Quite unexpectedly, in the autumn of her thirty-third year, Lucy fell in love.
She was walking from the Bake Shoppe back to her small, cozy book shop with her arms weighed down with colorful packages, when she her eyes settled on him.
The man of her dreams.
Across the street, the most beautiful man she had ever seen was standing in his comfortable living room.
Lucy was speechless, as she normally was, but this time it was because she couldn’t take her eyes off the man. His face in profile; the strong nose, brown curly hair that looked due for a cut (but begged a set of fingers for a tousle) and the stubble that coated his cheekbones reminded her of a movie star.
At once, Lucy was smitten.
Every day, she would stand, her crimson coat with the fur around the collar hugging her body, and watch as he banged on his keyboard or computer.
Sometimes she would gaze at him as he played music, his beautiful mouth mimicking the words, straining to hear the sound of his voice, wishing that she had a way of letting him know that she was listening.
Day after day she was sure their paths would eventually cross when she’d realize he had spied her and flashed a smile as he went on about his day.
Then one day, close to Christmas, it started to snow and Lucy felt lightheaded during her walk, as if her whole world had been turned upside down. Once her head cleared, she realized that there was a woman with a wide smile and curly strawberry hair standing in the living room with the man.
Lucy watched as the man kissed the woman and sank down to one knee with a black velvet box cradled in his hand.
Suddenly Lucy swore she could hear own heart beating.
“Oh no!” Burned inside her tiny mouth.
She stood there, lips glued together; silent and plastic as the man slipped a sparkling ring onto the woman’s finger.
And Lucy longed to drop her packages and run to him but she was frozen in place, unable to move.
Luckily the glass of the snow globe muffled the sounds of her imaginary sobs as the man twirled the woman in his arms and the fake snow clung like flimsy tissue paper to her coat.