Douglas Noble
James (5 of 8)

Three weeks after he found out, the weirdest thing started
to happen. A girl who had just moved from the night shift
started sitting across from him at the break table.  She didn’t
say anything at first, so neither did he.  He thought he caught her sneaking glances at him, though.  In return, he snuck glances at her.  She wasn’t much to look at—hair somewhat stringy, a little skinnier than he thought she should be, and judging by the thickness of her glasses far sighted, but then again kind of pretty.  Besides, he didn’t have a chiseled jaw, or waving hair, or really anything that he thought a woman found attractive. 

It was a week before he asked her name.  It was three weeks before he asked her out.  He couldn’t believe he had done it.  He didn’t even practice it in his head, it just slipped out.  Sure he had thought about it, but he didn’t think—I mean, he didn’t know he could actually do it. 

At first she said no.  He pretended—not very successfully—that he was joking.  He thought he would die.  He went into the bathroom and cursed himself.  The rest of the day was spent trying not to see anyone and most of all trying not to be seen.  She spent the rest of the day doing the same. 

At the end of the day she was waiting by the time clock.  He didn’t see her at first because he was busy staring at the ground.  She tapped him on the shoulder as he was punching out.  She never looked directly at him, she just said, “ok.” And quickly walked away.

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