He stared at her every day. Not like a creepy stare. A nice stare. A lovingly naive stare. A sweet stare. He loved the texture of her wavy brunette hair, her not-too-numerous, not-too-lacking number of freckles, the way she would try to hide the fact that she had to wear glasses despite the fact that she had to 80% of the time. He wanted to hold her hand. He wanted to buy expensive things for her and then say “Oh, nothing,” when she asked much it cost. He wanted to get to know her. He wanted to find out what she loved. Was she a nerd like him? Would she enjoy marathons of Firefly and Star Trek and Teen Titans? Would she be comfortable watching him play video games while she read or did homework? Would she think video games are boring? Would she want to join in and play with him? He didn’t know.
He asked around the campus about her. Lilly. That was her name. Incredibly fragile it made her seem, but in a sweet way. You know, like the kind of name you would give to someone who’s small and light but tough on the inside. A trooper you might call her. She certainly carried herself like a trooper. Was he creepy for following her to her next class every day despite his own class being in the opposite direction? He sure hoped not. He begged, prayed, for a chance to start a conversation with her. He wanted to be put in the same group as her. He wanted to “accidentally” bump into her and cause her to drop her stuff so he could help her pick it up and properly introduce himself and maybe ask her out to dinner but probably not because that’s a weird first thing to say, right? He was rambling. And he knew it. But he loved it.
On an unspecific thursday during an unspecific week on a specifically cold day, she was yet again placed into a different group as him. Drats. Next time. He stared at her as usual, daydreaming about all the sweet experiences they could share together in the future. When suddenly, Christopher Johnathon Prince starting talking to her. But not just talking to her. FLIRTING with her.What the fuck? Is she really into this guy? She’s laughing a lot. Oh fuck, goddamnit, shit, hell, ass, bitch, I knew I should’ve spoken to her sooner, I knew it! I’ve blown my only chance with her! What’s so special about him anyway, huh? Christopher Johnathon Prince? I bet that name isn’t even fucking real. No one has a last name Prince anymore unless they transfer from England or Norway or something. And his middle name is a first name—that’s just weird. Middle names are supposed to be strange. People are supposed to be embarrassed of their middle names. But he fucking writes out his full name on his papers in that flawlessly feminine cursive handwriting. I bet it isn’t even real cursive. I bet it’s just regular letters with a bunch of extra swirls and shit. Goddamnit he’s so much taller than me and I think he’s on swim team. She’s laughing again! I can’t take this.
So he left class early that day. He left campus and didn’t show up to class the next day, either. After a weekend to clear his head, he was ready to go back to being in the same room as Lilly, no matter how much of a traitor to his feelings she was. She didn’t talk to Christopher anymore. At least not regularly. The occasional swapping of a utensil or request for help on a question was sometimes spotted.. But she wasn’t laughing. Either way, he knew what he had to do. He had to try to move on. So for a few days, he made an effort to not stare at Lilly. He went about his schoolwork. He tried to pay attention to lecture but it was so boring… So he spent most of his time staring out the window. He felt tired. More tired than usual. In fact, he felt tired the majority of the time. Maybe he always felt this tired but didn’t notice it before… He would daydream of what he would do when he got home, but none of it seemed very appealing.
But then on tuesday, December 3rd at 10:38 in the morning—recorded to be the coldest day of the year thus far—something happened. He looked at her again. His expression was apathetic, tired, glum as usual. He expected to see nothing but her gorgeously-textured brunette hair and—
She was looking at him. Not just that; she was staring at him. She was full-on turned around in her chair, her eyes clearly locked on him. Could it be someone behind him? No… impossible. No one sat behind him. Maybe it was a coincidence? No, definitely not. They locked eyes for at least two seconds! Upon doing so, she immediately spun around in what appeared to be a nervous huff. She tampered with her glasses, seemingly unsure if she wanted to keep them on or take them off. He was in shock. Had that really happened?
The remainder of class dragged on for what felt like eighteen hours. He spent the entire class glancing between Lilly’s back and the clock. Finally, when it got down to the final three seconds of class, he stood up in his chair and rushed out the door and started making his way to the student parking lot.
Too nervous. Waaay too fucking nervous. I cant face her. Maybe she was staring because she knew I was staring. What if she thinks I’m a creeper—oh, God, what if she knows I follow her every day when I don’t actually have to? I’m never coming back to this school again. I’m transferring—no, fuck that, I’m moving! I’m going to move away to fucking England or Norway and—He stopped himself mid-thought and mid-step. An image of Christopher Johnathon Prince making Lilly laugh popped into his head. And he turned around. He blocked out every single thought. He just plain ignored them. He marched right back to that classroom and didn’t feel a thing the entire way. He was likely just numb with excitement—or fright. Either way, he felt good. He felt confident. He was going to walk right up to Lilly and—
She turned her head up to look up at him so quickly that her glasses almost fell off. She stumbled to fix their placement.
"Hi, Lilly, my name’s Danny and I just want you to know that I think you’re really gorgeous and I’ve been staring at you for a few weeks now and sometimes I follow you—"
…great fucking job.
He felt like he was going to cry. He could not fucking breathe. He couldn’t say anything to possibly recover from that. It was over. End of the world. Time to move away. Or die. Yeah. Dying sounds better.
"I know," she stammered.
"You know?" he asked.
"Yeah… I’ve been staring at you, too."