The first time he saw her he felt his soul try to leave his body. All breath left him and his teeth rattled. He saw his future weaved into her hair, falling across he skin and playing between her eye lashes. And it scared the rhythm out of his heart. He never looked at her again. He didn't dare, as long as he valued his freedom. She always sat at the other end of the cafe under a large window where the dust drifted glistening above her head like a silent symphony. And he knew every note by heart. She dropped into his dreams like a coin into a hollow well followed by a wish. The echo of her presence carried through his days, never waning. Always waxing. One day they had bumped into each other reaching for the sugar by the cash register. It was snowing outside and their touch released a static spark. She looked up at him and laughed a deep hot chocolate laugh. That spark nearly set him on fire. He found himself reflected wildly among the lights dancing in her eyes. He looked away. He would not be captive. When she did not come the following week he was unsettled. When she failed to come in the weeks that passed thereafter quiet anxiety turned to dread. In the sweep of spring he realized that the only thing he feared more than losing his freedom was losing her. He never saw her again, but the echo of her memory never waned. Always waxed - long after his hair turned gray. He never even knew her name.