The Bookstore

“No, no, no, no,” Gabriel quietly mumbled under his breath, accounting for each woman who entered the bookstore. “No, no, no… no.”

Jeff placed a finger in the book he was reading to mark his spot and turned to look over his shoulder. Gabriel was kneeling on the ground behind his chair and leaning on the backrest with his arms flat across the top. His wings were tucked closely to his back, but were still distinctly poking above his shoulders.

“Do you have to do that?” Jeff asked as Gabriel’s muttering was unending.

“No. I’m trying to find your match. No, no.”

“That part I’m okay with. It’s the constant nos under your breath that I have the problem with.”

“Don’t you wish to know that I am trying to help you?”

“Its actually a bit disconcerting to know that there are so many people who aren’t a possible match.”

“I’m not searching for a possible match Jeffrey. I am trying to find a perfect match. There may not exist ‘The One’ as you humans call it, but trust me there are a lot of people out there who will suit you.”

“Alright you’re looking. Please just do it quietly.”

“Yes.”

“Thank you,” Jeff said and returned to his book.

“No, not yes I will do it quietly. Yes, she is a match,” Gabriel said excitedly grabbing the sides of Jeff’s head and guided his eyeline towards the doors straight ahead.

She was glowing with such a bright ethereal light that Jeff couldn’t make out anything but her curvy figure. He closed and dropped the book onto the ground between his feet as he slowly stood up. Squinting into the light he tried to make out more detail as she walked towards the Bestseller table in front of the doors.

Gabriel stepped up beside Jeff and as he laid a hand on his shoulder Jeff saw a second figure standing beside the woman in her glow. Her outline wasn’t as defined because of the blooming wings sticking out of her back.

“Why can I see her guardian angel?”

“The only way I could make sure that I found the right one was to also see their guardians. Here, is that better?”

Suddenly the glow around the woman and her angel disappeared. Before he could pick up anything about her Jeff became suddenly aware that he was standing in the middle of the aisle and blatantly staring. He rushed forward to the closest table and pretended to look at the book on display at the top of the pyramid as he actually looked towards the woman. Her wavy blond hair and the fact that she was looking down to read the back of a book hid most of her features. Jeff could instantly tell though that she wasn’t the girl he would normally approach.

“Don’t think about anything, just go and talk to her,” Gabriel prompted. “You already know she is a perfect match for you so it really doesn’t matter what you say. She’s going to be open to talking to you.”

Jeff took a step around the edge of the table and then hesitated when the woman looked up for a second. She was pretty, but she wasn’t extraordinary. Looking at her didn’t make butterflies appear in the pit of his stomach.

“She is beautiful,” Gabriel said quietly and when Jeff glanced back at him he smiled uncomfortably. “You weren’t supposed to hear that.”

“You’ve never commented on the attractiveness of a human before.”

“I wasn’t talking about…”

“Wait a minute,” Jeff said and stepped right up to Gabriel’s face so he could whisper without everyone thinking he was crazy talking to himself. “Is that woman actually perfect for me? Or do you just want me to talk to her so you can meet her angel?”

“I admit that maybe she isn’t a perfect match for you. But she is close enough that you could get to know her for me. Be a good wing man. I mean its not like I’m setting you up with any of the other messes that walked through those doors this morning.”

Jeff took another look at the woman and decided that she was in fact beautiful as she laughed at something she read. He had only decided she wasn’t because she looked like she was way out of his league. “Alright, but you don’t talk to her angel until I say so. I don’t want to look like some creep who is using you to meet girls.”

Jeff turned and walked confidently yet casually towards the woman. He came up beside her slowly and surveyed the books on the table. As he reached forward to grab a book she reached for the same one. Thier fingers touched and they both snatched their hands back as a spark shocked them.

“Sorry about that,” she said and smiled warmly. “I think it’s my new sweater. I’ve been zapping things all day.”

Jeff laughed and said, “No, I’m pretty sure that one was me.” He knew that it was Gabriel’s little joke to have there be a spark between them at their first meeting. Gesturing towards the book they had both been reaching for he said, “Please, you take it. I’d much rather find the new Adams novel anyway.”

“Oh my god, you like Adams too. He’s so good, isn’t he?”

“I’m glad you think so,” Jeff said and pushed a hand through his hair a little embarrassed. “Hi, I’m Jeff Adams.”

The woman looked completely star struck for a second and then thankfully regained her composure almost immediately. “So is that what you do? Hang around in the bookstore and name drop yourself to women.”

“Actually this is the first time.”

“Hmm, well that’s surprising. I thought you would say something about only doing it to the beautiful ones.”

“That’s rather presumptuous of you…”

“Stephanie. And no, I’m just so used to being hit on in the first sentence a man says to me.”

Jeff didn’t know what to say. He didn’t agree with all of the feminist and misogynistic propaganda that had been perpetrated recently and he didn’t want to believe that someone he had been told was nearly perfect for him actually believed in it.

“Oh, don’t worry I’m not saying I don’t mind the compliments. I mean just get to know me before you call me beautiful.”

Gabriel might have matched Jeff with Stephanie for his own sake but at that moment Jeff was more than happy to oblige him and be a good wing man.

“Stephanie, can I buy you a book?” Jeff said.

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