A number of people were gathered in a small room. They sat in couches and chairs in a semicircular formation surrounding a number of coffee tables that supported coffee cups and ashtrays. All were silent except one gentle old man. Most tried, and some were able, to listen as he spoke of acceptance and freedom. A small child wandered from coffee table to coffee table so that he might see what each had to offer.

A man in his mid-twenties sat on one couch in particular. Though he was among those who were trying to listen, he was having a particularly difficult time doing so. Directly across the room from him sat an attractive young lady. Thought he’d met her before, he still barely knew her. It seemed that, as he tried harder to focus on that which he was hearing rather than seeing, he had a much more difficult time focusing. He was compelled to glance frequently in her direction, taking notice of her face and her enchanting blue eyes. One of the most compelling reasons to look at her was the chance of making eye contact. This, however, was probably also one of the most compelling reasons not to look. He was convinced that she was becoming thoroughly disgusted with the fact that he was constantly looking at her. So he tried, unsuccessfully, to not look at her and to pay attention to the gentleman who continued speaking calmly.

The young woman on the other side of the room faced a similar dilemma. Though she was much more successful in listening to the man speaking, she was certainly not oblivious to the young man across from her. She’d spoken to him briefly a few times before that day and found him to be a rather intriguing individual, which only added to his somewhat unconventional handsomeness. She noticed that he seemed to be looking in her direction frequently, and she was self-assured enough to deduce that he was attracted to her. So she did what she could to smile each time they made eye contact, hoping that he would eventually make some sort of move towards her. She worried slightly that perhaps he did not find her personality as appealing as her appearance, and that he would simply continue to look but maintain his distance. So she paid attention to the man speaking and managed to keep the situation with the young man in her subconscious.

When the man finished speaking, the group brought the meeting to an end. Following the closing, the people mingled with each other for a while. The young man wanted so badly to pursue something, anything, with the young lady. She approached him and they spoke idly about a few superficialities. She wanted for him to do or say something that she could encourage. After talking briefly about the weather, though, a dangerous silence passed between the two. In that silence was the opportunity for the young man to somehow express his feelings for the young lady. That opportunity was but a briefly open window, though. Once the two passed that point of opportunity, they were suddenly aware that their chances were gone.

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