“This is madness,” he thought to himself but yet here he was parked outside of the university, waiting for her. Sometimes she would be with a friend or in a group and other times she was alone. And each time, when she saw him, she would look at him without making it obvious.
He had no business being here. “I should be heading back to the office and finish marking the stack of term papers sitting on my desk.” Yet, he remained, his eyes scanning the drove of students for her. Would she be alone today? He hoped so. And if she were, what was he going to do? He hoped she didn’t think that he was stalking her. He was no stranger to this campus. In fact, it was at one of his lectures where he first laid eyes on her. She was sitting in the second row. He could still remember what she was wearing that day. And he remembered thinking that her lipstick was way too bright. How he managed to get through the lecture, he had no idea.
At the end, while other students were crowding him and asking questions, she stood beside the chair where she had been sitting and watched him. Their eyes met and held for what seemed like eternity before she turned and walked away. He watched her go, wondering if he would see her again. For the rest of the afternoon, he could think of nothing else but her. What was her name? What was she studying? Did she have a boyfriend?
Driven by a compulsion he couldn’t explain, he found himself outside of the university the following day, hoping that he would see her. And he did. His heart pounded wildly against his ribs when he saw her walking towards his car with a friend. She was laughing at something the other girl said when she spotted him. Without missing a beat, she met his gaze directly, making him blush before she walked past the car.
He broke out of his reverie when she appeared now. She was alone today and when she saw him, she stopped and stood there, staring at him. Today, she was wearing a black hat, black jacket over a white tee shirt and jeans. Her hair was pulled together in a side plait, making her look much younger and her lips were bright red. And then, she moved. She’s coming towards me, he realized. Nervousness and excitement filled him. He ran his hands over his hair, straightened his clothes before getting out of the car. He leaned nonchalantly against the car and waited.
When she reached him, she smiled and held out her hand. “Hello, Professor Remington,” she said.
She remembers my name. He cleared his throat, smiled and shook her hand which felt very small in his. “Hello, Miss–?”
“Pleased to meet you, Sydney.”
“I just wanted to let you know that I really enjoyed your lecture.”
“I’m happy to hear that,” he said. “I have another one coming up next month.”
“Where?” she asked.
“The University of Roehampton.”
“What’s the lecture about?”
“Self-victimization or victim playing. I will explain what it is, the reasons why people engage in it and the signs.”
“That sounds very interesting. I’d definitely like to come.”
“I hope you do,” he said. “You don’t have a boyfriend, do you?”
She shook her head at once. “No, I don’t.”
“Good. And I don’t have a wife or a girlfriend. I’d like to continue our conversation more over cappuccinos.”
She smiled. “I’d like that too.”
He walked around to the passenger-side of the car and opened the door for her. They went to a nearby cafe where they the rest of the afternoon, talking over cappuccinos and the following evening, they had dinner at a charming French restaurant. By the end of the year, they were engaged.
…ignore the risk and take the fall. And if it’s meant to be it’ll be worth it all – Daniel Seavey