Ethan had of course seen her before. Rather it should be said he remembered seeing her before. She was not the type of woman easily forgotten. Not just because of her beauty, but in the way she carried herself. She exuded some power it seemed.
When she was walking alone, as now, in a town where practically all the women walking alone had the countenance of a football line backer ready for the snap, her face was different. The hint of a smile and a feel of 'noticing' was the only word Ethan could bring to mind. She really looked like she was examining the details of life around her and finding most of them pleasant. One detail though had escaped her this evening. She evidently hadn't noticed her umbrella jumping free from the confines of her tote bag and plopping on the sidewalk.
Ethan walked over to the small lump and scooped it up. He called, "Ma'am! Miss! You've dropped your umbrella!"
Evidently she was not the sort of woman who expected to be addressed in this manner, and kept walking without a backward glance. Ethan started lumbering after her and realized that while she may be taking in the charm and beauty of life around her, she was doing so at a pretty good clip. He was rather confident she would be the 'stop-and-smell- the-flowers' type but unfortunately there were no flowers for at least a couple of blocks.
Approaching her, Ethan put a big smile on his face and in his voice. People often react poorly to large men running toward or pursuing them and Ethan had learned long ago it was best to try to put such people at their ease as best as could be done.
"Miss, Ma'am! I'm sorry I don't know...” Ethan said a little winded. He got beside her and she turned her head and felt her attention shift to him. The expected slight startled look was not there, but Ethan goofily held up her umbrella. "This fell out of your bag." Suddenly her pleasant features turned to full force smile and sparkling eyes. The effect was magical. Ethan not only lost all peripheral awareness, but he was only aware, dream like, of her taking the thing he was holding up out of his hand and was captivated by the way her lips moved. Lips moved! Dammit, she was talking! "I'm sorry, what did you say?" She looked at him quizzically but not unkindly. "I was just saying thank you." "Ah. Yes, well... You're welcome!" She tucked the umbrella back into her bag, deeper this time and looked back up at him. Ethan had the feeling that she was expecting something. Her smile changed to one of amusement. Sticking out a hand she said, “My name is Synnova."
"Oh! Ah, Synnova? My name is Ethan, very pleased to meet you Synnova," he said as he felt her firm handshake. Having a problem remembering names, Ethan always followed the advice garnered somewhere of trying to say the other person's name aloud during the introduction and then repeating it in his head over and over while forming a picture of the person in his mind. "Sorry to drag you away from your book," he heard. Ethan, just recovering himself somewhat, lost what ground he had made back and then some. "I've seen you at that bar back there a few times, either alone reading or talking with people. But you always have a book," Synnova explained.
Ethan could only smile and nod as he realized he had been a detail not just worth noticing but also remembering to her. He was completely flummoxed.
The amused smile came back on her face. She reached out and took hold of his hand. "Next time we see each other, maybe you could tell me about what you're reading. Thank you again, and hope to see you soon." She squeezed his hand, let go and let her fingers lightly brush up his arm as she pirouetted away. "Ok. Bye, great meeting you," Ethan managed. He was rewarded with Synnova turning and waving as she continued down the street.
Only when she turned a corner and he lost sight of her could Ethan turn himself around, bumping into a man hurrying out of the office building. Mumbled sorries exchanged, and Ethan walked back towards a book he knew he wouldn't be able to read while his head was still reeling from Synnova. Synnova. Synnova.
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