“And when we pick up class on Monday, we will go over chapter 23 in the textbook so please, try to read the chapter before you go out with your friends. Enjoy your weekend. And please read the chapter!”
I hear my professor faintly say as I daze out the window. He lies closely next to me, his heat radiating onto my left arm. He’s like my own sunbeam; I felt dangerously close and was going to catch aflame. But it was worth the ten degree burns. I stretch my fingers to trace the nearly invisible lines on his skin. Chairs scraped and screeched against the floor as the class was dismissed. He looked upon me intensively, studying. He’s exquisite right here in this moment. Students shuffle and laugh pass my desk. I felt that this philosophy class was such a waste of my life. I spent most of my freshman year avoiding the prerequisite but my advisor finally demised my plan. As much as I try to pay attention, I can’t help but get lost in my thoughts and fantasies. Couldn’t help but get lost in him…
”Dear Prudence…” A new voice faintly disturbs my daydream, “Won’t you come out to play?”
I chuckle, with the song now sound tracking a pair of deep brown eyes gazing into mine. I lean closer to him, yearning for his lips to brush mine.
”Dear Prudence,” the voice is now identified as my confidant’s, “Greet the brand new day.”
He’s fading now, my friend distracting me with a classic Beatle’s song…which is what she usually sings to me when I’m off in my land.
I sigh, “Why must you interrupt me?”
”Because the next class is about to start Prudence.” She sing-songs as I roll my eyes. “Here. I already packed your bag if you haven’t noticed.”
Of course I didn’t notice. She knows who I’m thinking of while I stare out into nothing. The solitary object of my affection and desires. He was someone I hardly knew, someone that I gushed and guffawed over in my chemistry class. We spoke here and there about random things. Once he glanced over my phone and saw that I was listening to Miles Davis while we stood outside the classroom, waiting for our class to begin. He told me about the first time he listened to Miles and I nearly passed out from shear shock. He held the door open for me as I was exiting my favorite sushi place. He smiled and offered to eat with me next time we happened to be there at the same time. He always complimented my Vans collection. When he walked by my desk in class, he would tap me twice on the shoulder. It’s the little things…but that was the extent of our relationship: passing by occurrences. He didn’t have a girlfriend and you never saw him really hanging out with a bunch of girls. His exclusivity seemed so apparent to me but Jane, my Beatle tune toting best friend, didn’t see it. She perceived him to be douchey and antisocial, abrasive because he really didn’t hang around. He had a group of four friends that he stuck to, left campus as soon as he does with classes, and only dealt with his classmates if it was about school work. He wasn’t super popular but also wasn’t casted out.
“Have you seen him yet today?” Jane asks as we trek across campus. We were heading to our favorite hangout, a giant oak tree that casted glorious shade about this time in the afternoon.
“No. I usually don’t see him on Wednesdays, which is weird if I think about it…I mean I’ve seen him in my day dreams…”
“He lives in your day dreams…”
“Yes thank God for my vivid imagination.”
We throw our book bags down along the roots. Jane pulls out her phone and bluetooth speaker to play some City and Colour. The sun rests on me, reminding me of my dream earlier and I fight falling back. Jane doesn’t mind my day dreaming when we’re in class or when I’m alone but I dare not dream about him while we’re having quality b.f.f time. A few of our friends walk by and wave, ask what we’re doing for the weekend and carry on. The weather was beautiful enough to distract kids from the classroom; they gather in groups to talk, toss around a football, and pick up random games of soccer. Jane and I laugh, talk about what we could do Saturday night and dread our schedule for the rest of the day.
“Crap it’s already two? Where did the time go?”
“To the clouds.” I smirk.
“You don’t have class, right?” I shake my head no. “Are you going to stay here?” I nod. “Ok well I will leave you the speaker. I’ll see you when I get done.”
I tingle with excitement as she runs across the grass, shouting after someone that’s in her next class. Now that she’s gone…I nuzzle into the tree’s trunk, letting the wind slip me back into where I want to be.
“Can we stay like this for a while?” He asks faintly. Goosebumps wave up and down my arms, my legs, as I fight back a smile.
“We can do whatever we want. I’ll do whatever you want.” My voice cracks.
He chuckles while he turns his body towards me, propping himself on his arm. I feel small underneath his stare that I try not to blush. We lie on a blanket on the floor of my dorm room. I saw him standing outside of the humanities building, speaking to one of his friends. I grew the courage to ask him to come with me, back to my room, and he actually said yes. Now here we are, just looking at each other, with hesitant breaths and hushed words. What are we hiding from?
“I think you’re so beautiful. You make it hard to focus on chem work. I’ve been waiting for a moment like this.”
I smile bashfully. “Yeah I understand what you mean. I’ve had a crush on you for so long. I don’t know what came over me when I asked you to come back to my room but…but I’m glad that I did it. All I’ve ever wanted to do was just spend some time with you.”
We smile and laugh awkwardly. The confessions made the atmosphere thick with tension. What now? Now that it’s out in the universe how we feel about each other, what happens next?
“Can I ask you something?”
He looks towards the floor with a crooked grin, “Uh…,” and shakes his head, “maybe not…”
Without effort, I sit up, my hand suddenly on his shoulder. “What is it?” Please ask the question. But he continues to stare down at the blanket, fiddling with the fabric.
“I was wondering if I…,” he mumbles, “If I could…”
Someone is kicking my foot as I come out of my day dream. Who the hell?! As I snap to, I look up to a familiar face, familiar brown eyes. I gasp loudly, adjusting my back along the trunk.
“Hey there little lady. What were you thinking about?” Bryce asks, smiling down at me, as if he knows it was about him the whole time. “I’ve been calling your name for a while now.”
Out of sheer embarrassment I laugh heartily, afraid that it could be obvious that in some sorcery way he knew my day dream was all about him. “Dude you scared the crap out of me! I don’t know I get tied up in all sorts of things up here,” I jab at my temple. Be cool man, be cool. “How are you? What are you doing up here? You don’t have class do you?” I knew the answer but it was a good distraction from the heat on my face.
“Oh yeah…I don’t uh…I don’t know my friend told me to meet him up here but he’s still in class. I saw you sitting here all alone so I thought maybe I could keep you company for a bit since you know…we really don’t get to talk for too long.”
I beam, pulling up blades of grass around the roots, honored that he would even want to spend more than five minutes next to me. It may not be exactly what I’ve imagined but it was good enough. He sat on the root to the left of me, his heat radiating next to my skin. He is my own personal sunbeam, reflecting light and warmth. He snatches my phone from my lap, flipping through my music. He selects “Rocker” by Miles Davis, a personal favorite of mine, and begins to ask about my day.