I’ve been sitting here for an entire hour, with my lap top in front of me, trying to work, but for forty-five minutes my vision frame only captures her. I can’t take my eyes of this person and I can clearly affirm that, yes, she is different.
Not the kind of different that my best friends use to describe their girlfriends, like, “She’s different, because when I look at her my heart flutters or ignites”. God, no. Nothing like that.
Not even this difference is marked by an obvious and supreme gorgeousness. Although I cannot deny her beauty, it’s not transcendent and her elegance is absorbed by a sweater, a size or two greater than it should be.
It’s her behavior that differs from the other girl’s. From the people’s in general, actually.
Objectively speaking, I can clearly apply the term different in its literal meaning. It’s becoming more obvious as I’m observing her.
And it’s so logical that my brain accepts it and my reason allows me to explore it.
Besides… it’s intriguing.
She is intriguing… captivating me as I try to interpretate each one of her attitudes, which in the beginning could have passed by you, but after notice the first one, it’s impossible not to pay special attention.
I understand now that her table is deliberately away from the others… like there was a force field around it, and every time someone crosses her secure zone, she freezes, stopping her rhythmic writing.
I can see how her muscles tense up and her breathing ceases every time someone steps into her comfort area. How she grabs uncomfortably the table, searching for stability and her eyes become vigilant, like a prey soon to be attacked by its predator.
It’s not just the fact that she doesn’t like people… it’s almost like she fears them.
I don’t think she despises personal interaction, she just doesn’t know how to deal with it. Physical proximity is difficult for her. Even when people are two feet away from her, she becomes nervous, closing her eyes and deep breathing, like she’d been trapped.
I noticed this the first time she got up to order something at the counter. Only one person was in line before her, so the space between them was safe. But, in that moment, a group of students enters the café. They were just waiting in line to order something, talking and laughing like any other group of friends. And that is what other people see, not even paying much attention to it, because there’s nothing abnormal.
But, by her face, I know she doesn’t see it that way.
She carefully observes them, as they approach and lean into the space around her, like they were some kind of a threat. And for her that’s exactly what they are… a danger.
She tries to avoid them, stepping towards left, but there wasn’t much room for her to feel secure. I can see her chest moving faster, crossing her arms, while her index finger starts do nudge lightly and regularly her forearm, like a nervous tic. But even in clear discomfort, she remains in place.
Nevertheless just one second passed, and things went wrong.
One of the students, in the middle of the teenage stupidity, jostled while playing around with one other, almost falling on her. In one quick reflex she deviates, dodging him. The real problem was when he touched her shoulder, apologizing.
It was unpredictable and caught her by surprise. As she feels his fingers, she petrifies. Her eyes open in distress, becoming so exposed that I can almost see her dilated pupils. I can hear the hiss that escapes her lips, as her jaw clenches and her hands become fists, leaving her knuckles white from the strength she’s applying.
It was like she had received a high voltage shock and she quickly draw her body back, avoiding contact.
She shakes her head, saying there’s no problem, although that’s not true at all, but she evidently just wants to go back to her table. And before I could even see it she’s sited again, leaving a confused boy behind.
He didn’t understand what just happened, but let’s be fair, he didn’t even bothered to, shrugging and returning rapidly to his dumb conversation.
I have an utter need to punch the guy, but I control myself. Could he more insensible? Feeling a little guilt wouldn’t hurt. Instead he promptly ignored the situation that he’d put this girl through.
One second was just what he needed to create such chaos in someone’s life, and one second was what he required to recover from it. What a douche.
It’s impossible not notice this girl’s vulnerability. Or is it just me that had been observing her for too long?
Her eyes are still close, with phones in her ears, but finally , she's breathing normally again. Even not knowing her name, I feel the urge to approach her. I want to take her hand in mine, ask her if she’s fine and tell that it’ll be okay. But I know all too well that’s not a good idea. I would stress her more.
Half an hour passed, and she’s back to her normal self, continuing to study. She’s now listening to music, shaking her head casually in its pace. I think she is used this. The closed eyes, the deep breathing, the music… it all seems some kind of methodic exercise to calm herself in these normal situations for us, but so disturbing for her.
Me too, should’ve returned back to work, but I cannot abstain myself of looking at her. I try to turn my head towards the lap top’s direction and read the preposterous amount of text that I have to, but my curiosity supplants my will and it’s almost like my eyes are a magnet and this girl a magnetic field.
