The first time he saw Ashleigh, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. It was during their third year at York University. They were in the same English Literature class. It was the first day of class and when he walked into the classroom and saw her sitting there beside the window, he did a double take.
He wished that he could sit in the seat across the aisle from her her but another student was already sitting there. The desk behind that student was empty so he sat there. It was close enough to Ashleigh for him to look at her. At one point she turned her head and their eyes met.
He determined that at the end of the class, he would walk up to her and introduce himself. He did. Up close, she was even more exquisite. “Please tell me that you don’t have a boyfriend.”
She smiled, making his heart skip a beat. “I don’t,” she replied.
Relieved, he informed her, “I don’t have a girlfriend either.”
“That was a good lecture, wasn’t it?”
“Yes, it was.”
“It was very interesting hearing about the artistic failures of people like Van Gogh, Emily Dickerson, J.K. Rowling and Georgia O’Keeffe.”
“It’s very hard to get discouraged when faced with failures but we are encouraged never to abandon our craft but to confront those failures head-on. That’s what O’Keeffe, Oprah, Sidney Poitier and Elizabeth Arden did.”
“I’ve tried getting my poetry published but got rejected. I have been pretty down about it until I learned today that J.K. Rowling was rejected from 12 major publishing houses. I bet those publishing houses are really sorry now.”
“I bet they are,” he agreed with a smile. “I’d like to read your poetry, if you don’t mind, of course.”
“Is this your last class?”
She nodded. “Yes.”
“Would you like to grab at Starbucks? We can talk more about the lecture, your poetry and other things. Over Frappuccinos we can get to know each other better.”
“Sure.” She grabbed her backpack and followed him out of the classroom.