It's been so long that I had begun to wonder if I would ever see her again. Maybe once a week I think about her. It's probably more than once a week. Anyway, this morning when I reached the corner of my street and turned, BAM! there she was, right in front of me, walking along with her head jammed in a book.
Suddenly there seemed to be rainbows blasting across the sky. I felt my heart surge up in my chest, almost bursting out from its ribcage prison with pure glad joy. Gee, how long had it been since I had seen her? It was way back in March. Six months ago.
Well, never mind. There she was again and nothing else mattered.
I fell in behind her, making sure not to walk at my usual speed. She walks pretty fast for a woman (in fact, all these walking women seem to walk pretty fast for women these days) but still not as fast as me. I had to stay behind her, or sort of behind her but to the side, or even more to the side but not quite. I had to find out what that book was she was reading.
This time though I made sure to pay more attention to her. What is it with my obsession about her? It must be more than that she likes to read a book as she walks to work. And is it really an obsession? If it really was, wouldn't I do what my friend The J Man suggested and follow her all the way to work and see if there was a Position Vacant sign in the window?
Well anyway, there I was making sure not to walk too fast, I had plenty of time to make some observations. For a start, she is shorter than I remembered, but only a little. That's OK. But the thing with that is that it's hard to get a look at the cover of the book she is reading. I would have to drop down right in front of her pretending my shoelace had come undone and sneak a look up. That would be too obvious. If it was another woman I could maybe do it, but not with her. The last thing I want to do is freak her out. But I came close enough to that today anyway.
This morning she was wearing a navy blue suit. It was a bit baggy, and seemed to be at least one size too big for her. She was also wearing sneakers. Her hair was shoulder length and brown, with the sides swept round to the back and tied up so they fell joined down the middle of the back of her head, over the top of the other hair that grew naturally from the back of her head. I imagined that to a million other people she would appear to be a quite average looking woman, only distinguished by the possibly wacky way she walks fast down the street with a book jammed in her face. Yet to me she is utterly captivating and enchanting. God, how wonderful and singular she is!
We were already at Taylor's Square and I still hadn't managed to learn what her book was, so I decided to make a strategic move. Surging past her and well ahead, I reached a bus stop and went inside and sat down. The back of it was glass so I could see through as she walked past. She zoomed past and I didn't manage to catch the book title or author. Blazes! Foiled!
I scrambled out of there and quickly caught up with her again. It seemed to be vitally important that I find out what book she was reading. Was it another historical romance? Good grief but the suspense was at a high pitch!
Three blocks later and I was still in the dark, so to speak, and the point where our paths would tragically diverge was coming up fast. I knew I had to try another manoevre so once more I accelerated ahead and found a seat, some newly installed *street furniture*. I sat down and pretended to be looking through my backpack for something. For a second it occurred to me that she might see me and wonder what the hell I was about, but I quickly understood that she was far too engrossed in her book to notice much going on around her. But again she came up as I frantically tried to focus on the wobbling book cover. Again it eluded me! Cruel!
At last we got up near Hyde Park. That was it, the end of the line. She was going through it; I was going along the edge of it forty five degrees in the wrong direction. The pedestrian light was red. We all stopped. There was a desperation in me then. I realised I should just go on up and ask her. It was so simple, really. Really simple and straightforward. Anybody could it, you would think. I could pretend to be a robot. Just go and say, Excuse me but would you mind telling me what book that is you are reading? But then of course my brain started revolting, sabotaging such simple logic. Of course, it was too simple. Ha ha! Yes. She would freak out. That could really happen. What business was it of mine? And if I left my mirror sunglasses on she would think I was a fiend or some kind of creep; if I took them off she would be horrified and repulsed by my bloodshot eyes, for they were surely still so. Or it would be a Danielle Steele book and I would not be able to suppress a mad giggle or some look of horrified alarm. Either way, if I went ahead and asked her I would ruin everything, that's for sure.
The light turned green and we all walked across the road. Then I kept watching her as she disappeared among the trees.
God, how long would it be this time before I saw her again?