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“oh, jeez … I’m sorry. Oh, hi,” he said, embarrassed. She mumbled something. He saw a quick smile pass over her face. She looked down for a moment then back up at him.

continued … He stared at her face. The street light cast a half shadow on her face. He thought she looked beautiful. He had never looked at her so closely. He reveled at seeing her face so closely for the first time; the crease in her chin, her perfect nose, her eyes. Especially her eyes.

He always thought she was beautiful. In his mind he called her, “The Most Beautiful Girl.”  More beautiful than any girl he had ever seen.

There was something remarkable about her face. He couldn’t think of a word to describe it; mysterious, beguiling? No single word seemed to fit.  All he knew was that since he was a boy some magical quality about her would not let him take his eyes off of her.

For a moment he thought her eyes glowed. They always seemed to glow like a light fog casting a blue aura; diffusing some light within?

He saw water pooling along the bottom of her eye lid. A flash of white light streaked from the pooled tear. Was it the reflected light from a star or, maybe the moon? The tear continued to pool until it looked like it would spill over.

“I heard about your mom,” he said, still staring at her face.

She lowered her eyes. He thought it was probably because the tear was about to spill over and run down her cheek.  He felt her sorrow momentarily. It rose up from his chest and constricted his throat.

He took a step toward her. She didn’t move. He moved closer and touched the back of her arm. She leaned toward him. He pulled her close until she was pressed against him, his right arm around her back, his hand at the small of her back, his left hand on the back of her head. She turned her head and laid it on his chest.

She sounded like a helpless child when she cried. Then, her body shook with soft sobs. A cool breeze lifted tendrils of her hair that drifted up and touched his face. She seemed slight and fragile. But he knew better. He closed his eyes and pictured her as the young girl he saw so many years before. The girl he fell in love with at first sight.

continued …

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