"My mind sends me into oblivion." (2)
I am puzzled yet eager. Probably, it’s all painted across my face cause April adds, “PLUS! I told you Nate is going to be working on their board, too, remember?”
OKAY, SCRATCH CHANDLER. I WILL SEE NATE. SEE HIM, AGAIN, AFTER ALL THIS TIME!
My eyes widened. “I’m alright, April! Now, please, please tell me where it is!” I must have looked desperate, but I don’t care. Besides, I need to finish the task.
April’s face lights up as she senses the familiarity of finally finding the Mariana she knows. “Oh, honey, there you are!” and then she giggles. “We’ll discuss everything later! The boards are in the courtyard, near the great hall! You’ll find Chandler there ’cause he can’t wait for you, obviously.”
“What are you still doing here?!” snaps Ros.
I beam at them. “I will! See you guys later!” I said and rushed to the great hall. It feels good to run again because it’s refreshing. Well, not while wearing skirts, though. I stopped sports when I entered college. I put almost everything that made me happy on hold because of college; well, except for art, of course. I got scolded by some professors, I mean, teachers. “No running down the hallway, Ms Greene!” they keep saying. I laugh because I have never felt so free in my entire life. I guess it’s good to be back to being a teenager again. There are no life-changing choices or messed up problems to face, just freedom.
Before I go to the field, I can’t stop my mouth from watering. I am craving for something sweet. So I head to the cafeteria first to grab chocolates and candies. As I pay, I see Nate munching over a big, fat slice of chocolate cake. I gulp. I want to eat that, too. So, I ask for a piece from the lunch lady, but she says they are out but are now making more since that student has been eating them all since he got here.
His eyes meet mine as I crave over his cake. I smile and wave as I wait for the lady to put my sweets in a bag.
Nate does not react and breaks his gaze. He continues to eat like a hungry wolf.
That’s odd. I guess I wasn’t the only one craving sweets today, and we weren’t friends back then. So I shrug it off and walk out of the cafeteria. I eat as I head to the field. I shove more chocolate in my mouth, chew it all and breathe deeply. I must look queer and all since some students look at me differently. I put down the buckets to place the bag of sweets in one of them, fix my hair, and straighten my coat. I press my face with my handkerchief, wiping away some sweat, and I look around to see where Chandler might be. When my cravings are satisfied, my eyes widen at the realisation. I just saw freaking Nate! I suddenly feel embarrassed, like a 15-year-old!
“Hey, Mariana!” says a guy walking towards me from behind.
I look back and see Ryan Kaufman smiling at me. I freaked out for a moment, given that he’s attractive because he’s the true definition of tall (I mean literally tall, to me; he’s about 192cm), dark, and handsome. Did I also mention he has light-grey eyes, which melt me every freaking time?! But I can never forget when we became college students. For whatever reason, he stopped talking to me. We were studying at the same university, and he ignored me as if I was a stranger walking through the crowd. He never even looked at me. He became indifferent towards me, and I have no idea why.
“You okay?” he asks. “Your classmates were looking everywhere for you earlier.”
“For the millionth time, I’m fine,” I say. I have no clue if I sounded pissed, but then Ryan laughs.
“Well, your friend there needs your help,” he says, pointing at Chandler. “Seems like he doesn’t know what he’s doing.”
Finally, I see Chandler. I forgot he looked different before: nerdy. I sigh, “Thanks, talk to you later.”
Before he can reply, I walk to Chandler, who is completely bewildered. I turn to look back at Ryan and catch him scratching the back of his head, muttering to himself and lightly kicking the ground. I ignore whatever’s going on with him, and when Chandler sees me —
“Oh my god, finally you’re here, Mariana! I don’t know what we’re going to do. You have the designs, ideas and all and —”
“It’s okay, Chandler. I’m here,” I say, giving him more buckets to put down with the others. I crouch to open my bag and hopefully find some detailed designs for the board because I am as clueless as he is right now. But I say, “Look, there are patterns already. All we have to do is fill them with colours!”
He nods, smiling nervously as I instinctively rummage in my bag and open notebooks for the designs. Just as I was about to lose hope, the drafts popped at the last unopened page. “Here they are!” I say, showing them to him when the wind blows with such power. The papers in our hands fly around, and we chase after them.
“Oh, no! Oh, no!” Chandler gasps, reaching for the paper as he runs for it.
As I am athletic, I caught two already, and Chandler is chasing for one. I look around to find the last page. I reach out for it when I see it lying on the grass, and then another hand reaches out to it. Cliché, I know since he gets it first and gives it to me. But still, I say, “Thanks.” I couldn’t look at the person who gave it to me because I’m too preoccupied with how to decorate our board. I walk back, looking at the pages.
“So, what do you think is the best design?”