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     “Bookstore”
 
She sat at
a small table
in the back
of the bookstore
thumbing through
books
she had no
intention
of buying
while drawing
a few looks
from the sales
floor staff,
she’s living
in a style
that’s all her
own
as she lets
her eyes
drift around the
room
till they get
caught up
following
a young boy
about her age
of fifteen
in search of
something classical
yet still
off the edge
of normal
to read,
he was good
looking
but way too much
“boy next door”
for her tastes
but she was
bored
and he was
in desperate need
of a girl
with her talents
someone from the
opposite side of
predictably boring,
she comes up
behind him
standing very close
as she pokes her
head
over his shoulder
and whispers in
his ear
“good book?”
causing him to
jump
and fumble with
the book
taking a small
step
to the side
as he regains
control
of his grasp
on the book
but not of his
senses
he can’t help
but be taken
with this girl
as he traces
that voice back
to this enchanting
young lady
that is now
putting on her
best look of
innocence,
the beauty
in her face
surprises him
freezing his verbal
skills
as his eyes
try and take in
her mix of youthful
sexiness
and city toughness
noticing the full
complement of
fresh cuts and
bruises
on the left side
of her face
as she stands
only a foot in
front of him,
she reaches over
and takes the
book
from his hands
she looks at
the cover
and quickly leafs
through the pages
giving him a
shrug
of disinterest
in the choice
he had made
and hands him
back the book,
he struggles to
keep his head
above the waves
in this pool of
instant attraction
he’s floundering in
only able to
pull out a few
small words
to throw
her way
he asks her
what book he
should be getting,
she takes him
by the hand
causing
every little hair
on his body
to stand on
end
and pulls him
towards the fiction
section
her charismatic
nature
is so overpowering
he would follow her
anywhere without
question
even though he
just met her
seconds ago,
she rifles through
the books
pulling them off
the shelfs
and setting them
back down
on the counter
as she goes
while he picks up
each book
putting it in its
rightful place
behind her
till she finds
something worthy
of her recommendation
she flips him
the book
“what’s this about?”
he asks
“Oh, some rich preppy guy
comes home from college
on winter break
to see his cheating
girlfriend’
she says,
she pulls out
her phone
checks the time
“Hey dude,
I got to go
can’t miss my bus”
he’s caught off guard
by her sudden
announcement
his emotions
dropping him from
the sky
without warning
she sees the
sad puppy
dog look
across his face
on his way
down,
she never
meant to
tie his heart
into knots
she sometimes
forgets
how fast boys
her age
can fall in
love
she was just
having a little
fun
while killing off
an over abundance
of time
“hand me your phone”
she says to him
he gives it to her
his heart
desperately trying
to grab hold
of her
trying to find a way
to make her stay
his mind racing
out in front
of her
but he says
nothing
as she holds up
his phone
to take a picture
of the two
of them
she looks over
at him and says
“Come on,
give us a smile”
and puts her arm
around his waist
and pulls him
closer
he puts forth
his best effort
while fighting back
the withdraws
from the high
she had sent
him on
before taking it
all a way
with just a
few words of
farewell,
panicking now
he tries to recapture
those runaway
feelings
he had with her
only a minute ago
not yet understanding
he’ll never catch up
to them again,
she hands him back
the phone
gives him a smile
along with a
“hope you like
the book”
and is on her way
out the door
to wait for the bus
at the curb,
not knowing
what else to do
he heads to the
register
to pay for the
book
watching her
the whole time
standing there
hoping she turns
around towards
him
but she never does
and a minute later
she boards the bus
and becomes lost
to him
behind the tinted
glass of the
bus windows,
he looks down
at the picture
of her
one he’ll carry
on that phone
for years
till a jealous
girlfriend
deletes it,
he puts the
book on
the counter
and pushes it
towards
the clerk,
while truly
believing
in his heart
he could never
possibly feel
this way
again…
 
     Tom Allen…05-27-2018…