Woman in an airport takes the opportunity to do some people-watching. (Character Research)
By Theresa Tintori
I saw him out of the corner of my eye but he caught my attention. It was early on a Monday morning, and I had my ticket for an international flight, with a change of planes at the airline's major hub. I found myself a seat to wait the thirty-five minutes before I would board.
He was facing me, but sitting a few chairs down so he was in profile. I knew he was traveling for business by his dark slacks, and a crisp button down, long-sleeved shirt. He was sitting, but I could tell he was tall, and his light hair had maybe the fewest of grey threads running through it. I couldn’t tell the color of his eyes, but he turned to reach for his glasses. That flicker was enough to see the pale blue that the attractive pair of spectacles he placed on his face didn't hide.
I wanted to avoid the appearance of staring, so I reached into my own bag to grab a pencil and some index cards. I jotted down some notes, to make sure I would be able to recover the pleasing image before me.
I let my long bangs fall squarely across my eyes. It is a device I use many times to camouflage my line of sight. Some think I use this to hide, which, sometimes I do. I mostly use it to see when I don’t want others to know what I am looking at.
He stood and gathered his carry-on bag. He talked to some colleagues and moved to another chair further away but now facing toward me. He slightly favored his right leg as he moved to the new location, and I wondered if it was from an overachieving gym session during the weekend. He sat and pulled a file and legal pad from his case. He wrote some notes and talked to his associates in the normal way of conversation.
He didn’t have an overly Hollywood-type look, but I was spending time waiting for my flight in a definitely pleasing way. It isn’t every day I can sit and watch such attractiveness unobserved and unimposing. I took some very good notes.
As I let my mind settle on my good-fortune, I got the strangest feeling. My eyes moved away from my attractive target to the people just behind him and to the right. As I looked over the crowd, I locked eyes with a totally different man standing and staring back at me. I let my gaze drop and went searching through my bag for nothing in particular. I came up with the nothing I was looking for and put the bag back down. I cautiously swept the room again and found that other man look away just as my eyes reached him. I would have thought nothing of it, but then he turned back, and looked up at me again.
I felt a clench in my stomach, but I was thoroughly relieved when I saw he wasn’t holding any index cards.