Sunday, November 9, 2008

Holding still ...

I was half in love with her by the time we sat down. That's the thing about girls. Every time they do something pretty, even if they're not much to look at, or even if they're sort of stupid, you fall half in love with them, and then you never know where the hell you are. -- Catcher in the Rye
I could see that look in his eyes. The look that said, "Why can't I focus?" and "Have we met?" all at the same time. The look that told me he was watching my mouth move but not hearing a thing I was saying.

I was flattered in a way. Surprised I could catch him so off guard. I did stop by unexpectedly, after all. Caught him in the foyer with a favor and a bit of rain still on my coat.

Still. It wasn't going to work. I played with my keys and made small talk. Watching with interest as he fought to keep the conversation alive. I processed his words and responded appropriately all along keeping a running monologue in my head about the way he kept biting his lip and tracing my face with his eyes.

Poor guy. His crooked smile and sideways glances weren't helping his case. They made him adorable, yes. But it wasn't enough. I wasn't fooled. He knew what he was missing as much as I knew the effect I was having on him, half-blown in from the wind and one hand on the door. Threatening to leave but not willing to offer that relief. The dead-end phrases and concerted effort to keep his eyes locked on mine kept us trapped between moving forward and ending the conversation that never really started.

So I held very still, enjoying the commentary for as long as I could with half a smile on my lips and a few courtesy laughs to ease the tension. And then I moved. Something he hadn't done since the last time he moved in to kiss me. But it wasn't forward and further into the foyer. It was out. I could feel him watching me as I moved into the rain and bounced off his steps toward my car. He had that same half-smile on his face when he said goodnight as he had when opened the door, a result of awe and surprise. I felt him sighing heavily as he turned back to his evening, almost wishing I had stayed. Or at least made it past the front door handle.

I kept moving and didn't look back. Better things lay ahead. Because when it comes down to it, that's the problem with being the girl he can sometimes care for -- he's only half-way in love.


Haley said...

Oh I love it. Very good, you should write a novel!

Natalie said...

Oh the angst of sometimes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

so many exclamations!!