Love in a Mist (Part 5)

 

This is the last part of a series of
five, click here to read previous post. Or click here to start from the beginning.
Remember. Thoughts whispered in my mind. Time is of the essence, and there isn’t much of it left.
Gravel crunched underfoot as daylight waned. All around us the sounds of nature grew.
“Can you hear that?” I asked, pausing in mid stride so that next to me Glenn had to stop and listen.
He did, face turned to me as we both listened to our surroundings.
He always listens.
All around us, well-tended gardens stretched into the horizon. A long stand of pine and willow trees cut off any sign that civilization was a few hedges away.
Remember.
Unease tugged at my emotions, but I tried to bury the feeling. Between us the air grew thick, forcing an invisible mass between us. It’s because of me. I thought, knowing it was true. It was unavoidable.
“How did you find this place?” I asked, focusing on the plants around me. Glenn looked around the garden, a smile touching his lips.
Amazing. Here I am again, in yet another exquisite garden with this guy.
Glenn gave a hollow laugh, “We use to come here as a family every Sunday, mostly in the summer. It was our place to come and think before we started a new week.”
“Your family really has something for growing things don’t they.”
“Yes they do.” He said, with a pause. Silence lengthened that pause, filling me with guilt. I shouldn’t have gotten this far with him. My thoughts shifted to the other night, to those all too perfect words I wanted to hear, but dreaded when he said them.
“I love you.”
Blinking back tears I looked ahead of us to a large willow tree beyond a stand of aspens. I was about to ask Glenn about them when he grabbed my hand and set off through the aspens, pulling me along. Their leaves hissing with the cooling air. Off in the distance a truck passed along the highway.
Hurry. Whispered the night air.
We meandered our way through tended rose hedges and under an arbor of hanging wisteria vines. The night was cool, cooler than it should have been. Mist gathered around our feet, shifting between the vegetation. Before us loomed the aged willow tree.
Glenn stopped before the line of hanging limbs. He looked up at the silver tree and squeezed my hand. “I haven’t been here in ages.”
“Yeah? How come?” My feeling of guilt increase as I watched his face tighten with emotion.
Don’t tell me, don’t tell me.
“This was my mother’s favorite spot here.” He motioned to the small rise we both stood before us. “We would come here every Sunday when the weather was good. For as long as I could remember every Sunday was our Willow Sunday.”
He faltered, going silent. I reached a hand toward him, my heart feeling as if it had physically left my chest. Mist traced around our feet, twisting up our ankles. The sensation brought a familiar cold to my skin. It’s coldness prompted me to speak, “What happened?”
Tears had fallen onto his high cheeks, staining his skin. He looked at me, with those soulful eyes. Turning from me he pointed to the ground beneath the willow. White flowers caught scattered moonlight between leaves. They were the strangest looking flowers I had ever seen.
Crouching down I pointed to a flower waving in the wind, “What are those?”
“Love in a Mist. My mother’s favorite flower.” Glenn crouched down as well, fingering the soft curving petals. Their fern-like leaves tickling his finger tips. “We had huge bunches of them throughout our garden and she would take their seeds and plant them under the willow tree. She made this her special place, our special place.”
