He had more confidence than he should have, more swagger than his aura could justify and his hand flayed out and suddenly withdrew before it touched, while I anticipated-fled reacting to an action that seemed in one instant to be offered and the next withdrawn so quickly that its impact was greater for having not been completed.
I stood, partially turned, offering him my profile, a body compromise which stated I am orbiting now outside your gaze, not facing your face, committed to potentially leaving, only partially here, breath bated, memories flooding, and former scenes dropping into my mind, first like hesitant raindrops and a then a deluge, of time-warped van Gogh images of times past, numerous first meetings, interrupted only by a shockingly soft voice which was yours saying:
'Hi, what's your name? '
I didn't want to give my name, to give my name was to surrender, for saying my own name felt like it was to put it in the space between us, to put it out of my control. And now I didn't not want to lose control.
To be continued
She didn't react well, he could tell and she was in flight mode and a red mistake neon sign was flashing in his head, as part of his multi-tasking racing mind saying 'Hell let her go, she doesn't like you, drop the act move on' yet she stood there, not there, not gone, and it was a cathedral moment where the silent space of indecision, his and hers pervaded, where he withdrew his hand as much from not wanting to offer offense as reactive shyness and his sense of her being on the verge of not-liking-him-from-the-very-start-syndrome.
But the cathedral sense pervaded and he heard himself ask her name in that soft cathedral tone one speaks in when inside a great, big building, a church or the like.
That tone conveyed the hush of a soul whisper and it arrested her. It arrested him and both stood in its grip for the tiny instant where some connection sense arrives and crosses the space between two facing.