Love at First Laugh

Her laughter broke the silence in the library and he had to see where the noise came from. It wasn’t from the three girls who were poring over the glossy pages of a magazine, a few seats down the table from him, discussing, undoubtedly, an actor’s chiseled six-pack abs. Neither was it from across the table, where sat a middle-aged man, furiously scratching his pen on his paper, trying to get the ink to run through. But next to the man was where the tinkering laugh had emerged – a girl, about his age, had looked up from behind the thick novel she was reading to ensure no one heard her sudden giggly outburst. She glanced around the library, and on turning to her right, her large, bespectacled eyes met his own. She turned a shade of red and disappeared behind her book, her dark ponytail bouncing around her shoulders.

A few minutes later, she laughed again. The middle-aged man and the three girls with the magazine couldn’t have cared less. But he couldn’t help but look over at her. Something in that soft laughter had caught his fancy and he wanted to know more about her.

Her flustered eyes were peeking up behind the book at him again.

“This book is, um, funny,” she explained hurriedly, straightening her glasses.

“I can figure,” he replied. His face burst into a smile. Her laugh was infectious.

Colour rose in her cheeks, and she cast her eyes down at her book for a moment, before looking back at him, smiling. “Of course,” she giggled again. “Um, you should read it, it’s really good.” she added.

“I guess I should,” he said. Like I should ask you out for coffee or something, he thought, looking directly into her brown eyes. “What’s it about?”

She twisted a lock of hair and tucked it behind her ear and began telling him. He listened intently, watching her eyes twinkling as she excitedly narrated the synopsis of the book.

“All conversations outside of my library!” said the rasping voice of the librarian behind him.

“But I was just at the best part of the story!” she pleaded.

“Outside.” said the librarian, with the kind of authority that, somehow, only librarians possess.

Now’s your chance, he thought.

Out loud, he said, “Well, we could go to the coffee shop next door…”

She looked hesitant for just a moment, but then she smiled, “Sure!”

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