How was it that he could suddenly see so clearly then?
His eyes saw but his brain couldn’t process. Every other part of Tom’s body seemed to know what was happening before he himself knew. His limbs awakened with a shudder, his heart jumped, his eyes brightened as though they’d caught stars. There would be no blinking; he might’ve lost her that way. He feared unconsciously that this visage was just a figment of his imagination-a product of his soporific state.
She was a dainty young thing. She was silently admiring a pile of books he’d only just labeled and stacked on a rolling shelf. Her eyes were as bright with interest as Tom’s were. His on her and hers on the thick hardback cover of a book called Endless Denial.
Indeed, she was a sight. Plain, pale, and unkempt but somehow the most beautiful girl Tom had ever seen. How was it that her hair seemed to retain the heat of some untamed fire? Why did she seem to glow like the moon? How could she move with such an unconscious grace, swaddled as she was in a heavy cotton sweater? These were all things that he found himself considering. And he could have kicked himself because he could not think of anything clever to say.
“Hello,” Tom said.
She looked up and his heart skipped. Her thick-rimmed glasses caught the light of the warm fire crackling in the hearth and hid her eyes. He stared anyway.
“Sorry,”she said. “I was admiring your books here. Never seen them here before.”