Ben dashed down the moving staircase, the stolen wallet bulky in his jeans’ pocket. Behind him, in the beehive noise of the mall, shouts rose, though barely above the thunderous pounding of his heart. He jumped steps by twos, oblivious to the disapproving looks his rough flight elicited.
Midway on that endless descent, a stroller halted him, but before he could jump around it, his eyes fell on her.
She had stepped onto the bottom of the climbing staircase, a slim silhouette in a pink two-piece suit, a luminous face in the halo of blonde locks. Ben thought of swans, of roses, and rains of apple blossoms. He had never seen anything that beautiful, that elegant.
She didn’t smile, only her gleaming gaze lingered on him, a warming caress in it. He held his breath, all else forgotten. Too slowly, too quickly they got closer.
Soon their hands on the rubber handrails passed each other, the idea that his could’ve brushed hers numbing to Ben, the whiff of her perfume dizzying. Even then, she did not avert her azure eyes.
As she passed on her way up, he twirled around to watch her, a mesmerised automaton, forever in love.
When he realised she was soon going to float beyond his sight, he leaped at last, only back up, not towards freedom.
“There he is!”
He allowed Security to restrain him, struggling only to see past their shoulders. To see her, his sweet impossible unattainable angel, for a few moments more.