Love was not a language that Skoochy understood. On the streets, he was an easy-going, smooth-talking boy who knew how to flatter, persuade, and tease to get what he wanted, but when faced with anything that required romance, his wind pipe clogged and cheeks flushed and he coughed and made a joke and was on his way.

This flaw had never particularly hindered him, but as he grew older, he realized he was going to have to do something about it. About her.

She spent her days in lands of fantasy, where knights rode on horses and princesses wielded daggers hidden in long braids. Though she never said anything of it, he was certain she was dissatisfied with this normal life when she could be thrown into battle concealed on between lines or castles constructed of dusty volumes. Why would she ever pick this dull world when thousands of pages laid out a path of dreams and impossible possibilities before her? Of course, she would not notice him when countless warriors or princes would save her everyday within the boundaries of her bookshelf. He was unreliable, goofy, and couldn't be compared to her page-bound heroes. He was, without a doubt, hopeless in his pursuit.

Maybe one day, she'd turn her head from the books, cast away, if only for a moment, the thoughts of fantasy, of an impossible life. Perhaps she'd fold her volumes closed and set them down and perhaps her glance would fall across the way at the boy with the olive skin and messy hair and tattered clothes. Maybe he'd catch her eye, maybe she'd walk over, maybe she'd stay put, maybe he'd wave and walk away. Maybe none of this would happen at all, but if she could live her life in an unseen world, he thought he could allow himself this one fantasy as well.