Gabriel had been watching Karen’s face intently as she sat surrounding by several stacks of books. She’d developed a humorous if not choreographed cadence of look up for a few seconds, scan the page of a book, take to feverish pen on paper painting then a one and a two and a three she went again.

Anyone who didn’t know her would take her demeanor to be one of anger but in reality that was just body armor used to hide everything going on underneath, most of it soft and gentle.

He’d become a regular at the shop but only because she’d become one first. He felt like he’d been gifted a front row seat to witness an opera in rehearsal and that she was the conductor.

She’d become the memorization of a public dance and conducted herself accordingly. Without looking directly at him she knew when he’d arrived having felt it in her bones. She questioned herself at first but this was the third coffee shop she’d made a home in and also the third he’d arrived at to find home.

When he wasn’t looking she’d studied his eyes to learn they held an arousing quality which caused her to daydream incessantly, to wonder what else he might want to watch her perform and whether she’d have the opportunity to show him the choreography she’d studied in private.

She hoped one day he’d find the courage to ask her out, that he be strong enough to hold open the book of love they’d been writing together and enamored enough to listen to her sing it to him every single day.