I spotted her — well, to be honest, I spotted her even before I stepped on to the bus. As it was pulling up I saw her face through the window. Black straight hair, half over her face, Veronica Lake style, Hispanic features, petite, almond-shaped green (I swear!) eyes…

At any rate, as luck would have it, I ended up standing next to her; she was sitting in the front part of the bus, facing sideways, her hands folded over a spiral notebook, her legs in pinstripe slacks and crossed. She wore white high heels, and the toes were sharply pointed. Honestly, to me, the shoes looked a little ridiculous. I’m sure, to a girl, they had some other meaning.

I didn’t pay much attention to her, but at one point, as I hung on the strap to keep my balance, I started tracking some object outside the bus; an interesting car or something. I can’t even remember what it was, because as my line of sight moved to my left and down, I looked right at her, and stopped. She was smiling to herself, and must have caught the motion of my head, and looked up… and I held her gaze, not looking away, keeping my face neutral, no smile, no frown.

She smiled wider and glanced down, then back up, only her left eye showing, the other hidden under the curtain of her black hair.

I felt a warm flush start underneath my scarf and start to work its way up into my face. But I held her gaze. I smiled a little bit; I couldn’t help it. That was one of the sexiest looks I’d been given in a while. I smiled simply to acknowledge the compliment and waited for her to look away again, which she did.

The bus ride is only 20 minutes long overall, from when I board to my stop, so the next few moments couldn’t have been more than a five minutes at the most, but it seemed so much longer. I returned to not looking at her. Not out of embarassment; simply out of the urge to not spoil the moment previously. OK, OK, I kind of chickened out a bit. I was thrown, I’ll admit it.

But as the bus rolled down the boulevard, swaying back and forth, her leg swung back and forth, too, and her pointed white-leather-encased toe poked me in the ankle. It drew my attention back to her, and I glanced at her again. Her whole face smiled; but it was subtle. She whispered “sorry” and looked anything but.

I gave her a mock-stern look and said, “You have to watch those shoes.”

She looked at them again, and playfully kicked at me. “I know!”

“You might hurt someone.” Someone else, I thought, dammit, why didn’t I say that? But years of practice let me keep my face neutral, with just a hint of smirk.

“I’ll be more careful.”

But then every time the bus swayed, her toe brushed my pants leg again. I would give her a stern sideways look, and she would softly giggle.

At the first major stop downtown, the bus cleared out, and I had a choice of a seat next to her, and one across the aisle from her. I chose the one across the aisle from her, facing her. I maintained eye contact, just to continue to see her smile and her eyes, almost lit from within. I wondered about getting a phone number…

The bus stopped again, and she stood, joining the line of people deboarding, and I finally saw a clear view of her left hand, finally unhidden, and the plain gold band around her ring finger, an obvious wedding ring.

…damn.

But it was fun while it lasted.