In the Middle of a Dream

By Amber Nicole

[One: Where had this grace come from?]

They barely met one day at work. He was the new errand boy, and she was the heiress to the company in a way. Ethan ran into her as she was gliding her way into her father's office – papers went flying everywhere. If he wasn't so embarrassed, he would have melted at her smile. She picked up the papers and briskly entered the office unhindered.

Ethan didn't see her for weeks, but the oft-altered image of her smiling was all he needed to remain happy in what was one of the most demanding jobs he'd had. He was leaning against the cabinets in the breakroom gnawing on some left over pizza when Ava walked in. Had he been able to, he would have added background music and special effects. This time, he did melt.

She spoke her name, such beauty, and held her hand before her. Ethan awkwardly wiped his right hand on his jeans – why had he worn those jeans today? – trying desperately to remove the crumbs before shaking her hand. It was as if she didn't even notice.

"May I have a slice?" she nodded toward the open pizza box on the counter.

Still unable to speak, Ethan opened a cabinet and retrieved a plate. He picked out what he considered to be the perfect slice of overheated pizza, and, suddenly regaining his ability to speak, said "Here."

They ate in silence until his phone alarm sounded. He internally groaned, already missing their lack of conversation. "I have to go back to work," he explained, although it was rather obvious.

"I'll bring some lunch tomorrow," she offered. Completely awe-struck, he nodded.

And therein started their lunch dates. Well, he would consider them lunch dates. But the first time she would speak of it as a date was when she dropped her eggroll. He immediately cleaned up the mess and, after wrapping it in a napkin, he handed his own to her. She blushed, not at his actions or because she was embarrassed, but by everything surrounding her: the realizations, the earnestness. So she kissed him.

She stood dumbfounded when he gently pushed her away. Had she done something wrong? Were her abrupt realizations false? Her cerulean eyes beamed fear into his.

He watched her.

Her face slowly fell to the left as she prepared to walk away. "Ava," he breathed, as his hand expertly held her cheek. Where had this grace come from? Ethan wondered, before he slowly returned. Her lips were soft, and he could smell sweet and sour sauce. He wrote a mental note to love sweet and sour sauce for the rest of his life.

Author's Note: I realize it's short. But if you like it or hate it, please let me know. Criticism is a writer's BFF. Ha.