You spend your days looking.
Looking down at your computer screen, answering the barrage of emails that snuck into your inbox overnight. Looking up at the sky, drinking in the sunset bursting across the horizon. Looking around at the world surrounding you, trying to find your place amongst the crowd.
I spend my days looking around, too.
I look at the world with eyes full of wonder, searching – for something new, for a pair of eyes looking back, for a connection. That’s when I saw you there, in the coffee shop. Looking down at The New York Times, so intensely consumed by page 3 news that you didn’t even notice me stumble over my two left feet and almost take down an entire display of vibrant mugs in my way. As I worked to steady myself and regain my footing, I noticed a barista, the one with eyes green as the emerald ring my mother wears from time to time… I noticed him searching for my eyes looking back, searching for that connection. But my eyes were locked on you, urging, “My darling, look this way.”
I began to look for you everywhere I went.
I saw you again, a few mornings later, hidden in the sea of books in the university library. Caught somewhere between Dostoyevsky and Dr. Seuss, there you were – so casually immersed in one of my favorites of Arthur Conan Doyle. I had almost built up the courage to ask you if you done better than I had at solving the mystery and finding Mrs. Stapleton before the bloodhound did, when I felt a hand on my shoulder… I nearly jumped out of skin with fright. It was not Hugo Baskerville, but rather a sweet, elderly librarian returning a handful of books to the safety of their homes on the shelves. As she made small talk, telling me how my blue eyes reminded her of childhood adventures to the shore and asking me about my opinions of the novel I was clutching close to my chest. But my eyes were locked on you, urging, “My darling, look this way.”
Little did I know, you were looking for me too.
I spend my days looking, but not only for you. I search for beauty, for truth, for the little things so often overlooked – that still have the power to take all the breath from your chest. I truly do not believe I will ever get over the extent to which the ocean holds that power over me, in my years on this earth it has never wavered, and if anything has only grown stronger. Looking out over the endless blue, drowning in the sound of the waves crashing into the beach, admiring its persistence of coming back no matter how many times the sand pushes it away… I never noticed you searching for my eyes looking back, searching for that connection. But your eyes were locked on me, urging, “My darling, look this way.”
All that time spent looking, but never really seeing.
I heard your footsteps behind me, breaking the noisy silence and capturing my attention. I turned around and in that moment, finally, my eyes were locked on yours – and they were looking back. An eternity of deafening heartbeats later, you spoke – your voice floating on the salty ocean breeze, tickling my ears, and warming my heart. “I saw you in the coffee shop, I wanted to help you but I couldn’t help but see your determination and fierce need to steady yourself,” you told me. “I saw you again, in the library, tucked away deep in the alcoves. I wanted to ask you if you had ever read The Hound of the Baskervilles and if you were as relieved as I was that the hound was a mortal canine… But I couldn’t help but see you light up as the keeper of the books asked you about Anna Karenina – one of my personal favorites as well – and be entranced by your knowledge.”
I was searching for your eyes, while you were seeing so much more.
“And here we are. Standing at the edge of the ocean, and all I see is you. I’ve spent hours looking down at my computer screen, answering the barrage of emails that snuck into my inbox overnight. Looking up at the sky, drinking in the sunset bursting across the horizon. Looking around at the world surrounding me, trying to find my place amongst the crowd. But all this time, I was only looking for you.”
My darling, I thought you would never look this way.