ABDC Ch. 07-08

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Ch. 7

“Hey Natalie, can you restock Biology 1310? Thanks.”

“No problem Todd,” I yelled to the back of the fleeing 5’4 stocky assistant manager “and it’s Natalia!”

In hindsight getting a job at the campus bookstore was a smart move; flexible hours, short commute, discount on books, and a major distraction from any other possible distraction. I also liked walking down the English aisle and skimming the literature books. Sure if I worked a coveted library position I could be waltzing down tall stacks of musty books, inhaling the scent of knowledge at every turn.

“Hey book chick,” nope this is way better than the library, “where’s the pre Cal books?”

I take a deep sigh from my interrupted thoughts, “fourth aisle on the right” I reply to the random college guy already walking away. I spend most of my work day talking to people’s back, I get it, you’re in a hurry and buying books can be frantic but the southerner in me still believe it’s impolite to leave without a thank you.

Not all customers are in a hurry or dismissive, there’s quite a few who genuinely need to be walked through the book buying processing. Finding your professors specific book, going through book loans and scholarships, and returning the books you just purchased because it’s last year’s version and you’re required to have this years. No, the helping part I like, yelling information to people dismissively walking away, not so much. For those moments I take a walk down the English aisle.

As I ran my fingers along the spines of the literary aisle I stopped at an overstuffed poetry book. Pulling it out of its space I close my eyes and open the book to a random page. My finger travels down the page and finds a resting place as I open my eyes to see what fate has in store.

SHE walks in beauty, like the night

Of cloudless climes and starry skies,

And all that’s best of dark and bright

Meets in her aspect and her eyes;

Thus mellow’d to that tender light

Which Heaven to gaudy day denies.

I breathe a sigh as I relish in the luxury of the poem, everything around me dissipates into a dense fog. In this moment nothing exists but the words on this page. As I read every word slowly savoring every second I don’t realize I’ve begun to read aloud.

“One shade the more, one ray the less,

Had half impair’d the nameless grace

Which waves in every raven tress

Or softly lightens o’er her face,

Where thoughts serenely sweet express

How pure, how dear their dwelling-place. “

I mutter the words to myself lost in the prose of contextual romance, when I notice a voice penetrating my fog. I can hear the edges of someone talking, to me? I tear my eyes away from the page to see a figure leaning against the bookshelf staring into me with forest green eyes. His arms are folded against his chest with a wry smirk on his face as he recites the rest of the poem from memory.

“And on that cheek and o’er that brow

So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,

The smiles that win, the tints that glow,

But tell of days in goodness spent –

A mind at peace with all below,

A heart whose love is innocent.”

“Uhm, can I help you sir?” I quizzed still puzzled by the intrusion on my peaceful moment.

“Yes, you can, do you always stand in the middle of the aisle bellowing 18th century romantic literature?”

“Only çanakkale escort on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I wouldn’t say I bellowed.”

“Well my fault, I guess watching a pretty girl engrossed in a Lord Byron poem just threw me off.””

He was funny, but funny only gets you so far and it was almost time for me to clock out and get to class.

“Are you looking for something in particular?” I said deciding to ignore the pretty comment.

“Yes I am, you just happen to be holding it.” Pointing at the book in my grasp.

Blushing I hand over the book, hoping this moment will fade away into customer service obscurity.

“It was the pretty comment wasn’t it? I have a bad case of diarrhea of the mouth and I don’t always know when to stop talking, sorry if I offended or embarrassed you.”

I stood there watching him as he continued to talk without the need of encouragement.

“Well I’m not sorry for calling you pretty but I do apologize for interrupting you. Although you are at work so really I shouldn’t apologize for that either. Actually, I’m being awful nice considering you’re impeding on my collegiate experience by holding my book hostage. In actuality you could be putting my career in jeopardy by not allowing me immediate access to information I need and am rightfully entitled to in order to further my career. So you should actually be apologizing to me.”

I stared at this impetuous being who just went on a ten minute ramble and is now giving me a look as if he was actually waiting for me to apologize to him.

“You’re right-” I replied “you don’t know when to stop talking.” I turned on my the heels of my work approved skid free ballet flats and walked away to clock out on what has officially become the beginning of a very long day.


“I’m only ten minutes late, no bigggie. I’ll just slip in and sit at the back, no one will even notice.” Talking to myself was a sure sign I was more nervous than I believed. If I’m not ten minutes early to a class I usually wrote it off and just skipped. The thought of a few hundred people listening to me enter a room and awkwardly find a seat was enough to make me crawl out of my skin. Even worse having small class of 30 craning their heads to see the late comer walk through the door. I try to shake off these thoughts as a shiver went down my spine. This semester I’m getting over my shyness and this is one hurdle I am going to jump.

As I crept through the door thankful for oiled hinges and a stadium class I quickly looked for the closest empty seat. Attendance is actually pretty high, I’m sure that bodes well for the school but not so much for my stealthy entrance. I slide into the only empty seat next to the door and open my notebook to catch up on notes.

“Better three hours too early than one minute too late”

I am met with the familiar eyes of the evergreen, the mystery rambling poet.



“What are you doing here?”

“Poker tournament.”

“Smartass,” I murmur. “I meant, never mind.”

“Y’know, some would say this is fate. First we meet at the bookstore then we just happen to have a class together. Where you coincidentally get stuck sitting next to me.”

“Considering I work at the college bookstore, there’s a high probability I would have a class with quite a few customers.”

“True, but how çeşme escort many customers have you shared a romantic poem with?”

“This is cute and all but I’m not looking to entangle with anyone and I really need to concentrate on the professor.”

“Please tell me you don’t reject guys using the word entangle. Jeez give a girl a compliment and stalk her a little all of a sudden she thinks you’re interested.”

