Nai walks into the garage and instead of walking to the old Subaru that she’d normally drive to school, she approaches her brand-new Lexus. Her parents weren’t kidding when they said they had a special gift for her birthday and she certainly never expected it to be a new car. As she runs her hand along the black glossy exterior, she can’t help but smile. How cool will she look pulling up to campus in this? She even opted to wear her black skinny jeans, tank, and bomber jacket to compliment the occasion. And of course, a pair of black shades to complete the look.
“Smile for the camera!” Nai is startled by a sudden flash and turns to see that her mother has taken upon herself to snap a picture. “Mother!” She laughs at her reaction as she walks towards her.
“What? It came out great, see.” She holds up her phone to show Nai and she’s pleasantly surprised to see that it’s perfect.
“Send that to me, please. I can’t wait to show it to Adam.” As she checks out her car some more, Grace leans against a BMW.
“You sure seem confident today, and less somber.” A smile forms on her lips. “Did something good happen with you and Adam? Inquiring minds would love to know.”
Nai decides to play innocent. “What do you mean Mother?”
“Don’t play coy with me baby girl, I carried you inside me for nearly a year. I know just about every mood you have, even if you don’t think I notice.” She walks over to her and places her palm against Nai’s cheek affectionately. “I know you Naomi.”
Nai looks into her mother’s eyes, which appear gentler than she’s used to seeing. It makes her feel comfortable, and allows her to be willing to confess, the basics of course. “Well, I’m not a virgin anymore if that’s what you’re asking mother.” She says it plainly, but she can’t look Grace in the eyes.
Grace sighs deeply and pulls Nai close with a hug. “I guess I can’t call you my baby anymore. When did you grow into a woman?”
Nai laughs. “On my 18th birthday mother. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t still be your baby girl.” Nai doesn’t speak so softly with either of her mother’s that often, but when she does, she must admit it feels nice. “And don’t worry, we were safe.”
“Right you are, you’ll always be my baby girl.” After another moment, they pull away. “I’m glad to hear you were safe; your mom might just kill him if he gets you pregnant any time soon.”
“I don’t even want to imagine. But no one has to worry about anything like that. Adam and I had a little discussion and are on the same page. Securing our futures comes first, domestication later. So please, I don’t want you guys to worry too much, ok?”
“Ok, we’ll do our best, But we’re always going to worry about you Naomi, because you’re our precious daughter who we love. I hope you’ve never doubted that, even when we did a bad job at showing it. I know we were often busy in your youth and you had to become independent earlier than most children, but we’re so proud of the smart, grounded, and respectful woman you’ve become. We know you’re destined for great things.”
“Thanks mother.” She hugs her once again. “I appreciate you guys and all you’ve done for me. I love you both so much, and I’m sorry for being a brat sometimes.”
“We’re happy to do it, even though you are a real brat.” They laugh. “I love you Naomi, we both do, very much.”
They pull away again and this time, Naomi unlocks the car and gets inside before they can have any more moments. “Well, I’m off then. I’ll see you later. Tell mom I said later too.” She starts it up.
“Will do. Be safe!” Grace waves her off and once she’s gone, she returns inside.
From the cover of the bushes, a pair of sharp eyes watches as the garage door shuts, retreating to the shadows as it does.
Nai pulls into a spot in Student Lot A, which is busy with student activity half after eight in the morning. Like her, most are likely here for their nine-o-clock classes as they make their way towards the main building. The campus is decently large considering it’s the main public university of Boulder and has a level of prestige as a research university. The student body is fairly large, but the campus is structured in a way that makes it never feel cluttered, which Nai likes the most as a solitary person such as she is.
However, as she steps out her car, she isn’t oblivious to the stares that she’s getting. Usually no one even noticed her in that plain, outdated Subaru that was gifted to her by her grandparents, but now; all eyes are on her as she grabs her bag from the backseat and flings it over her shoulder. She locks her convertible and proceeds to make her way towards the main academic hall.
Normally, she’d dread getting too much attention, but for some reason she feels empowered by the students who stare or whisper to their friends as she passes by. She feels as though a newfound level of confidence has come over her and she feels awesome. Perhaps she’s still feeling the effects of her weekend with Adam, but all the attention she’s getting makes her feel sexy. Perhaps it’s true what they say that you don’t feel like a woman until you’ve had sex for the first time. That’s the case for her at least.
She walks into the large lecture hall and takes her normal seat in the fifth row. It’s not way in the back, but it’s far enough from the front that she doesn’t pull too much attention from the professor. Professor Jeffrey Nicola is not opposed to calling on students from the front row to solve rather complicated physics equations. Not that she can’t handle them, but at nine in the morning; that’s not exactly what she’d like to be doing.
