His back was to the parking lot next to the old building today’s shindig was supposed to be at as he filled his cup with cheap beer from the keg, so he hadn’t even noticed the little Model T pull in or the slender woman getting out of it. He wasn’t really interested in today’s events except that it meant the first home cooked meal he’d had in far too long. The war was long and this was only a brief reprieve.
She saw only his back as he walked inside and she carried platters of food from the car into the ancient service club, and he still hadn’t turned around to face the door as she walked through it balancing too many things almost effortlessly on her slim frame as her tan dress blew gently in the late winter breeze blowing into the building.
He saw only a flash of sunlight on her long brown hair when she walked past him and into the kitchen. He saw her toss her jacket onto a chair by the door and heard her voice from where he was waiting for the food to be served and saw her flitting about here and there making the needed preparations but she was so engaged he never really got a look at her face. He’d spent so long away from civilization and normal life that he’d forgotten what it was to sit quietly in one place and see something other than a hundred dangers, something pretty, something vulnerable…
Someone vulnerable and tender and soft.
He looked away.
She spent the afternoon busily working, thinking nothing of eating but making sure everyone else had, and saw only the side of his faded blue cap on occasion through the crowd and the busyness as she tried to make sure everything was done and everyone was taken care of. Every time she looked up to where the blue cap was seated she saw him turn away. She couldn’t tell if he had been looking but she always had that tingle on the back of her neck just before she turned.
For hours he watched her silently from the other side of the room, her quick steps, the way she was friendly and smiled when the other soldiers tried to flirt but also the way she never really engaged back. He saw how she seemed to care more for making sure everyone was comfortable before she even sat down and every time he saw her turning in his direction he quickly turned away so she never really saw him. For hours she waited for him to say hello and finally she decided if he wouldn’t she would.
She walked over to where he was sitting and sat down next to him, smiling, turning her blue eyes away from everyone else vying for her attention and only to him.
“Wow,” he thought…
There he was, strong shoulders, green eyes curious but also sad, “Wow,” she thought…
Brought to you by this Ragtag Daily Prompt.