Never done this style before 🙂
The wall of books took up the back wall of the shop. As small as it was, her whole attention was set on the spines that turned their backs to her. New releases, old classics, books that didn’t deserve their best-seller titles.
“Travesty.” She muttered under her breath. At least she thought it had been.
“Completely!” She glanced sideways, taking in the tall figure. He, like her was focused on the floor to ceiling shelves, eyes skipping over one here, glaring at another there as though it’s very presence was an offence of the highest order.
Her face flushed. Useless in the art of flirting, her mind scrambled to put a coherent string of words together. He spoke first.
“It amazes me how drivel seems to consistently find its way into the hands of the masses.” His voice was soft, but even with the screeches and shouts of the nervous system of the city railway station fighting to drown him out, she didn’t need to strain to hear him. He plucked a book from the shelves, turning it over to read the blurb. If she hadn’t been trying to watch him from the corner of her eye, she would have missed his own glance toward her, and the suble flush that peeked over his collar as their eyes met.
“What would you recommend?” She ventured with a boldness she hopes he couldnt tell was faked. Turning to meet him fully, she sucked in a calming breath. He handed her the book in his hand. She reached out a hand, stupidly proud that it didn’t shake from nerves.
“Is it..” Her eyes widened as they fell on the clock behind him. “Oh no! I’m going to miss my train!” She was surprised at the strong sensation of loss that struck her in that instant. Letting her hair fall forward to hide her disappointment from this total stranger, She bent to gather her bag.
“You know,” he hesitated. “I’ve just finished this one.” He handed her a slightly dog-eared book, procured seemingly from nowhere.
“Really?” She stuttered. “Thank you!”
“A pleasure,” he muttered, meeting her eyes for a moment before glancing away. “Go on, you don’t want to miss your train.”
She manage to splutter out another ‘thank you’ as she ran from the store, handbag knocking a book to the floor as it swung out at her turn. Mortified, she waved a sorry to the harried shop keeper who just waved her off.
She made it to the platform with minutes to spare. As she caught her breath, she took the chance to look at the book still clutched in her hand. The cover gave nothing away, almost plain but for the title. As she turned it over, her fingers caught a scrap of paper peeking from between the pages. Curious, she opened the book, slipping a piece of a torn out notebook from the pages.
‘I’m sorry we didnt have time to talk’
She smiled as she read, absently hearing the train pull up to the platform in front of her.
‘If you want to talk more about books, I know a great coffee shop.’ His number was scrawled at the bottom. She felt people flow around her, a sea of self involved anxiety and impatience. A glance up to the bookshop showed the stranger standing at the door. She could feel his eyes locked onto hers.
“Miss?” Someone tapped her shoulder, a stressed man in a high-vis vest was looking up and down the platform. She was the only one standing there now. “Are you boarding? We need to move.”
“Actually,” she glanced once more at the man who had stepped towards her. “I think I’ll miss this one. ”