I bet he thought I didn’t see him skulking in the corner at the pub. There is no escaping this guy, is there? Am I going to be able to handle this for the next eight months? I can’t transfer now and I don’t want to delay my studies for another year. It was disappointing enough to work so hard to graduate early and then….have… that…happen. I’m just going to have to do my best to pretend he isn’t there until the end of the school year. Then I can transfer and not have to worry about ever seeing him again.
She was so lost in her thoughts that she didn’t see the guy in front of her until she had walked straight into him. For the second time today she found herself trying to collect all her books and papers before they flew away in the brisk fall breeze. This time, however, she didn’t feel the need to kick the guy helping her in the shins. He was tall, with light brown skin and the most gorgeous green eyes she’d ever seen. As he handed her books back to her, he smiled and it was the first time in over a year that she didn’t recoil at the sight of a young man smiling so flirtatiously at her.
“I’m Terrence. Sorry about that.”
“Alanna. And it’s my fault. I daydream a lot and forget to pay attention to where I’m going.”
“Well, feel free to walk into me anytime.” There was that smile again.
“So, Alanna, would you like to grab a cup of coffee with me?”
For the first time since they met, Alanna lost her smile. She was conflicted and when she finally responded by declining the invitation, she was genuinely sorry but firmly resolved.
Terrence looked disappointed but said, with another heart-stopping smile, “No problem. Maybe I’ll see you ’round, Alanna.”
As he walked off, he added with a wink,” Try not to walk into any more guys or break any more hearts today, would ya?”
Alanna blushed and waved. She had wanted to say ‘yes’ to his invitation but she wasn’t yet ready for what came after coffee- more dates, talking about herself, physical contact…. Someday, she would be. Hopefully, Terrence’s offer was still good then. Those eyes. Dayum.
She was happy to be done with classes for the day. After depositing her books in her locker, she headed towards the Marlon Thackeray Memorial Athletics and Wellness Centre with her gym bag under her arm. As Alanna made her way onto the deck of the Olympic sized swimming pool, she smiled to herself. She loved swimming. She was never happier than when she was in the water. It wasn’t just her body that was buoyant as her strokes sliced cleanly through the water and her legs propelled her forward. Her spirits were as well. Lana had been swimming since she was five years old and her family jokingly referred to her as ‘the fish’. She was more at home in a pool than she was on land. She was naturally clumsy but that didn’t matter in the water. There was nothing for her to trip over or walk into in the water. It was the only place she could be considered graceful. Not that she much cared about that. She just loved the feeling of gliding through the water. When she was much younger her favourite Disney movie was ‘The Little Mermaid’ and she spent many hours as a child pretending to be Ariel exploring the deep blue sea as she dived along the bottom of any pool she could find.
She swam until the centre closed at eleven o’clock and even then she was sad to go. But it would be there tomorrow.
And so would she.