He paused, drawing in breath.
“It was here, the last time we ever come as a family. Just like any Sunday we set up our lunch under this tree.” His hands should as they pointed at the tree. “I was sitting right next to her when it happened. Her body just froze.”
A sixth sense leapt within my skull, buzzing between my eyes. You need to go now, run. He is too connected to you, to this place. He’s going to find out.
But I couldn’t move, captivated by his moving lips, and gesturing hands. Not to mention I felt pierced through the heart by his gaze. We were connected, whether I liked it or not. I felt his chest rise and fall as he steeled him for my reaction to his next words. And as an inopportune knock on a door, the thought struck me: I love him.
Words tumbled from his mouth as he pushed onward, “She fell back, her hair just spilling all around. Love in a Mist tangled all around her, as if holding the last bits of her life on earth. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes. This sort of dead surprise and . . . longing.”
I get it. I get him. That’s why, for all this.
“Glenn.” I started, wishing he could be inside my head, but he waved me quite. Behind his head mist ran between hanging branches. We both stood, watching billows of mist raise around us. He stepped close to me, eyes shining with hope. Reaching out he clasped both of my shoulders as we turned to face one another.
“Please Mische, I need to say this out loud to you. I need you to hear this. I watched my mother die. I saw the exact moment when her spirit left her body.”
Mische, you’re in trouble, get out of here now. The mist dulled my own minds urgency. Chills ran through my limbs, willing me to move. But at that moment, it didn’t matter. Nothing mattered, except for what was happening between us. We changed, and I knew he felt it as strong as I. “I wanted to tell you this Mische, because I’m in love with you. I want you to know all my secrets. I know you have secrets of your own. They kept you from saying what you want to say.” His voice cracked with emotion as he moved closer to me. “I-I want you to feel like you can tell me all of yours.”
My soul sang as I heard his words. I leaned into his body as our mouths met. Waves of energy washed over us as our emotions merged, For an instant I felt as one, whole and complete. With that kiss I told Glenn my feelings, my thoughts. I love you. But that was all I could do for now. Mist clung to my legs and arms, pulling me away from the man who held my heart.
“Mische? Mische, what’s wrong?” His voice clung to my hair, the force of his breath rippling through my body. Even as I squeezed him close, I could feel my strength, my substance ebbing.
“I-I, I can’t Glenn. Not right now.” I’ll never forget the look of raw anguish, bewilderment etched on every line of his perfect face. “I knew it would come to this, Glenn, and I am sorry. But you and I will never be together. It is a physical impossibility.” He didn’t even notice the mist wrapping itself around the two of us. Looking down at my feet they disappeared  into the mist. I noticed an all too familiar glow coming from the grass.
“What do you mean?” He said, his consternation growing. Glenn looked down. “Why are you glowing? Mische what’s going on?”
“Love in a Mist.” I said as my form dissolved into the night.
-M.E. Inkowl

