Her tongue darted out nervously to wet her lips, and she stared across the room with uncharacteristic determination. Her fingers tapped out a staccato rhythm against her thigh, and eventually one foot joined in, keeping the beat. When she realized what she was doing, she tamped it down furiously, blushing even though no one was paying attention to her.
You can do it, she coached herself. Just go over there. Introduce yourself. Say hi.
And then what? a malicious voice in her head sneered. Make small talk? Impress him with your comprehensive knowledge of quadratic equations? Wax poetic about the beauty of pi?
Shut up, she thought back angrily, then shook her head to clear away the ridiculous conversation. Great. Now I'm hearing voices.
She snuck another look at him, five and a half feet of stocky muscle and curly red hair that he kept running his fingers through endearingly. And even though she understood about pheromones and chemical reactions in her brain, her heartbeat quickened when his lips curled into that wide, easy smile.
Maybe he wouldn't think she was weird because she preferred to spend her days with numbers than with people. Maybe he wouldn't mind that relationships overwhelmed her and that he had to take it slow so she had time to adjust. Maybe he'd like it if she spent too long looking at his face because she was looking for patterns in the lines and pores.
Maybe, just maybe, he would be the one to understand.
She wet her lips again, then squared her shoulders, and forced her feet to move across the room, to where he was finally alone, pouring himself a drink. She sidled up next to him, and he looked at her. And he smiled.
She took a deep breath and smiled back. "Hi," she said.