Kara began reviewing her paper in earnest, her head beginning to throb at her temples. She had been staring at her laptop screen for a couple of hours now as she continued working on the assignments that she had due this weekend.
For the past two days, she hadn’t seen Adam much. After the awkward moment in the bedroom where he had bluntly implied that she quit asking him questions he didn’t wish to answer, Kara had made herself scarce. The fact that she had been falling behind in her classes because she was spending her time so focused on Adam, helped her to stick with the decision to stay in the Library, that had quiet study spaces, for extended periods of time every day.
The lack of distractions and the rollercoaster of emotions she had felt herself riding since the past week had thankfully not affected her grades and she was able to complete a huge chunk of work that had been on her to-do list for a long time.
Beside her, a pretty blonde gave out a sigh of frustration. Alice shared a few classes with Kara and they had spoken to each other a couple of times. Today, when Kara had been looking around for an empty space to study at, Alice and her small group of friends had been in the vicinity.
Alice had spotted Kara searching for a spot to sit down and had waved her over. Her major was Psychology too and she planned to minor in Business. Although Kara didn’t know much about her, she did know that Alice was here at University on a full scholarship and had a brilliant mind. She wore her dirty blonde hair short in a pixie cut and had hot pink-framed glasses that sat just a bit low on her nose. Her style was mostly Gothic but it seemed to suit her just right. Besides, she was sweet, fun to talk to and had a great sense of humor. Kara also admired the beautiful tattoo sleeve on her left arm.
“Did you get yours done with?” She asked Kara, her eyes bright behind her glasses, her nose slightly upturned.
Kara smiled at the cute picture she made.
“Almost.” She answered, combing the wayward strands of hair that fanned her neck.
They had been working on this paper for around four hours now with just caffeine for sustenance.
“Ugh.” Alice groaned, curling into herself. Around her, her classmates groaned simultaneously. There were two girls who had joined in a little later along with another girl and two guys. They were all working on a couple of assignments together and were helping each other out.
“Do you want to get something to eat?”
A chorus of yeses went around the group.
Kara decided to opt out, wanting to finish her paper and head home when it was still early. She had promised Meagan that she’d cook today if she was home before her and she still had to get a couple of groceries for it.
“Can I get you anything, Kara?”
She turned her head at the voice and saw one of the guys looking at her expectantly. She took a second to recollect his name- Emerson.
She smiled but shook her head. “No, but thank you. I’m going to stick with my lemonade and try to get this done in the next half hour.” She pointed to her half-full cup.
“I promised my roommate that I’d cook tonight.” She explained with a shrug.
Alice smiled down at her as she stood up to grab her coat.
“Sure, we’ll be back in a couple of minutes. Emerson, do you want to keep her company?”
Kara looked between the two of them. That wasn’t necessary.
To her surprise, Emerson nodded quickly. “Sure, can you get the regular for me?”
“Of course.” Alice waved to the two of them as she headed out with the others.
When they left, Emerson looked back at her and smiled. Kara gave him a quick smile and turned her attention back to her laptop.
She was almost done with this.
A minute later, she heard him speak. “Do you have plans for the summer?”
She looked up to find him staring at her. Kara thought about it, “I’m applying for an internship actually. I’m hoping to gain some experience in the field before I begin working full time after graduation. I’m still debating whether I should go ahead and get my Masters degree.” She lay her pen beside her book. “What about you? Do you have plans?”
Emerson nodded, “Yeah, actually I do. I interviewed last week for a position in Clinical Psychology. I’m still waiting to hear back from them. If I do get the job, I’m going to move to Washington for the summer.”
Kara smiled, “Wow, that would be amazing!”
Emerson chuckled and twisted his pencil between his fingers, “Yeah, I’m really excited about it.”
“I really hope you get the job then.”
“Yeah, me too. I haven’t traveled around that much and this would also give me the chance to visit a new state.”
“It sounds exciting! I have a couple of places on my bucket list too, I’d love to take a world tour someday.”
He smiled at her, his eyes soft but bright and Kara had to look away. She had to admit that he looked cute. He had dark brown wavy hair cut short and blue eyes. He wasn’t as tall as Adam but Kara was sure that he had a couple of inches on her. He was dressed in a light blue shirt with a pair of faded black jeans and wore rimless glasses that made him look like a scholar. She had seen him a couple of times in the classes that they shared but hadn’t really had the chance to speak to him till today.
From the corner of her eye, she saw him looking her way again and felt the color rise to her cheeks. Was he staring at her?
Kara shook her head. She was just overworked and needed to take a break.
She began taking notes again, trying to figure out if she needed to improve on any portions of her assignment before submitting the final copy.
“Hey, what are you doing this weekend?”
Kara turned in his direction again. “The weekend? I’ll just be working on the final project for one of my courses. How about you? Are you doing anything fun?”
Emerson looked at her for a second, “Yes actually. A couple of my friends are having a small party on Saturday.” He looked down at his keyboard and then looked up again, “Would you like to join us?”
Kara picked her pen again and stalled. She had been hoping to have the weekend to herself so she could spend some time with Adam. Thet hadn’t really seen each other a lot these past couple of days and she knew that she missed him, more than she could admit.
“I’ll have to take a raincheck on that. I’m not sure how long I’ll be occupied with the project. But if I’m done quickly, I’ll be sure to let you know.”
Emerson nodded with a smile, “Sounds great. It’s going to be in the Clubhouse at The Edge Apartments. I think it’s supposed to begin at around eight in the evening. There’s going to be food and maybe a couple of games and stuff. Do you know where the place is?”
Kara nodded, “Yeah, I do. That’s where Alice lives, right?”
“Yeah, the party’s organized by her best friend.”
“Wonderful.” Kara made a note in her book at the top right of her page.
Emerson gave her a big smile, “I’ll look forward to seeing you there.”
“Thanks, me too.”
They chatted a while longer and then Kara went back to her assignment. When the others returned, she was done with her part. After hanging around a couple of minutes more, she packed up and then left, surprised to notice that while she stayed, Emerson barely took his eyes off her.