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She came in often, at least three times a week. Usually juggling books in one arm trying to dig out the change from her purse for her iced coffee, then trying to balance them on her hip with some semblance of grace as she added sugar and cream. She usually gave up, blowing the stray hair out of her eyes in exasperation as she set them down on a nearby table first. She tried every time she came in. He found it intriguing.

He was there every day before class himself getting his own caffeine jolt with his buddies. Good coffee, good music, good company. A perfect way to start the day off right.

She swooshed out of the coffee shop to sit outside as she usually did. This time he got up from his seat and followed. He watched unobstrusively as she chose a table for two, then sat at one nearby, placing his chair so as to have her in clear view. She could see him just over her left shoulder if she cared to peek.

He pulled out his guitar and started softly strumming watching to see if she showed any signs of interest. He saw her peek through her hair toward him. It was enough to encourage him further. He noticed she couldn't stop her toes from tapping to his rhythm. He could cause a reaction in her. He smiled broadly.

She pretended not to notice while she nibbled on her muffin and sipped her coffee. She closed her eyes and let his melody wrap around her and lift her for a time.

His only other audience besides her was the grey statue of a man drinking coffee and reading a paper, locked frozen in time and space. How could she not know he played for her? He did play for her, weaving his spell with his soft voice and delicate strumming while he watched her succumbing to his insistent fingers. Her face softened, a faraway look in her eyes as she was transported elsewhere. He would have preferred her here, with him.

When he was done, she rose from her chair and approached him. He waited expectantly.

"That was beautiful" she said with a quiet smile and shy eyes that were glued to his hands.

A toss of a few coins into his open guitar case, a flip of those errant strands of hair, and she was gone.

He sat quiet for a few moments fingering the coins that were still warm from her hands, puzzled. He watched the sway of her hips disappear down the sidewalk.

Then he grinned, slipping them into his pocket. He'd buy her her next coffee with it. It was a start.

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