“Excuse me. Do you know what time it is?”
The woman sitting next to him looked at her bare wrist then turned to him. “Sorry, I don’t wear a watch when flying.”
“Probably a good thing. Whether it’s three hours left or twenty minutes, it all feels the same.”
He never thought of himself as having an accent. Although from California, he lived in the Northern half of the state about two hours from any beaches—twice that from the nearest snowy slopes—so he had never picked any of the quirks of speech that people thought of as being “Californian.”
“Yeah, that’s the truth.” Her voice was steady and smooth, like finely crafted dark chocolate, but it didn’t give him any clues as to where she might be from. He shifted his legs, crossing his left in front of his right and his foot bumped her leg, knocking her book to the floor.
“Oh–,” he almost said “shit”, but stopped himself as he leaned over to pick it up. At that moment, the fat guy in front of him decided to lean his chair back completely, hitting him in the head so that he dropped the book back to the floor. She started to laugh. He imagined she would use the same laugh at seeing a puppy chasing its tale.
“I’ve never had someone be so clumsy and shy when trying to hit on me.” He turned and she was smiling at him which only made his face flush even more.
(A beginning. Never finished. Like all too many others.)