Midnight in the Garden (Part 4)

Here is a link for the previous post, or start from the beginning of the story here.
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I believe it’s your turn grandson of mine.” My grandmother held her cards in one hand, and sipped at cup of water with the other.
Evening had fallen around us and shadows danced from a near by fire pit.
“Yeah Glenn, quit holding up the game.What’s so distracting.” Mische looked up from her cards, with a smile.
Blushing I looked away, placing a skip card onto the table.
“What?” Mische exclaimed,”I was going to finally win this round!”
Grandpa shook with silent laughter, his eyes disappearing in creases of mirth.
“Oh you’re terrible, give the girl a chance son!” Grandma waved her hand at me.
“Nah, just wait. She’ll get us on this next round.” I winked at Mische who just looked at her cards and shook her head.
We sat in my grandparent’s garden. The scent of more than a dozen flowers tossed themselves around our table with the wind. Half a tray of homemade blackberry crumble sat in a tray. The tart juice of the berries still lingered on my tongue.
This, this is what life is about.
“So my dear, what do you intend to do with your life?” Grandma looked at mische, a smile still on her face.
She approves of her. I thought, a satisfying sensation filling my body.
Mische switched a few cards in her hands and replied, “I’m going to be a math teacher.”
“Oh really? Very good!” Said Grandpa, his face shining in the firelight. “I have a lot of respect for educators. What made you choose that?”
“It was really interesting actually,” Mische chuckled, “I was planning on becoming an engineer.”
Both of my grandparents sat back in their seats, curiosity peaked.
“Yeah, I sat down with the adviser with the university and she asked me what wanted to do. And I opened my mouth to say engineer, and educator came out.”
Grandma gasped, “Well, could you believe that!”
I looked at Mische again, trying not to catch her eye. Her smile was perfection. I couldn’t look away from the curve of her lips, or the way her eyes crinkled at the sides when she did. The evening air shifted bringing to me a new smell, Mische’s smell. It was different, unlike any other woman, or flower I’d smelled before.
Glenn listen to yourself, you sound like a freak. Stop smelling the girl.
The conversation continued, and I watch all three of my companions interact over the tops of my cards. Something within my chest rose as Grandpa threw back his head  with a laugh, hand on Mische’s shoulder.
Is this even real? Does this kind of thing actually happen outside of books and movies?
“Oh Glenn, you need to bring her around more often. She’s funny!” Grandma caught my eye again, and mouthed; She is a keeper, keep her!
Mische looked over at me, a thrill running down my spine as she did. She said, “Well your grandson isn’t half bad himself. Hopefully I don’t scare him away any time soon.”
Both of my grandparents looked at me, their arms folded.
“Oh she’s scary, but not scary enough to make me run away.” Mische hit my shoulder in mock outrage while the others chuckled.
“See what I have to put up with?” Mische said, looking back at my grandparents for support.
My hand closed around hers and I looked her in the eyes. “I’m kidding! Mische I couldn’t run away from you even if I tried.”
She was looking intently into my eyes, firelight reflecting like tiny stars in hers. The night grew around us, holding our table and chairs in comfortable darkness. The garden pressed in on us, green life beating to the drum of my heart, our hearts.
My finger pressed lightly on the inside of Mische’s wrist. I could feel her heart rate quicken.
I smiled, “I’m hooked.”
“Well I’ll say you both are,” Grandma said,tapping her cards against the table, “what happened to our game? Mische weren’t you going to beat us all this round?”
“Oh that’s right, I was.” She smiled at me again, her eyes lingering on me as I hunkered back down behind my cards.
The game ended too soon, and Mische won. It was nearly midnight when we said our good byes. My Grandfather and Grandmother both giving Mische long hugs and asking us both to come back soon.
We walked back to my car hand in hand, disappearing into the night. All too soon I was pulling into the parking lot of Mische’s apartment. We walked slowly up the stairs to her front door, number 34.
Mische turned around, a smile touching her lips, “I had so much fun tonight Glenn, really. I’ve already adopted your grandparents, you do realize this?”
I laughed, ” Of course! Did you see how they couldn’t let go of you when we left?”
“They’re adorable. I love them.” Mische reached out and touched my arm. Electricity raced through my body. “Glenn I love going on these adventures with you. I love spending time with you, there’s no other place I’d rather be. There’s no other person I’d rather experience all of this with.”
I looked in her eyes, they spoke to me more than her words ever could. I felt myself reach out for her cheek, fingers cupping under her chin. Silence rang between our bodies, yet our minds were anything but silent.
We kissed, our bodies melting into each other. She fit so well within my arms, as if we had been to halves to one whole. I felt her heart beat as the world around us turn.
Glently we pulled apart, staring into one another’s eyes.
“Mische.” I said, heart pounding in my chest.
“Yes?” She said, blinking slowly.
“I love you.”
To read previous posts about this story follow these links:

-M.E.Inkowl

 

 

 

When Books Strike Back (Part 3)

