He was there in his usual coffee shop, waiting in line to place his order.

He looked around the café, rather bored – a man was working on his laptop in a corner, a group of teenagers talked and clicked pictures, a girl sat in a corner apparently reading – he looked back at the line ahead.

He suddenly froze and looked swiftly back at the girl. The girl was sitting alone at one of the tables in the corner. She was looking fixatedly at a book that lay open on the table. Her long, black hair fell over her shoulder like a shiny curtain. He was in a trance.

Only when the woman behind him patted his shoulder lightly did he realize that it was his turn to order.

He ordered a black coffee, took it and walked over to the girl’s table.

He – Is this seat taken? Mind if I sit here?

She looked up, though not right at him and he noticed she had startling grey eyes. She spoke softly.

She – Help yourself.

He sat down and the girl shut the book she was reading. She still didn’t look at him!

He – What’s that book about?

She – A collection of my favorite poetry.

He – Do you read a lot?

She – Whenever I have the time.

Eager to know more about her, he kept asking questions, although a little uneasy because she didn’t look at him while answering.

He – What do you usually do when you’re not reading?

She – Observe.

Suddenly, she packed her things rather clumsily. Worried that he had bored her, he spoke in an urgent tone.

He – Will we meet again?

She (standing up now) – You won’t want to after a few moments!

He didn’t quite understand.

She put her hand in her bag and searched for something. She finally found it!

She removed and unfolded it. It was a thin, foot long stick – a walking stick. She moved the stick around, feeling the ground ahead of her and walked away slowly.

He turned and saw her book still lying on the table. The book read – ‘Shakespeare in Braille’. He opened it and saw that instead of words, it had little white uneven dots all over the pages.

Shakespeare was his favorite, too!

Author: Zainab Haji

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