Delphine by Wayne H.W Wolfson.
She was so beautiful that I had to run from her. Even the way I had initially noticed her alluded to the inherent danger of her beauty.
Every day, between three and four at Tournebride, she stayed at the end of the bar, lighting it on fire with her smile.
The first few times I noticed her, I liked to just watch for the length of one Calvados. I was kept off guard because when her head turned in my direction I could never tell if it were me of the nearby door her eyes fell upon.
I think it was after the third time I saw her, I was stopping for a quick drink before going to the butcher. She had seemed to me especially animated. Her smile was not enigmatic but managed to own the room.
I liked to watch, I had to watch.
Leaving a good tip I headed out, despondent, as I suspected that I was not even in her orbit.
I looked at the chickens turning on their spit. Her smile, I close my eyes momentarily. If a man had that kind of beauty in his life, then there was no limits to what he could accomplish.
For a day or two I started to plan my attack, I was thorough, wanting to leave no contingency without a plan of action.
The more I thought about how to go about getting her, the more I began to picture the whole scene post-seduction, when she was mine.
I began to realize she would never be mine, it would be the reverse and I was a fool to have not realized that from the very first time I had seen the blossom of her smile.
That beauty, once I had it, its safe keeping and comfort would be all that I could think about. Work, friends, all would be sacrificed and early on, upon the altar of her beauty.
Even if I managed to postpone all that, at the very least I would be overly self conscious of making sure to never make her cry. Especially in this way, I would not be in keeping true to myself.
It would all be worth it but briefly. By the time I changed my mind it would be too late, becoming my own ghost now at her end of the bar, looking towards the stool by the door for my old self.
Now I stop in for my drink an hour earlier, so I can catch a glimpse of her as I run out. It hurts but beauty is like that.
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