inspired by a) john gallagher jr.'s mesmerizing nose movements, b) alison pill and her fantastically relatable clumsiness, c) aaron sorkin's rat-a-tat-tat writing, and d) bishop allen's "the news from your bed." thank you universe, for thy many blessings :)

XXX

She can't stop staring at him.

It's weird and involuntary, the way she catches herself sneaking peeks at him, weird and involuntary and nerve-wracking. It's like her eyes naturally gravitate towards him; if she doesn't focus, she finds herself outright ogling him. And then, of course, every so often he meets her eyes and then she has to dive for paperwork or suddenly find the ceiling the most interesting thing in the world - or sometimes she'll accidentally grin her awful, goofy grin, the one that only seems to happen around him. She doesn't know when smiling at Jim like a mentally handicapped seven-year-old became her default reaction, but it's unbelievably embarrassing. Like, Georgia-embarrassing. LOL-embarrassing.

She swivels in her chair pensively, chewing on her pen. It was Jim's fault. You couldn't go around being nice to people having panic attacks and being adorable and other, equally maniacal things without confusing already confused girls into falling in love with you. It was manipulative. It was unfair.

Not that she's in love, whatever Lisa may say: she'd know if she were in love. If she were in love, her stomach would swoop whenever she saw him, and that only really happens when he wrinkles his nose at her. If she were in love, seeing Jim and Lisa together would make her feel like crawling under her desk and never moving again, when in fact she just feels like crawling under her desk and crying. All she really has to do is avoid physical contact with him, restrain herself from laughing too loudly around him, steer clear of staring at his lips for longer than socially acceptable, and remember to breathe when he looks at her (without smelling him, of course. He smells nice. Really, really nice. Jerk).

Still chewing on her pencil, she glances up only to lock eyes with a pair of amused, crinkled eyes. Instantly, she grins, wide and giddy and totally unconscious. Jim grins back with raised eyebrows and she buries her nose in her computer, praying he doesn't notice how much she's blushing.

She is not in love with Jim Harper, she decides. And steals another glance at him.