The rain intensified outside as he walked along the shelves of books. He ran his fingers along the spines while his eyes persistently searched one after another.
"Can I help you?" I asked tilting my head to see him around the shelving. When he looked up to see me his back stiffened. He hesitated and then walked over to me at the front desk. As he came closer and closer to me his height towered and the smell of lemon grass and soap drifted to my nose.
He came to a stop in front of me with his hands behind his back.
"What kind of book are you looking for?" I asked, looking up at him and suddenly feeling so small.
He opened his mouth as if to say something and then shut it quickly before speaking. His hesitation contributed to the uncomfortable silence settling in the room. Nobody had come into the shop all day and the trend seems to continue almost as if he wasn't here.
"Time travel." He replies abruptly. As I look at him again he appears to be studying my face, looking for my reaction to his uncommon reply.
He doesn't budge under my gaze towards him and I start to wonder how someone can have so much of a impression in such little time. He seems so confident but there is also something else, I cant quite put my finger on. A lingering vibe that I feel just in his presence.
"You would find that in the science section, three shelves down from space theory." I reply pointing to the signage above the right hand section of the book shop reading "Science."
As I watched him walk away I wondered why a man in maybe his early 30's would be looking for a book on space travel. Maybe he was a teacher, or, maybe he was as desperate for something unexpected and adventurous as I am. I hope its the first option.
I could see just his curled dark hair above the rows. Within a matter of minutes he came back to the front desk with a pile of books. He gave them to me across the counter and smiled slightly.
"So, time travel huh? Whats so special about that?" I ask, egging him on trying to figure out just a little about this dashing stranger.
"Thats why i'm getting these books. To figure out exactly that." He replied, looking down at me. Water still dripped from his hair and he ruffled it slightly.
As I ringed up the books, I could feel him watching me.
"Thats 35.50." I say, finally looking up at him.
He hands me a few bills, grabs his pile of books and heads for the door.
"Hey-uh, don't you want something to keep those books dry in the rain?" I ask, hesitant to seeing the newly bought books drenched.
"Yes." He replied turning his head in my direction. So I grabbed a plastic bag and walked up to him. As I pulled each book from his arms and secured them under the plastic, he said something that surprised me. "Do you want to know a secret?"