Until now, she'd never thought of herself as pretty. Angela wasn't your typical wallflower. Every so often someone would, for a brief moment, catch a glimpse of another world in her twinkling eye, or see into the hidden realms in the cornered smile of her lip.
Then either she or they would notice the unexpected revelation and it would vanish from sight and thought, and Angela would be plain old Angie. Small, quiet, of no consequence.
Of course that's not how she saw things, if "saw" was the right word. What Angela perceived, every day in fact, for everyone she met, was the Who they could have been. If they'd made this or that choice. Gone down one path rather than the other.
So many disappointments. Regrets. They froze her like a stone. Then, when she had quite forgotten that the people she consumed, with her unique form of omniscience, were still living their lives, she met Bharani. He'd been just as futilely coasting down life's wasted existence, under her emotional radar. Scanned and passed over, as Angela sipped coffee in her local Starbucks.
Then Bharani had looked up, caught her looking at him and smiled back across the café. Angela, startled, dropped her Vanilla Latte, which exploded across the table. And her.
But when she looked up, expecting pity, or worse. Surrounding him was only Promise. And it was extremely bright.