For the second time, she gets up. This time there’s no one standing in line, so there’s no risk of touching. But before she could retrieve her orange juice, again, two girls enter the café. They’re not close at all; there’s a safe space between them, but still, I can see that, for a second, she’s debating what to do, until she decides to go back to her sit, leaving the untouched juice on the counter.
Staring at the glass, her expression seems upset.
I do not comprehend the empathy that I feel about this girl. I’ve never felt this way with no one else. I don’t even know her name, for God’s sake. Still, I worry about her. It’s late afternoon and she hasn’t eat, only God knows for how long. Truth is that she was here before me and not once I saw her ingest anything. She’ll probably need some sugar in that blood stream. And I know that she won’t get up again, she’s too stressed, so… maybe I should bring the juice to her. I don’t want do exaggerate, but she may be hypoglycemic!
On other hand, I don’t want to upset her even more. But then again, I don’t need to touch her, right? Yeah, I should go, shouldn’t I?
For three seconds I consider my options and decide to just get up, block my subconscious saying not to do it, walk to the counter and then, carefully and nervously, towards her table.
The short distance that I have to walk, seems like 100 miles and every sort of doubt passes through my thoughts. Reason is telling that this is wrong, but it’s as if my body is unplugged from my brain and has its own will. I only stop when I’m in front of her.
Shit... I do not know what to do.
My reason/subconscious is yelling at me, telling how stupid I am. My body is still detached from my cortex, like my motor pathways were on a strike and I found myself momentarily paralyzed.
She stops writing and I know she feels my presence, but doesn’t look at me right away. Finally the invisible barrier that was between my brain and my spinal cord disappears, giving me my motor skills back so I can put the glass, gently, on the table.
Initially she stares at the juice and then, slowly, her eyes find my face. The green in them fills completely every cell of my retina and for a period of time, that’s the only thing that my optic nerve can process. They’re so… clear and pure, although they’re a mixture of green and hazel. The perfect mixture, actually. I don’t know for I long I’ve stayed in this impasse, not able to concentrate in anything else that isn’t deciphering the real color of her eyes.
When I finally rouse from my almost vegetal state, she’s still staring at me. There’s a deep silence between us and she’s frowning, a little wrinkle noticeable between her eyebrows. Her hand has stopped highlighting her notes, holding firmly the marker that she was using. Nevertheless, she’s calm. I think that’s because I did not crossed her limited zone.
By her “what does this retard wants?” face, clearly she’s not understanding what am I doing. And honestly, neither do I. My mouth hangs open, like I want to say something but nothing comes out of it and I think I might be drooling. Sure I look like a moron. Or worst… a pervert.
But it’s not my fault that my Broca’s area is not connecting the syllables and producing speech as it should, or that my cognition went on a strike.
It’s weird the effect that she has on me. The logical explanation is multiple strokes, leading to this brain paralysis, but that’s not likely.
Suddenly, I think that my subconscious slaps me and I snap back to reality. I close my eyes and shake my head a little, as I clear my throat, preparing to pronounce my first words.
“Um, hi!” Amazingly, my voice sounds secure… I just don’t know how the hell am I going to explain what I’m doing here, holding her juice in the first place.
“I noticed you've forgotten your juice on the counter, so I took the liberty of delivering it to you.”
Right, because now, you look less like a stalker, Simon. Really? Why don’t you just confess you’ve been watching her for an hour? Uh! I have an idea… just fill right away the harassment complain so she can promptly deliver it to the police… idiot.
My subconscious is mad at me.
“I didn't forget it.” I’m apaled by her answer. I was not expecting one. Plus, her voice, although smooth, is so cold while giving it to me.
Curiosity is a bitch, and mine just killed me. This was stupid. I don’t even know why do I want so badly this girl’s acceptance. Why should she react differently with me? Disappointment fills my head, although I cannot explain this emotion.
Feeling suicidal, I decide to continue the conversation. I think I’m determined to murder my ego, because I know she’s going to hang it by the neck.
“I’m Simon.” I introduce myself, and with the most senseless instinct, I extend my hand for her to shake.
I want to punch myself. I really do. But I control that imminent need, thinking if this is what it feels like to be buried alive…She just stares at it, her wrinkle still in its placed. Usually I can't get girls to shup up when I first talk to them, I this one, I cannot get her to talk. Fot the first time I felt a pinch, not in my body, but in my ego. Is this what rejection feels like? Nope, I don't like it.
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