I am in a bookstore. Scouring for something to read in my favorite part of it. Fiction. My eyes find “The Old Man and the Sea“. They lighten up. I pick it up, adore the cover for a second. Flip its pages over till I reach the first paragraph. I find the line “It looked like the flag of permanent defeat.” I smile. Is there anything as beautiful as Hemingway? I shake my head as I read it again. Smile. Then I look around to confirm if nobody is watching me smiling at a book.
Suddenly my eyes catch something. They linger. Another pair of eyes stares at me from across the room. They are planted to a blank face. She is a girl in her late twenties, wearing I don’t know what, for I barely look at her dress.
She doesn’t hold the gaze. I win.
I turn to look at my book, but there is something about her eyes that makes me want to search her again. I try to catch another peek, but she has vanished.
I can’t concentrate at the Old Man now. Suddenly out of the blue I see her storming towards fiction.
“Wait, what? Woohoo!”
And she is here, almost here. She looks at me again. This time I see her eyes up close.
Not because her eyes are beautiful, but they are really really sad. They are the lost kind. Seem to be asking a question that I don’t have an answer to. They are shouting, screaming without a sound asking to be saved. What do you need saving from?
These are the best pair I have ever seen. Gorgeous orbs! Has anyone told you that stranger?
A gleaming light sparks them up. I see a dam in her eyes now – a shoddily constructed one. It can break anytime any second now, and it promises to weep a river.
Her shades blink and in that momentary second, I realize she is stunning even without them. Her lashes play a winged creature, flapping its arms like an eagle, only once, to maintain flight..nay sight.
Her stare talks. I am listening to it with rapt attention. Her eyes write and I am a reader. We are meant to be together. Why aren’t we?
She picks up Hemingway. I am tempted to say:
“You a fan too?”
But words fail me.
She looks at me once again, a furtive glance and I am shamelessly staring at her. It must say,
“How brazen are you?”
But I don’t care, I am celebrating time.
I twitch and turn within myself. Struggling miserably to find myself and to say something irrespective of what happens. She deserves a compliment for crying out loud.
Even before I can garner all strength to manage anything, anything at all, I hear a gruff voice break my resolve:
“Are you done? Let’s go!”
A man pushes boundaries of space to hold her hand. A taut grip. I can feel his searing claws on her, as she leaves Hemingway behind in the process. She is being dragged without her will, hauled towards the gate. She turns around to give one last glance to the stranger who had somehow read her so good.
Her gloomy eyes are suddenly hard to see. That split second acquaintance dies in a split second.