“Um, Naomi?” Nai is slightly startled by the sudden voice that breaks her focus as she prepares for class. She looks up to see a tiny brunette with black-rimmed glasses looking sheepishly at her. “Sorry to bother you, but I was hoping you could help me with this one problem from our weekend assignment. To be honest, you’re the only one I trust to steer me right.”
Naomi is caught off guard a bit, as she rarely interacts with her classmates. She recognizes this girl, but this is the first time they’ve ever exchanged words. She tends to get anxiety when in social situations due to her lack of confidence, but she kind of likes the idea that she might be a resource for another student. Realizing she’s yet to respond, she finally says,
“S-, sure, I’d be willing to help. What problem are you having?” The girl points to the problem in question and Nai jumps right into instructing her on the way to reach the solution. A few minutes later, the girl expresses excitement for solving it.
“Thank you so much Naomi, you explained that perfectly! I think I understand more now about Physics than I have this entire semester with Dr. Nicola! You should totally tutor.”
“I don’t know how I’m supposed to feel about that.” A young man of Asian descent enters the room. He places his folders down and then looks up at the two women. “However, if you’re talking about Miss Daniels, then I am inclined to agree. You should consider it, as you are my best student this semester and one of my best. Even Dr. Willow has said as much, and that’s high praise from her as you know. I just so happened to have posted a request for an assigned tutor for this course over the summer. I’d be delighted to have you fill the role if you are willing Miss Daniels. If I recall, Dr. Willow was considering it as well. What do you think?”
Nai feels as though everyone’s eyes are now trained on her, causing her to feel very self-conscious. “Thank you for the offer Dr. Nicola, but....” She begins to turn it down outright, but for some reason, she thinks it may not be such a terrible thing. “May I have time to think about it?”
“Of course, the deadline isn’t until May 1st. Feel free to speak with me if you have any questions.” He smiles pleasantly, and then walks up to his podium. He claps his hands a few times and then announces, “Ok class, we’re going to begin, so please take your seats.” He’s a cool guy outside of class, but when he’s in the teaching zone, he’s as ruthless as Dr. Willow.
“I really think you should do it Naomi. You’ll definitely help so many students.” The girl speaks pleasantly to Nai. “Anyway, I better go before Nicola cracks the whip down on me, but thanks again!” She trots back to her seat a couple rows up.
“Also, allow me to invite in our new transfer student. He’s not officially enrolled in this course as the deadline has long passed, but he’ll be surveying us for the remaining month. He wants to be prepared for my summer course, which will be more intensive considering I’ll be teaching the same material in half the time. He’s a smart cookie to be doing this if I do say so myself. So please if you’d welcome him.” He motions to the door.
A few seconds later, a man enters the room. From where Nai sits, she can only make out that he’s tall; though a few inches shorter than Adam, and that his hair is curly, and skin is olive. “Hi, my name is Lukas Meyer and I’m in the Accelerated Aerospace Engineering Master’s Program. I’ll be a silent observer for the most part, but I’m thankful to Dr. Nicola for graciously allowing me to survey and to you all for tolerating an outsider.”
There’s a few murmurs around the class, but he’s mostly met with silence. Finally Dr. Nicola says, “Thank you for your introduction Lukas. Please take a seat where you like. I might suggest taking the seat next to Miss Daniels, as she will get you up to speed quickly if she’s willing.” He points to Nai, and the man looks directly at her. She can’t quite meet his eyes, but she still feels bashful having been put on the spot. However, she manages a nod and without hesitation, Lukas ascends the stairs and takes the seat just to her right. “Ok, turn to page two-hundred....”
The professor begins his lecture and Nai follows along with the reading, paying Lukas little attention. She thinks she can feel him glance over a few times, but he never says a word and she makes no move to look his way. She’d rather focus on the task at hand.
The hour seems to fly by, and soon the class is letting out for the day. Nai closes her book and begins putting her things in her backpack but stops when she feels his gaze lingering a bit longer than before. She turns to him with a slight frown. “Can I help you with something?
“Sorry for staring, I just wasn’t sure the best way to start a conversation with you. Do you have a few minutes to talk? I’d like to ask you some questions about the course and for tips on how to approach the material. I won’t keep you long.” He gives her a polite smile and suddenly Nai becomes hyper aware of him.
His olive complexion has a darker than average tint, his face is broad and full, loose brunette curls with blonde streaks toss wildly about his head and match his facial hair, but most noticeable are his light eyes; like sunshine and happiness, yet they have an exotic allure that is seductive. Together with his shark-tooth necklace, black graphic tee, and skinny jeans, she gets the impression of a sexy Latin surfer.
As Nai digests his entire profile within seconds, she finds herself somewhat entranced by him and his inviting amber eyes. However most of all, she can’t help but notice that for a moment, though brief, her heart skips a beat.