She leaned on the door frame to his office, lingering, reluctant to leave. Matt studied her. Different now from their discussion a few minutes ago on the flyer she had asked him to design. He’d worked with Julia for years saying ‘hi’ in the hallways, in cafeteria clutches, on projects. But they had never slid into off-task schmooze. The way she hitched her hip, cocked her head, was new. Was she noticing him? Ha! He almost reached for his Nikon to grab a couple frames—close up of intense eyes, furrowed brow, S-curving torso.

Since Julia wasn’t, for once, in work-and-run mode, they got around to a movie they had both seen a couple of nights ago…having waved to each other in the lobby. Matt drew on his movie-making background—plot analysis, acting, editing—generally piling on. When he finally paused, he took in Julia, arms folded across her chest, assessing. He forced himself to be still until she nodded, remarked, “Huh! There’s more to you than meets the eye.”

He opened his mouth to chuckle and say, ‘Well, that’s a left-handed compliment.’ But stopped at the intensity of her focus. ‘Okay, she’s not a wordsmith,’ he allowed. ‘Still. Easy does it. Don’t push her away.’

Julia unconsciously folded the proof copy they had worked on. Twisted it in her hands. She ducked, shaking her head. Looked up. “You know, I wish I could find a guy like you.”

Matt sat back in his chair, hands open. “Well, I mean…there’s me.”

Julia stood straight. Gave him a frank stare. Then a quick chin shake. “Yeah, but not you actually.”

“Ah!” he said, spinning back to his desk and the next assignment.

2 thoughts on “A Quick Spark and Out

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