The room is abound with endless chatter. Hardly any of the other visitors takes notice of the group in the corner, beginning a shrill chorus of “Happy Birthday”. But she’s not focused on the song, or the birthday boy. And she feels awful, but seeing him makes up for it. She’s paralyzed as she looks on, his smile radiating the warmth of a million suns. The temperature is too hot for her but she can’t bear to look away. She traces the outlines of his dimples with her eyes and by god, she could go for a kiss right now.

And she feels a smile of her own growing, matching the intensity of his. He catches her gaze for just a moment, and her insides are dominated by monarchs until she’s afraid they’ll burst out of her and flutter around the room at any moment. But they don’t, and he blows her a kiss, and she catches it, stuffing it into her pocket for later. It can wait until they’re truly alone.