Once upon a time things were simpler.
Life is different now.
I think of you and an image forms in my mind.
You would have been that boy alone at the library table.
A stack of carefully chosen books in front of him.
I would have noticed you from across the room,
my own stack of carefully chosen books in a semicircle before me.
A fortress to hide behind.
A way to see without being seen.
I would lose myself in the silence that was the rule and which I breathed in with great
I would have noticed you in much the same way you become aware of the other lone
person in a cinema.
Watching a last run film and laughing at the same parts.
I would have been shy, never speaking to you or making eye contact,
but wanting so much to talk to you
to get your attention.
I would have made trips to the stacks, ostensibly to find a book, though I clearly had
enough to occupy me.
I would have felt you watching me as I walked past you to use the card catalog.
You aware of me.
Me aware of you.
With every step.
Feeling your interest as I shuffled through the cards.
Not reading them.
Not even seeing them.
My face flushed.
My heart thumping out of my chest.
Willing this solitary boy to be as interested in me
as I was in him.
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Photograph taken from Pinterest, unsourced