I watched the glass world behind her, realizing that an hour had passed and I could only look at her face when she looked away. I caught a glimpse of her fuller lower lip and high cheek bones every time I dared to stare more than a heartbeat. But I always threw my glance somewhere else whenever I felt her rising gaze. There was something in her eyes I was struggling with. It became a frustrating game I was playing with myself to see how long I could keep my eyes in place until hers met mine – one stranger peering into the endless abyss of the other. But I looked away again.
Another game point lost.
“You smile when you’re uncomfortable,” she says in a breathing voice that sounded like a smoky sigh.
Her observation catches me off guard and I am forced to leer into her line of sight. I see everything now. She had large brown pupils that left very little space for the white of her eyes. Every nerve fiber in her iris seemed to have been doctored by the chaotic brush of a mad artist. My heart thumped beneath my chest and I realized I had been staring at her without saying anything. But she wasn’t looking away either, she held me there in a knowing but unspoken conversation – or perhaps it was an argument, I couldn’t tell. Something in the darkness of her eyes was intoxicating. Not the alcohol intoxication way, but the way our nose dulls our other senses to seek out a vague but nostalgic scent because it reminds us of the weightless warmth of childhood – or home. My heart thumped again, three beats quicker than the last. Suddenly I felt vulnerable but unable to break the stare. My facial muscles betray me, I fail to hide my sudden fluster, and a smile settles itself across my face. My heart was beating five times faster now.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about” I responded taking long inconspicuous breaths and looking past her.