She peered at him with her big black eyes, from the corner of the book she was pretending to read. He made her restless. Shifting gazes between the book and him was beginning to test her patience. If only it were easy to walk to a person you admired and say something, anything, just to get a conversation started.

The library seemed to be his favorite haunt. He was always there, reading, making notes or just thinking. Truth be told, she was not even an avid reader. She had come to the library to return a book for her cousin when she had first seen him. It has almost been a month, since she had been stalking him. A surge of burning embarrassment came over her as she thought about her behavior. It was strange. Inexplicable. For someone who was used to being chased, it was a completely new experience – chasing someone else.

“Oh I cannot even call it a chase, this is just silly pointless mooning over a guy who is always engrossed in some fictional planet”, she thought and sighed out aloud. The library was her second home now.

After another five days of stolen stares and failed self dares – to make some conversation, a safe plan was born. 

The thirty-fifth day, she waited till he made a move to leave the library. When she saw that he was almost close to the exit, she ran towards him like a crazed woman with more than half a dozen books in her hand. And as she neared him, she dropped a book and continued running, she ran until she was out of his sight. Hoping that he would pick it up and return it to her the next day. Only hoping.

The next day she was a bundle of nerves and excitement. She picked a random book and waited for him to arrive. She waited till the time it was time to close. And she left dejected. He did not turn up for the first time in so many days.

For the next three days it was the same, only waiting. She finally gave up all hope. Anything could have happened. He was a writer. She had found out some details about him quite some time back. A recluse who kept to himself. He could have even left town. It was time to stop living the silly fantasy, it was time to stop the pointless chase. Only a few days ago she was filled with excitement and was determined to ask him out for coffee. And now there was nothing. He was her lost book.

She stopped going to the library. She stopped reading. But after about ten days of abandoning the library she received an unexpected message on facebook. It was from him.

“Hello, we’ve never spoken. But perhaps you might remember me from the library, I almost always sat across you. Some days back you were in a real hurry and dropped a book. I intended to return it to you the next day but unfortunately the claws of sickness took me captive. You’ve stopped coming to the library I guess. I have not seen you for the last four days. And I’ve been carrying your book every day. May be we could meet for coffee some day and I could return you your book?”

She was to find her lost book again.