The sun in the kitchen is rich and, like liquid, it makes pools on the table. Outside, I can see her father, bending over a flowerbed, no doubt muttering about my shoddy work.
I glance at her.
Her hand is just holding her head up. It had stopped its slide upwards at the cheekbone, her ring and middle finger caught there and parted. If only I could sleep in such impossible positions.
If she is asleep that is (I am not certain as I've said nothing, only just come in from the garden). I hope she isn't because it would reduce my stalker score somewhat - surely watching people sleep is worse than just watching people? However, if she is awake, then she has some serious medical problem where she needs to control her dribbling. I don't know which truth I'd prefer.
She has dark hair, curled outwards at her neck, choppy like yesterday's paint brush. Sunlight is curved round her face like a half moon, highlighting her freckles like they're little stars.
Opposite her I sit, face in my folded arms on the expensive wooden table, watching her. She is close, an arm's stretch away. I could lean forward right now if I wanted, and touch her and perhaps wrap my hand around hers, perhaps wake her (if she's asleep) and introduce myself.
"Hi, I'm Dave," I would say, leaning across the table, staring into her beautiful blinking face.
She would pause and stretch for a couple of seconds before saying anything in a sleepy voice, "who?"
She would catch my eye then, smiling. Her tone would be one of upwards inflection, like she wanted to know who I was, rather than be offended by my strangeness.
Then I would explain that I'm the one who created her beloved garden, working week in, week out. She would smile shyly.
"Sorry," she would say, and she would lean forward slightly so I could see her cleavage, "but I actually already knew that."
"I've been watching you," she would say, and her cheek would blush like the roses I tend, "every day from my bedroom window, peeking through the curtains, wanting to speak to you but being too shy..."
I would wave my hand as if this were perfectly natural.
I would then explain the same thing, leaning forward, setting my eyes on her like she was the only thing in the world. "You know what?" I would say, and I would sound confident and comfortable. "So have I."
Though I don't actually know her name because I haven't asked yet.
My tone too would be one of kindness, as I was merely making her feel better, rather than it being true.
Then we would giggle about our silliness.
I open my eyes.
She is still asleep opposite me.
I sit there and watch her slow breathing and her head slowly tip onto the table, until it lands softly on her arm and I wonder why she's sleeping at the kitchen table at all, maybe she's like me and can't sleep at night and then her father comes in and tells me in a hushed voice, glancing pointedly at his daughter,that my work is satisfactory and I can leave and I nod my thanks before asking softly why his daughter is sleeping on the table and he shakes his head slightly and shrugs, telling me she's tired and promises that next time she won't be here and as normal I won't see her because she's going on her gap year and I stiffly nod walking out the room quietly, sending one glance back at her, and see that she is asleep and still beautiful and, as I close the door as slowly as possible, I wish that that I had said something, woken her and I know that, unlike every other time,there isn't another chance now and once I shut the door there won't be a next time and she doesn't even know my name and she doesn't even know how brilliant we could be because we are similar even if she she hasn't been watching me because, unlike myself, she is not a stalker, but she's leaving now and it's then that I know that even if she wasn't leaving, I would never have said anything or introduced myself because I'm just too me, so it's probably actually a good thing.
Before I close the door completely, I whisper, "tell her good luck. Say 'from Dave'".
He raises his eyebrows, and I can tell he doesn't know my name and thinks that I'm just passing on a message.