--just look at her eyes."

    "Don't be stupid. You don't even know her," came my mind's reply.

    Back and forth they went, the voices in my head, arguing "to do or not to do" and the world started spinning again. Those eyes, all I knew were those eyes were speaking to me. I had sat next to an amazingly beautiful girl, her eyes were speaking to me, and both sides of my conscionce were duking it out on my shoulder.

    And then ... kiss. The world focused instantly on our lips, lightly locked in the library. A second, a blink, and it was over.

    What had I done? What had I done? Why did I do it? It was her eyes! They made me do it! They called to me, asked me, pleaded, even.

    My hand quivered and the reflection in my ring was gone.

    "How long was I gone?" I asked. "A minute? No, only seconds."

    Slowly, I exhaled.

    Looking to my right, I saw her again, that same girl from the library, even more beautiful than in my memory. Succulent red lips, braided black hair, a stunning white wedding dress...

    Boy am I glad I kissed her.

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    Anonymous said...

    you and I are the last two romantics in the world. Wonderful paean to your wife. How about a pix someday.

    Triet said...

    Thanks for the compliment, and teaching me a new word: paean. Pic...maybe...