I didn’t muster up enough to talk to her other than to excuse myself when I had to go to the bathroom. All the way from Vegas and I said “excuse me” one time. Held it for three hours after that so I didn’t have to say it again.
Her smile as she read from the e-book on her kindle caught my attention at first. The sweetest smile. At one time, she giggled silently and I tried to watch from the corner of my eye, never letting on that I was captivated completely.
I watched her stand to get the bag from the bin above her head. As she reached upward, I again tried to watch but pretended to be interested in something just to her side.
And she was gone. A pleasant ride stuffed with regret for not having asked what it was that she was reading. Or whether she was away from home or now headed back to it.
She had no luggage to wait for, but I did.
Then somehow, there she appeared in front of me. It had to be ten or fifteen minutes later and right there, seconds from my imagined grasp.
I thought about it.
Ah miss, I would say… didn’t I just sit next to you on the flight from Las Vegas? I know this sounds weird, but I have to tell you that I saw you reading a book and smiling and I just had to ask… what was it you were reading? And this is the weird part: I thought that you were the most beautiful thing I had ever seen when you smiled. Just so beautiful.
She would then give me a shorthanded version of the same expression, enough for me to inquire if she might be interested in a cup of coffee before she left…
And the stairway extended to flat, signifying the end of a descent.
And she was gone.