Yesterday she wore a green sweater. Today it’s brown. It seems like those two are her favorites, but sometimes she switches it up with black or purple. Occasionally she goes with a light colored striped thing, and when she’s tired she sports a Portland State University hoodie. When she’s tired she also goes with glasses, but most days wears contacts.
She’s cute in a natural way, one of those girls who doesn’t wear much make up and doesn’t care what people think about it. You can tell she was a runner in high school by the way she fits in those jeans, and also by the cross country patches on her computer bag. A cutie little brunette; she sits at the second desk from the window in the campus library overlooking the soccer field, unless the Middle Eastern study group is already there, then she sits right at the window. She’s an econ or a business major, and she studies those materials with a focused grimace. Her heart is in literature though, and her whole posture changes when she’s studying Bukowski or Hemmingway or Fitzgerald. She wears a smile during the amusing parts, occasionally chuckling out loud, quickly looking up from her book, embarrassed, to see who notices.
I know this because I sit in the third desk from the window most days, unless I’m also displaced by the Persians, and then I sit wherever I can find a spot with an outlet. I caught her smiling at The Sun Also Rises, and quickly looked away. I have this thing where I get ridiculously shy around girls, especially cute ones reading my favorite authors.
I went back to typing, losing myself in the scenery of a book I’ll never finish, when a soft voice said from above me,
“watch my stuff while I run for coffee?” Her. A trace of a smile to compliment soft browns, she shifted, working out the stiffness that comes from an afternoon in the library. Just a hint of mischief, the subtle possibility of adventure.
“uh…yea, sure…right.” Smooth. I have this thing about talking to cute girls who ask me to watch their stuff while they run for coffee; I’m not good at it. She smiled a sweet “thanks” and turned to head downstairs. I stared. Definitely a runner. She disappeared, and I went back to the keys, type type type my life away while cute girls are out getting coffee. When I should have said something smooth and sweet and suave, when instead I stutter silly syllables. In the my stories I know exactly what to say, and in this story I asked her if she wanted to pack up and get coffee together. Down to the campus café, or maybe over to Floyd’s in Oldtown, she’d read my eyes and just know I was one of the good ones. A latte for her, and a cup of the black for me, we’d talk about the great writers and the stories they told. She’d blush, and say she knows its last minute and sort of random, but did I have plans for the weekend? Her and some friends were headed to the coast, nothing crazy, just some wine to go with a bonfire on the beach. Hopefully the stars and the surf if I didn’t already have plans. In the story, I’d smile at her and take a sip of the coffee, pausing as if to consider my weekend and her offer. I’d love to, I’d say. I love the coast. And we’d smile, and blush, and both look away embarrassed. Perhaps she’d then take my hand…
“hey thanks, I brought you a cookie…you look like you might have liked a cookie…” the soft voice trailed off. I looked up and we caught eyes, her soft browns with a hint of mischief, the suggestion of a smile on delicate lips. I returned her smile and she started to blush before she looked away quickly.