I mistakenly chuckle at his humor.

‘Well at least I’m funny” he smirked.

As I watched his lips grow into a half smile I’m reminded of another smile I would spend hours fascinated by. A smile I haven’t seen in months. A smile I shouldn’t be thinking of while sitting in a class I’ve already missed half of. I clear my throat and sit straight up in my seat, my ready to learn pose, determined to focus on the professor. To my horror the professor is closing his laptop and everyone starts gathering their things. “Oh no.” I look down at my empty page stunned.

“I can loan you my notes, I am partially responsible for distracting you.”

“Partially? Try fully “Anguished I retrieve my bag and head for the door.

“Well I didn’t make you late,” said a voice from beside me “I merely diverted your attention, for that I apologize.” I stopped walking, considering his proposition. He does owe me this much at least and I don’t have much of a choice.

“Fine.” I relented sticking my hand out in the universal gesture of hand it over.

“Yes, yes, I know, I’m so generous and kind.” He mocked

“I actually need these notes as well, how do I know you’re not just going to take them and never give them back?”

“The longer you make me stand here the higher the possibility of that happening. “

“Hmm how about we meet at the library around five and I’ll let you copy them.”

“Or you could give them now and I’ll return it to you on Wednesday.”

“Or not. “

“Okay okay, five o’clock, library. Don’t be late.”

“It’s a date.”

“It’s definitely not.” I rushed to point out.

“Fine it’s not a date.” The twinge of disappointment etched slightly on his face as he quickly recovered. “I gotta go just, don’t forget-” backing away towards the common halls “five o’clock, library.” He repeated rushing off.

Ch. 8

“Crap.” glancing the clock on my cell phone, I wonder exactly how badly I need these notes, it’s officially six o’clock and he has yet to show up. Tapping my pencil and finishing work from my other classes I close my book and start to leave.

“Leaving so soon?” Says a velvety voice from behind me.

“You’re over an hour late.” Silently seething I glare at him standing in front of me with his leather hipster messenger bag across his fit chest, dirty brown hair edging across his face and the twilight of sunset streaming through the window turning his forest green eyes emerald.

It is preposterous that people can be this good looking. This level of attractiveness shouldn’t be walking around campus averting the attention of people trying to get a decent education. No, they should be in California or New York trying to “make it” with all the other beautiful people and leave the rest of us average people alone. A walking daily reminder that hitting the genetic lotto doesn’t mean you’re not altruistic or have a normal agenda and attractive people do normal things like take notes in class diyarbakır escort and read books.

That asshole.

Trying to hold onto the anger and annoyance I keep reminding myself of the time I’ve just wasted. He runs his hand through his hair as he apologizes for being late, but my mind is on repeat don’t look in his eyes, don’t. look. in. his. eyes.

“Are you spacing out on my apology?” He grins as he notices my attempts of avoidance.

“Uhm no, I’m just hungry I guess.” Ugh why did I mention food? Never mention food to a hot guy. Wait why do I care what he thinks. Remember, no boys!

“Well lucky for you I’ve snuck in a little contraband.” He pulls out a few bags of chips and two waters. “Good looks and junk food will get you far.”

“And you’ve got it all.” I reply sarcastically, my anger dissipating.

“Names Art by the way” formally presenting his hand. I guess he could tell by my apprehension to take his hand i was thinking about his name.

“Yeah, hippie optimistic parents, unfortunately for them i can barely draw a tree.”

“Ah, well I’m Natalia. Optimistic Italian mother with a love of Nat King Cole.”

“Ever heard of Van Morrison?”

“Heard of yes, I haven’t listened to much of his music though. Why? “

A secret smile spread along his face as he pulled the notes out of his bag “Don’t worry about it. So I have about four pages of notes, it might be hard to read my handwriting so I’m here to transcribe.”

I shifted in my chair reading the chicken scratch that contained the important bits of information I needed. Art pulled his chair closer looking over my shoulder as I read. As he leaned in closely I became lost in his scent, cinnamon, it was comforting and intoxicating. He was spicy and sweet and I couldn’t focus.

“Does this say forgotten or forbidden?” I ask shaking off the scintillating haze his scent was putting me under.

His hand grazed mine as we pointed to the word and a chill went through my body.

“I’m not having sex with you!” I squeaked out louder than I’d like. If there was ever a time for spontaneous combustion it would be right now.

“I didn’t realize we were having sex. I’ve been doing it wrong this whole time, don’t I look foolish.” He joked but I just sat there mortified with my face in my hands wishing this moment could float away like a bubble and pop.

“I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean- well I meant-” exasperated for words I sputtered “I’m just having a hard time concentrating, and I’m not getting romantically involved with anyone for a long time.”

“I think we skipped a beat here. I’m not looking to date either, a hook up maybe?” He raised a hopeful eyebrow but I was giving him my best ‘no way Jose’ look.

“Then these are just notes, not a proposition, and we are just friends. I know it’s going to be hard for you to keep your hands off of me-” exaggerating he fixes his hair and pops the collar on his green Polo Shirt “but you must.”

I scoffed at his pompous behavior and let out a chuckle.

“You know, there’s more to life than being really really ridiculously good looking.”I baited

“Like making a school for kids who can’t read good and wanna learn to do other stuff good too”

Bursting into laughter we garnered a few shhhs and sneers

“You’re a lot more fun when you loosen up.” Art whispered overcompensating for his previous tone.

“Yeah i guess we can be friends.”

“It only takes one Zoolander quote? You’re easier than I thought.”

“Pshh never, you will be tested randomly, so stay on your toes.”

He nudged my shoulder with a curious glee in his eye, “Bring it.”

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