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when she sat down in the row in front of him, accompanied by her older sister and her parents, he immediately thought she was beautiful and planned to steal numerous glances. but, with each glance, he became more captivated. and, that wasn't just because of her looks. the pre movie ads were on the screen, the trivia questions, the joke surveys. she was clearly interested in things up there, amused by things, certain things, the right things. and, did i mention she was beautiful? that doesn't even describe her. nothing could describe her. new words would have to be made to do her justice.

of course, he planned to approach her in the lobby after the movie. "i couldn't help but notice you when you came in," he'd say. "and i couldn't take my eyes off you the whole time before the movie. and after that film, i can't help but seize this opportunity. i can't not tell you how beautiful you are." that's what he'd say. such simple words, nothing too difficult.

so, the movie plays. he steals glances at certain intervals, at certain points in the film, just to gauge her reaction. she's utterly perfect, he decides, loving the whole thing, overjoyed by the right scenes, saddened by others. she's perfect.

it's got to be her, THE her, the one he's been looking for. he's sure of it. and, he's proud of his plan to approach her in the lobby after.

and, the movie ends. and, god, could it be any better. she stays for the credits, like he always does. not the whole credits, however, for her parents and sister get up to leave. it seems they've got someplace to go.

he contemplates getting up right then, following her out. he contemplates taking that leap.

but, he doesn't.

there's still the plan, the lobby, after.

and so, the credits end. and he goes out into the lobby. and, she's nowhere to be found. his perfection has escaped.

the sad thing is, he's not surprised. he had his chance and missed it. just like always. he failed to do what he most had to do to improve his life a hundred fold. and, next time, he knows, he will do just the same. the very same.

"perfection in the next row"