Oh my god, I’m going to be so late! I hope Dr. Quinn doesn’t lock me out again. I am running across campus like a mad woman trying to make it to my English class. My stupid alarm didn’t go off, sending me into a temporary state of insanity. Sprinting across campus, the 40 degree November weather doesn’t stop me from breaking a sweat. The cold wind stings my cheeks as it slaps my air around, disrespectfully.
As I run for my life, I hear people yell from almost being trampled by a 5′5, 140 pound girl. It’s not like it would hurt if I did run them over. I almost knock over some guy in a suit with a brief case heading in the same direction. I dodged him but he drops his coffee. “Excuse me!” I yelp out, not even looking back to see the near fatality. If I see him again I’ll apologize.
By the time I get to the English building, I am huffing for air. I have never been athletic, but I’m sure I could apply for the Olympics today. Outside of the door, I pull myself together, finger combing my hair and enter the class. I walk in ready to be scolded, but Dr. Quinn isn’t even there.
“Where’s Dr. Quinn?” I mumble to a guy on the front row as I’m still catching my breath. He just shrugs and lays his head down. I take my seat next to my best friend, Mya. We are total opposites, but she was my roommate freshmen year and we just sort of clicked after many nights in the library, pulling late night study sessions.
Mya is extremely popular around campus. She is in a sorority and a heap of other organizations. Me on the other hand, not as popular. I only belong to the ‘Keep the Campus Clean’ club. I don’t go out as much as she does. I usually spend my nights in my dorm reading or doing homework. Through Mya, I know some people and some people know me. I have enough of a social life to be human.
“Where have you been and why are you sweating?” Mya asks with a look of distaste as I sit.
“My alarm didn’t go off. Where is Dr. Quinn?” I remove my scarf and pull my hair up into a ponytail to get it away from my slightly sweaty neck. I notice a few people trickle out of class due to the fact that we don’t have a teacher.
My eyes turn back to Mya as she nudges me. “Masquerade ball this weekend. You are going.” She orders and hands me my ticket. I start to object, but she holds her hand up. “Nope. I’m not taking no for an answer. You are going. I already have your dress in my closet”
Last year for the ball she set me up with the most obnoxious date ever. He talked about himself the whole time than expected me to come back to his dorm. I politely kneed him in the crotch when he tried to climb over into the passenger seat with me.
I open my mouth to speak, but I don’t as I hear the classroom door open.
I think its Dr. Quinn, but it’s not. A man walks in and stands in front of the class. “Hello, my name is Julius Ingram and I’ll be replacing Dr. Quinn. She was offered a higher teaching job elsewhere and will not be returning. I prefer you all call me Professor Ingram.”
He is about 6′1 and extremely handsome. His dirty blond hair is slicked back. His face is slightly defined and chiseled. His body is slim, but I can tell he is toned under his tailored suit. I can’t help, but be mesmerized along with every other girl in the class.
“He is so hot” Mya whispers. I hear a few others girls giggle from hearing her comment. When the initial interest in him dies down, I flip open my book and begin my daily ritual of highlighting. I don’t pay a lot of attention to Professor Ingram calling roll till he says my name.
“Here” I raise my hand, not even bothering to look up.
“Ahh, the girl who nearly ran me over earlier. You know, I really wanted that coffee.” He smirks. My eyes shoot up in shock and all the blood rushes to my face as a few people start laughing. I never like being the center of attention. It makes me uncomfortable. Yet here I am with everyone looking at me. The girl who almost trampled the new teacher. “I’m so sorry” I murmur.
“It’s fine. At least I know you will run over anyone to make it to my class on time.” He says as he writes something on the class roster. Embarrassed is a complete understatement of what I feel right now. As Professor Ingram lectures, he makes eye contact with me a few times making my heart jump. I’m not a huge fan of eye contact either. It’s weird to have to stare into someone’s pupils. Turning back to my notes, I decide to just focus on my notes so whenever he looks at me I’ll be looking down.
“I think he is looking at you” Mya leans over and whispers, interrupting my deep train of thought. My forehead creases “No, he isn’t. He is probably looking at you.” I push my glasses up to get a better look at the notes on the board.
“Yea, you’re right. I do look cute today” She smiles, flipping a loose curl over her shoulder.
“So are you calling me ugly?” I cut my eyes at her.
She snickers “No! You are beautiful, but you didn’t put on makeup today. You look pale, yet weirdly blotchy. It’s not a good look.” Reaching over, she goes to pinch my cheeks and I slap her hand away.
“Shut up!” I giggle. We laugh quietly.
“Ms. Smith, It’s nice that you find my lecture so humorous. I’m sure the class would love to hear the joke” Professor Ingram’s eyes a piercing through my soul making me feel violated. The air catches in my throat and I forget that my highlighter is still pressed against the paper, most likely bleeding through the pages of my notebook.
“Um….I…I didn’t mean to laugh during your lecture, sir. I’m sorry” He crosses his arms “See me after class, Ms. Smith” He continues talking and I’m sitting here, nerves running amuck about why he wants to see me after class. I make a personal vow to never talk in this class again. Sighing, I start to write down the key points in his lecture when my pencil breaks, adding insult to injury.
I groan, softly.
Today just gets better and better.