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This is continuation of another post, check out it out here, or start from the beginning here.
“See it was this flower that I was telling you about, Glenn, remember?” Anna pushed closer to me as I stood near the checkout counter. Her phone outstretched, showing me the pink wildflower.
“That’s a nice picture.” I said lamely, trying to gather a stack of books large enough to excuse myself from the conversation.
Anna pushed herself closer. Her glasses sliding down her nose. “You really think so?”
I could see my face reflected in her lenses as her intense blue eyes tried to stare deeply into my own.
“I-Yeah, you should go out there again and get more shots.” Things were feeling uncomfortable, very uncomfortable. Around us the library bustled with it’s quiet movement. Patrons moved from stack to stack, absorbed in their own little worlds.
No one caught my imploring glances, not even my right hand reference librarian, Kara looked my way. I could see her shoulders shaking with suppressed mirth.
I’m going to kill her.
Anna continued to prowl forward, boxing me between a shelving cart and the desk. “I was planning on going back out there this weekend. Are you on shift?”
“Well yeah, I’m here right?” I said, distract by a staff member depositing a large stack of books and DVDs onto the desk.
Anna blinked, regarding me with her flashing glasses. “Well, obviously Glenn, but I mean this weekend.”
She pushed her frames up with a well manicured turquoise fingernail, “I know you don’t really have a social life outside of here, and you probably could use the company-“
A spluttering cough came from reference and Kara stood up, coughing into her elbow. Distracted Anna turned towards her. I slithered between the cart and desk grasping the large
“Oh gash Kara, are you alright?” Genuine concern etched itself into Anna’s thick eyebrows as she hovered.
Clearing her throat, Kara looked over at me with a wink, “I’m quite alright Anna, really. Thank you.”
I disappeared into the stacks, weaving as much distance between me and Anna as possible. It wasn’t that Anna wasn’t a nice person, or that I’m some kind of jerk. But she just was . . . well Anna. Looking down I saw that my stack contained some language and prep test books with a smattering of fiction classics.
Thank goodness, I’ll be out here for a bit.
Setting myself to work I bobbed between patrons and stuffed books between more books. I reorganized the dewey decimal numbers on book spines and pulled books to the front of each shelf.
Nice and tidy.
Suddenly a book slid out of my grasp and crashed to the floor. The other books, feeling left out of the excitement, followed their fellow to the floor.
“For crying out loud.” I muttered under my breath, as I squatted down to pick them up.
“Glenn!” Hissed a voice behind me, making me jump and kick the books down an empty isle.
It was Kara, short hair waving around and face flushed with excitement.”She’s here! She’s here!”
I looked up and down the empty isle. “Um . . . who?”
Eyes rolling in exasperation to the ceiling Kara clicked her tongue, “Scanner Girl! Scanner Girl is here, and she’s headed your way!”
Scanner girl!
Heart leaping into my chest I froze, unable to think. It had been a few weeks since Scanner Girl had come in and I had, unfortunately, taken her down with my barcode scanner. . . and face. Since then I’d been avoiding her like the plague, not wanting to assault her again with deadly library force.
Cogs began turning in my head, “Where is she? How do you know she’s coming right to me? What did you-“
“Never mind that,” interrupted Kara, “Take this, it’s the book she’s looking for.”
My eyes goggled at the book, a GRE test prep paperback. “What? Are you crazy?”
Kara flipped her hair and gave me a cool look, “You can finally impress her. Heck, you can finally talk to her.”
“But . . .” My thoughts revved inside my head. What should I say? What would she say? Does she even want to talk? Wait, did I bathe today?
“Okay hurry up, she’s going to be in that section any minute. Move!” Kara yanked the books I still held in my other hand and pushed me towards the adult non-fiction section.
“What should I say?” I said over my shoulder.
“Hi, of course!” hissed Kara as she bent over to retrieve my fallen books.
In a dream I walked down the center isle, my hands starting to sweat.
Okay, breathe, you can do this. Breathe. Just say hello, ask her how she’s doing and then shelve the book and walk away. Okay? Make it nice and simple.
I read the dewey decimal numbers on the end of one of the stacks. It was hers. Heart now pounding in my throat, I cleared my throat and stepped around the corner.
“Glenn!! Oh this is fantastic!” Called Anna, her voice rending the very fabric of space. Anna stood there, as if she’d been waiting there all along. “Daddy come here, there’s someone I want you to meet!”
Is this some kind of joke? I’m going to kill Kara! Wait did she say daddy?
A short, balding man stood behind my co-worker. He had the same piercing eyes, and even glasses. Sporting a bushy  mustache that all but took over his upper lip, cheeks and mouth, he regarded me for a second.
