It was an ordinary Monday morning when Steve Jinks shuffled to the train station with sleep in his eyes. He took his usual place to wait for the train when he noticed that there was something different. Today he was joined by a petite redheaded woman who had bright red lipstick to match her locks. They exchanged glances, and Steve swore he saw the hint of a smile tug on her lips. He was about to speak when a gust of wind danced through the air and took the stack of papers she was holding with it.
"Oh, god, I'm sorry," she said, kneeling down as she tried to retrieve her work, reaching over to get the papers that sat on Steve's shoes.
"It's no problem," he answered, helping her pick up the stack. "Wow, this is a lot of stuff."
She shrugged, trying to organize the papers that were now facing all directions. "I'm trying to impress my boss. He can be pretty tough and grumpy sometimes." A grin overcame her, revealing her perfect, white teeth.
"So can my boss," he agreed as they both stood up again, and she brushed off her dress.
A silence fell over the two strangers. Steve was about to ask her name and if she wanted to go out with him sometime, but when he turned, she was already running to her train. "Bye! Thank you again!" She waved as the door closed, leaving Steve alone.
"Damnit," he mumbled, smacking himself on the forehead.
Steve was trying his hardest to actually do work once he was sitting at his desk, but his mind was replaying the scene from earlier over and over in his head. What was that girl's name? Did she have a boyfriend? Where did she work? Would he ever see her again? Why was he so stupid? He let out a sigh and shifted his gaze to the window. What he saw made him lose his breath.
It was her. There she was. In the building across the street. He sprung up from his desk, papers flying everywhere as his colleagues looked up in confusion. He pressed his nose to the window and knocked, quickly stopping himself and wondering why he thought she'd be able to hear him when she was a building away.
He watched as the grin he'd fallen in love with this morning came over her face as she shook what he presumed was her boss' hand before sitting down. The man was older – glasses resting on the tip of a broad noise and a grey beard hiding a lot of his face. Steve was content to stand at the window and watch what was going on when a voice interrupted him.
"JINKS!" his boss' voice rang out, startling him and causing him to turn around.
"Yes, sir?" he replied weakly, feeling his shoulders sink.
"I'm not paying you to stand around and gawk across the street! Get back to work!"
"Yes, sir." Steve nodded obediently before taking his place at his desk. He tried to focus on the task at hand, but his eyes kept shifting to the window.
He soon felt someone nudging his back and turned around to find the source. "What?" he whispered.
"What are you looking at?" his friend Pete asked between mouthfuls of cookie. "I'm usually the spaz, not you."
Steve grinned and looked out the window once again, feeling so stupid that he was in love with a perfect stranger. "That woman." He pointed. "I met her at the train station this morning. Isn't she the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?"
Pete squinted, trying to get a better look at her. "Yeah, she looks pretty."
"She's beautiful," Steve gushed dreamily. "And I'm an idiot. I didn't even ask her name or anything…I barely even spoke to her!"
"Well, you've gotta get her attention!" Pete said, brushing the cookie crumbs off his desk.
The men turned to see their boss standing authoritatively in the doorway. "This isn't social hour! Back to work!"
"You got it," Pete told him, flashing his signature childlike grin that only made the man grumble.
"I don't know how to get her attention," Steve admitted with a shrug. As far as he was concerned, unless he managed to catch her at the train station again, it was all a lost cause.
"Dude!" Pete shouted suddenly, causing a few of the other people in the office to look up and give him looks of disdain. "I've got it! Throw a paper airplane out the window. Write her a note on it."
Steve's face lit up as he nodded. "That's a great idea, Pete!" He turned to his desk and frantically scribbled a note on a piece of paper. "Hi, I'm Steve. I met you at the train station this morning, but I was too stupid to get your name. I work in the building across the street. Look through the window." He folded it into a paper airplane and opened the window just enough to throw it. With all his might, he threw the airplane and watched it fall, fall, fall to the ground.
He turned back to his desk with crossed arms and a look of displeasure coloring his face when he noticed Pete stifling his laughter. "What?"
"That was weak. Write another letter. I'll throw it."
Steve wanted to protest, but he also wanted nothing more than to get this woman's attention, so he complied. He scrawled out another note and folded it into an airplane, then handed it to Pete. "Watch the master do it," he bragged, winding his arm up before getting into throwing position. It sailed farther than Steve's, but it still fell short.
"Master?" Steve raised an eyebrow.
Pete scoffed, waving his hand in the air. "The wind wasn't right. Let me do it again."
Seventy-five failed paper airplanes later, the two men succumbed to defeat and fell back into their chairs. "Sorry, man," Pete apologized, giving Steve's shoulder a light squeeze. "We'll have to figure out a new way to get her attention."
"It's a lost cause," Steve announced sadly. He turned to the window to steal one last glance, but a tall woman with curly, dark hair had taken the redhead's place.
The redhead was leaving work after a long day. She adjusted her purse strap over her shoulder and exited the building, relieved at the feeling of the fresh air. She took a deep breath before starting toward the train station. She'd only taken a few steps when she felt something brush against her feet. She looked down to see a paper airplane resting on her shoes. Confused, she bent down to pick it up and unfolded it carefully.
She stopped completely in her tracks upon reading the message, and she looked up at the building across the street, shielding her eyes from the sun. She wasn't sure where she was even supposed to be looking for this man. Shaking her head, she started down the street again, staring down at the paper and barely paying attention to where she was going. Soon, she felt herself crash into someone. "Oh! I'm so –" She looked up to see the familiar blue eyes she'd seen earlier that morning. "Oh my god! It's you!" She pointed to the paper excitedly and waved it around. "Steve!" she said his name carefully like she was trying it on for size.
"And you!" he exclaimed, his disposition changing completely at the sight of her. "You who I still don't know your name!"
"Claudia," she giggled, extending her hand. "It's very nice to officially meet you."
"I was thinking about you all day," Steve admitted, looking down at the ground shyly. "Do you want to go get some coffee? I was about to head home, but I'd love to go out with you."
She nodded and gave him a grin that made him weak in the knees. "I'd love that."
That night, Steve went to sleep with a red lip print on his cheek and a smile on his lips.