It might mean nothing. I mean, she might be recalcitrant
, like the nails she bites on when she is thinking. She might be shy and not given to fantasy at all. But I have noticed that when I pull up a chair on her side of the library she gets a certain look
. Distracted, maybe? Tugging at her hair-which is not really red, more bright copper
, like wires.
She knows I am looking at her, because I stop and say 'hello' when I pass by and head to my table. I have a stack of newspapers to read through, but I keep her in line of sight. I'm not trying to be covert. But when I glance up, she seems a little nervous. Out of sorts. She drops her big red stamp and sometimes tips over the pencil and pen box. I try not to laugh because I don't want her to think I'm amused. But I am amused, of course.
Her name is Aimee, but I only know that because she has a name tag. She doesn't know my name, unless she has paid attention to my library card. I don't think she does, but you never know. All I know for sure is that when she slides my card across the table she makes sure our fingers are not on it at the same time. Sometimes she drops it when I reach for it and pulls her hands out of the way as if I might pour boiling water on them.
Then she apologizes, hands at her side, rubbing them awkwardly. Sometimes she turns around quickly to find something to do, which usually involves running into a coworker and more blushing.
Aimee usually wears loose fitting slacks and flats. She rarely wears skirts, but when she does I notice a thin silver chain around one ankle. It catches the light from the surge protectors under the desk and it sparkles.
I want to tell her what I imagine about those sparks
I want to ask if she has empty boxes of Chinese takeout in her fridge. I want to know if she listens to Jazz or Chopin. I want to see if she has windchimes in her windows or stained glass circles. A cat or a dog. A comfortable couch or throw pillows on the floor.
There's a lot I want to know. Maybe today I'll ask. Maybe not.