“Daddy this is Glenn, my co-worker I’ve been telling you all about.” Some how Anna was clutching my arm, like a Chinese finger trap. I strained ever so slightly against her pull and her fingers bit into my arm.
I could feel the air around us thicken as Anna’s father looked me up one side and down the other. The hair on my neck and arms performed the wave as I heard myself gulp.
“Errr . . . Hi.” My throat had gone dry.
Father? I’m meeting Anna’s father? What is this, are we engaged? Woah, why is he still looking at me like that?
 Anna looked from me to her father, her smile faltering for a minute. “Oh sorry, that’s me being stupid! Glenn this is my dad, Kent. Daddy, this is Glenn.”
I tried to say, “please to meet you”but nothing came out. I just sort of nodded my head as I shook the man’s proffered hand. Kent stared, his handshake leaving much to be desired.
Something please fall from the sky right now.
Anna plowed through her father’s obvious discontent at my presence, “Anyway, Daddy, Glenn was just talking about taking me to that beautiful thicket we found the other day up the canyon. Remember? With those wild corn flowers?”
I offered another nervous smile to the man who clearly thought this potential match for her daughter was living up to none of his standards. It was at this moment that she came around the corner. Dark hair hanging around her beautiful face. A notecard clutched between her fingers.
Scanner Girl.
Our eyes met. Mine went wider as she stopped in her tracks.
“Anyway, so my dad works for the military. He’s a civilian on base working on engineering a new type of cockpit style. It’s probably something you two could talk about for hours. I mean-“
Whatever else Anna was saying droned into the background as I watched on in horror. Scanner Girl’s eyes move first over Anna’s father and then the girl herself. Her eye shifted back to me. With a face forming an inaccurate understanding of the situation she took a step back.
No! It’s not what it looks like! I’m not meeting her father! I’m not even interested in her! Holy fire, why did you have to walk around the corner now.
My eyes were looking at here, imploring her help without realizing it, and she saw my desperation. Her face flushed and she quickly looked down at her paper, then to the stack of books in front of her.
“Well? Glenn?” Anna’s voice brought me back to the awkward, real-life situation.
“I’m sorry, what?” I said, avoiding Kent’s continued stare. It was like he was trying to force me into the ground with just his vision.
Anna blinked, “Um . . . Were you not listening?”
Behind them both Scanner Girl continued looking for her book, desperate to leave us all behind.
It dawned on me that she couldn’t go anywhere. Her book was in my hands. I looked down at the bold GRE title and took a breath.
Come on, you’ve got to get it to her. I scolded myself. And then, at the sight of Scanner Girl just out of reach something inside me snapped.
“I’m sorry, I need to shelve this book.” I said, suddenly moving forward.
“What? Glenn, wait.” Anna grabbed my other arm, trying to pull me back into a conversation that I was not ready to have, least of all with her father. I did the only think my brain could think to do: I kept walking.
My foot caught the tip of Kent’s shoe, that combined with Anna pulling on my arm threw me off balance and into the bookshelf.
“Oooomph.” I said as I connected with the metal shelf. There was another second where time stopped, and I was able to look right at Scanner Girl. And then a cascade of books fell on top of me, her and Anna’s father.
“DADDY!” Wailed Anna as her father disappeared under a flow of pages and breaking covers.
Scanner girl gave out a soft cry of surprise and was knocked onto her backside. A large thesaurus bounced off of my head as an ACT prep book slammed into my face. I went down, hitting my head on the opposite shelf. Stars exploded in my eyes.
Anna screeched again, “Daddy! Are you alright?”
In a minute all the books had emptied themselves from their perch. A flock of dust bunnies drifted down on all four of us.
A voice spoke over me as I got on hands and knees, “Oh my gosh, are you alright? I’m so sorry, are you hurt?”
The library was shifting around, and I could hear rushing feet headed towards us.
“What’s happened?”
“Is everyone alright?”
Scanner girl crouched by me, her hand on my shoulder, “You aren’t bleeding, are you feeling alright?”
My face and head throbbed but I nodded and started to stand up. Behind us Anna had extricated her father from a volume set of mathematics and was staring at Scanner Girl, her face growing scarlet.
“Thank you,” I said trying not to sound in pain, “But I think this is the book you’re looking for.”
From around both sides of the book shelf came several librarians and a janitor.
“Is everyone alright? Glenn, are you okay? Anna, did your father get hit?”
Scanner Girl ignored the newcomers and looked down at the proffered book.
“How did you-? Um, thank you.” She looked bemused and confused at once.
I smiled, guilt making my face hot. “I’m sorry, it’s involved. But I think that one should help.”
One last book fell from the shelf and toppled down onto Anna’s foot. She screamed.
“I’m Glenn.” I said, sticking my hand out to Scanner Girl. She took it slowly, trying to hide a smile, but failing miserably.
With a laugh she shook my hand and said, “Hi Glenn, I’m Mische.”

