Inside Voice

Two strangers lock eye contact with each other. What happens next?

Andrew was sitting in a green and purple armchair in a local Barnes and Noble, reading a novel by one of his favorite authors, John Green. His dark blue eyes lost focus on the words and latched onto a man reading in a chair across the reading area. Zack was reading J.R.R Tolkien’s The Hobbit. until he unintentionally locked eye contact with Andrew. Both of them stare at each other for three seconds and look back into the novels in front of them. Their thoughts became conversations with themselves:

“Wow, he’s gorgeous.” Andrew thought. “And he can read.”

Zack looked up again “Don’t stare at him again, you don’t want to creep out a guy that cute.”

Andrew pretended to look out the window “I think he noticed me staring.” Then quickly sighed “He’s probably not even gay.”

“He’s probably not even gay.” Zack started to feel bummed. 

“His eyes are so green. Fuck.” Andrew felt captivated.

Zack bit his lip nervously and somewhat seductively “Is there something on my face? No, there shouldn’t be.”

Andrew blushed “Maybe I should go talk to him? No, focus on John Green. Focus on John Green.”

“I’ve turned five pages just to make it look like I’m reading.” Zack thought with tactile skill.

Andrew started scratching his scalp “I can’t think straight.” Then chuckled to himself “No pun intended.”

Zack started to contemplate “What’s the worst that could happen? He says no…or he punches me in the face.”

Andrew rubbed his eyes “You’re going to be single forever if you never approach anyone.”

Zack uncrossed his muscular leg “Maybe I should leave.”

Andrew’s chest puffed out “Enough is enough. I’m going to go talk to him!”

As soon as Andrew stood up from the comfortable armchair, Zack stood up and proceeded towards the exit. Andrew’s heart started to sink and felt like a popular cartoon that was going to be cancelled. As Zack was trying to escape the bookstore as if it were on fire, an employee standing at a kiosk stopped him abruptly.

.”Sir, you have to purchase that book before walking out with it!”

Zack glanced down at his hand to realize he never sat Tolkien’s novel down. “I’m sorry, I wasn’t trying to steal it. I…”

The employee cocked his head “Are you talking back to me?! I’m calling the police!”

Zack’s eyebrows rose “You’re mad!”

“I can buy the book.” Andrew interrupted the relentless commotion.

The employee dropped the company telephone “Fine.’ and walked way from the two gentlemen.

“You don’t have to do that.” Zack rushed his left hand through his thick hair.

“To be honest, I needed to find an excuse to talk to you.”Andrew responded and slowly smiled.

“I’m Zack.”

“Andrew.” He let out his hand. “Nice to meet you.”




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