Aria: My throat closes and I feel my entire face stretch in surprise as a dark figure steps from the shadows. A gray hoodie is pulled down over his face, revealing only a glimpse. It’s enough to discover a full mouth surrounded by scruff. His jeans and combat boots don’t tell me much about who he is. Snippets of tattoos peak out from under his clothing, imparting a thug-like appearance. If I were someone who judged, I’d have him summed up already, but I know all too well, appearances can be deceiving.
The air changes. His vibe is one of power. Rigid stance. Confident gait. I feel frazzled.
I stand and take a deep breath, attempting to pull my newfound anxiety back in. He stops. I’m not sure what to say or do as we both inspect each other, although I can’t be sure he’s watching me as his eyes are cloaked in the shade of his hoodie. It’s something I feel more than I know.
“Hi there,” I begin, attempting to be friendly.
He does a short, crisp whistle and my newest feathered friend retreats back to the stranger before the giant of a man, leans down and picks up the crow, placing him on his shoulder.
“Oh. It’s your bird. I didn’t know. I hope you don’t mind me feeding him.”
His body language is cold and standoffish. His hands are pressed against thick thighs. I feel vulnerable, him being able to see my face but me not being able to see his.
I wait for a response but receive nothing. He simply freezes.
Beginning to feel more uneasy, I turn and offer a small wave with, “Well, I’ll see you. I need to get to work.”
I hurry away, leaving the other birds on the grass as I turn back once to see him still facing me. Odd man.