-M.E. Inkowl

 

 

 

 

 

Among the Lavender (Part 2)

Check out the beginning of this story here.
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Mische’s phone buzzed on the counter top
“Hey what are you doing tonight?” Glenn’s voice sounded calm on the phone, but there was something in his voice.
Mische smiled, fingers twiddling with a napkin, “Um, well, nothing at the moment.”
“Good.” There was mischief in Glenn’s voice as he said, “Want to go stripping tonight?”
Mische’s ears rang in the sudden vacuum of sound.
She tucked a strand of hair behind an ear, “I-I’m sorry what?”
“Stripping.” Glenn said with enthusiasm, ” Stripping in my family’s garden.”
Mische opened her mouth, waiting for a response, but nothing was forthcoming. Her cheeks burned as she found herself pacing the floor as thoughts raced round her head.
The pause deepened.
Glenn, after a moment, caught on that something more was going on behind the silence spoke, “Mische, are you still there? Hello?”
“I-I’m still here, don’t worry. Um . . .”
Realizing his mistake Glenn cut in, “Mische, I’m joking, come up to my house, my parents have a whole ton of lavender to strip.”
Relief brought color back into her face and a laugh escaped her. “Okay I’ll be there soon.”
. . .
Mische pulled up to a lantern lit garden. Evening grew in the sky above, blending the world into a canvas of darkness. Figures moved between illuminated plants, arms full of foliage. One figure stopped, dropping a large pile of plants round its feet and waved at her.
That’s got to be Glenn.
“Okay, I’ve got this. Act . . . nonchalant.” Tossing a glance into the rear view mirror she took in her curly brown hair, dark eyebrows and wide grey eyes. “I’ve got this.”
A stone path wound its way between garden beds, leading Mische up the gently sloping front lawn. Glenn was already half way down, leaping over manicured bushes and wispy grasses. Beyond sat a comfortable ranch style house. Candles flickered in windows as the gentle summer breeze blew through open windows.
“Mische! Mische! You made it!” Hardly containing his excitement Glenn swept Mische into a warm hug, lifting her off the ground and spinning her around. He smelt like the outdoors, fresh grass and earth. She felt herself melt into his arms.
“Are you ready for this?”
Mische pulled away with a laugh, “What, stripping with your family? You betcha.”
Glenn threw his head back with a laugh, “Exactly! Come on, let’s go. The lavender is ready.”
Together they jumped from stone to stone, hands linked together. Mische couldn’t ignore the way her fingers fit so well, weaved between Glenn’s fingers. She found her eyes following up the young man’s arm and broad shoulders. His light hair caught the reflected light from lanterns as they passed. It was as if his face held the warmth from each flame, both eyes glittering with excitement and wonder.
I could stare at those eyes forever. Mische thought to herself, a silent wish drawing her closer to Glenn’s presence. It was all she could do to not pull him to a stop and take his face in her hands. I could kiss him forever.
Glenn slowed his pace as they passed a rustling wisteria bush. “Were almost there, just by the front porch.”
The two found themselves on a stone paved path at the edge of the farm house’s broad front porch. Mounds of green and yellow thyme grew between each paver, softening the walk. Stars shown one by one in the sky as a wind chime caught a breeze.
“Here we are!” Glenn said with pride. A small circular wood table sat to one side, laden with piles and piles of green stems and purple flowers. An aroma of calm pervaded the space, sweetening the air. To one side a handful of lanterns glowed, illuminating the space. Baskets lay all around, waiting.
“What is this?” Mische asked with a smile, looking at Glenn.
“This,” He said with a wave of his hand, “is where we get to strip . . . lavender.”
They sat there, in a corner of serenity. Around both Mische and Glenn the world slowed, the light of evening lingering as stars sat frozen in the sky. Hands moving as in a dream, Glenn showed his companion how to pull the fragrant lavender flowers off their stalks and into a waiting basket.
Mische felt her body relax in the smooth wooden chair. Bees hummed in the bushes around, and through the mounds of cut lavender. She looked up from the stalk she was stripping to find Glenn watching her, a half-smile touching his lips.
“What is it?” She blushed, knowing he’d been looking at her, watching her twist off stems. For a moment their eyes held one another, emotions rising within.
It was Glenn’s turn to blush as he leaned towards her. “Can I kiss you?”
Something unwound itself around the young woman’s heart and she felt her body reverberated with energy.
“Yes.” She whispered as the world stopped, and their lips met.

