Like Looking At Someone

Ryan’s face was buried in a book, and her eyes had only flickered up by chance when she saw Her. Her. Hair brown with gray wisps Ryan couldn’t tell were from a dye job or age or stress; her face, timeless; old eyes with a certain transparency. The woman was a portrait, a face you could only really see from far away, with full, tense lips, her zeal for exploration and excavation manifested in the way she moved. Absently stroking her chin, pressing her glasses up the bridge of her nose, how her lips fluttered and whispered.

Her heels clapped against the library’s glossy floor, click, tap tap, click tap tap, and the sounds followed her, bustling children, click tap tap, all the way to the end of the hall, drifting along the lengths of bookshelves, wafting.


That was how the woman moved, and it was gorgeous, the way she sifted, gracefully, through the quiet atmosphere broken only by the sounds of her own shoes. And then she drifted away. Ryan looked back down at her book, trying to remember what the woman’s face looked like with that magical feeling of enlightenment bubbling inside of her , like she’d gained new knowledge of what beauty was: truthful and raw and different and intriguing. And still, those clicks--they continued to echo through the corridors of the building, and every time the woman stopped walking, the clicking stopped clicking, plunging the rooms back into that pacifying quietude characteristic only of libraries, Ryan daydreamed about what this woman had stopped for. Harry Potter, encyclopedias, textbooks, YA novels, perhaps. What she touched became a part of her world, in the ether, her walk just a cascade of sounds creating music.