 

-M.E. Inkowl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Chance Meeting (Part 1)

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“Excuse me, is this where I get help finding books?” Her voice broke through the reverie of my day. I pulled yet another stack of children’s picture books to my scanner. It took me a moment to realize she was talking to me.
Before I could think my mouth fell open with a not so subtle, “Huh?”
She had long thick hair that fell over one shoulder. It was the color of honey. Wide brown eyes stared at me, waiting for a response.
Stop sliding the books. I told myself. I continued to slide the books between us. Stop sliding the-
She gave me a patient smile and said again, “Can you help me find a bo-”
Something crashed over the edge of the counter, clipping her shoulder bag. The scanner rattled against the front counter and upended itself onto the floor.
Come on! You’re killing me! I yelled in my head.
It was the scanner, acting it’s melodramatic part. She half dove, half sank to the floor in an attempt to stop the misguided projectile.
Of course.
Further down the side of the circulation desk I spied the reference librarian staring at me. An air of severity and disgust grew around her as her back straightened and she swiveled her chair back to the computer.
Reflexes born of a sloth churned into action as I made an attempt to recover some semblance of a functioning adult.
“Oh crap! I’m sorry, it does this all the time.” I muttered, reaching over the counter top for the hanging machine. The girl picking up the scanner’s stand didn’t see me leering over the edge, hand outstretched. I didn’t see her coming either.
“Ouch!” “Oumph!” We both said as face met head. I got a distinct smell of lilacs as her hair tangled in my face and badge. My hand successfully clamped itself around her purse.
Holy fire, please let me die now. Let go! Let go!
I was pulling away, trying to regain feeling in my nose, she was rubbing her head, face scrunched up in pain. My hand remained on her bag, pulling her closer to the counter.
“I’m so so sorry. Are you okay?” I said, knowing she’d probably avoid me the next time she visited the library.
She laughed and winced at the same time, “Yeah I think so, are you?”
Her voice was silk billowing in the wind. It was low, but not man-ish.
I could listen to her all day. My mind lingered on the thought,  a bit longer than it should have.
Our eyes settled on my hand holding her back. It convulsed as if caught in the act of thieving.
“Errr, I’m sorry. Let me just . . . not steal you purse. . .”
She laughed again, the sound stirring something within my chest.
“Shh!!” Said the end of the counter as a perturbed librarian half stood from her chair, glaring at the two of us.
“Sorry.” The girl said, subconsciously biting her lips. With a huff the librarian sat back down, hands flourishing a black pen and paper. We turned to one another, eyebrows raised.
She beautiful. You’re beautiful. I wanted to say, but stifled the thought.
Finally remembering her question I pointed at the librarian’s back offering a conspiratorial whisper, “If you don’t make eye contact she might be the person who could help.”
She smiled, her eyes flashing with mirth.
“Well then, wish me luck.”
I pushed a book under the now precariously perched scanner and smiled, “Oh you’ll need all the luck in the world.”
Covering a laugh with a small cough, she smiled at me. The end of the desk huffed with annoyance.
“Thank you . . . for your help.” Her face flushed, and before I could do anything she walked away.
Still gazing at the spot where she had once existed I let out a sigh. Early blossoms on a narrow bush tapped against the large window. Their pink petals fluttering in the wind.
“You’re welcome.” I whispered, shooting a glance over to the reference desk. It was empty. Another sigh escaped me.
Get back to work.