I was sitting at the coffee shop with my friend Janice. she was going on about the French book she was reading for her extra college course she decided to take this year.
We had different views on college:
Me, I preferred to do what I had to do and get out of there as quickly as possible with a degree in my hand and a job I can rely on. Her on the other hand took as many classes as possible a then went back to college for a second time. Why she does this, I don't know.
I had a hard time even paying for my four years at college let alone going back for who knows how many years for a degree I'm not even going to need. I work hard not to go into debt and don't want to relive any of it.
But I guess if i think about it, it kind of makes since why she goes to college. She didn't have to pay for it. Her parents played for college every time she wanted to go. And I understand that her parents want her to have a good education. But how are you going to learn anything if everything is handed to you on a silver plater? That's why I've been trying to get her away from the her safety net of parents and have her do things on her own like go to the grocery store or get gas by herself. Baby steps.
In turn she's been helping me with my social skills. Don't get me wrong, I can talk to people just fine. I could start a conversation with anyone.... Besides guys around my age. Correction, guys around my age and personally found attractive. Even then it's not my social skills that stop me, it's the fact that most of the time I just don't want to talk to the guy. A concept Janice does not understand very well. She likes talking to guys. She likes the attention. She likes smiling and flirting. She's the one guys want until they really get to know her and realize she's a little more then what they signed up for or she has no interest after she decides she doesn't like them any more. That's why she doesn't understand when I simply say "I don't want to talk to them."
"I swear this is the third time today. You're not even listening to me," Janice said with a huff. Her brown hair parted away from her face when she let out the huff only for them to fall back in place against her cheeks.
"You got a new book for your French class. You can only understand half of the book but hope by the end of the year you will be able to read it fluently," I mumbled against the inside of my right hand that rested against my chin. I glanced up at her only to see her green eyes already staring at me intently.
"I don't like you sometimes, you know that?" She asked but I only nodded my head.
"I don't really care."
"Of course you don't." Janice opened one of her math books on the table. I've always had to help her with math, that and science. But I didn't mind. It gave me something to do to pass the time. Days seemed to blend together and my constant routine never seemed to break, even when I would try to stay in late or take the day off.
I reached out to take the book when suddenly Janice leaned closer to me and held the book tighter to where I could see the white of her knuckles.
"Guy sitting on the far wall, nice hair, clean shaven face, loose tie around his neck, go," she whispered and leaned out of my way so I could see. My eyes found him instantly. He was decent looking, he looked stressed if anything. His dark hair was tousled as though he had recently been running his fingers though. His back was slightly hunched over table with one arm resting against it and the other with a pencil in his hand that he was holding by the eraser. The stress lining his forehead made him look ten years older than what he must be. I'm thinking, 24, 27?
"Nice," I muttered and Janice smirked.
"I think you could have decent conversation with him." Janice glaced over at the guy only to see him gathering his things. "Might want to make it quick. If you don't I will." She stared me down but all I did was grab the book she was raving about.
"Have fun," I flipped open to a random page and tried to read it. Ah French, a language I can not read. I kept my eyes on the page but couldn't help glance at Janice when she stood from her chair and made her way over to the nicely dressed man.
I have this strangle feeling in my gut saying I should have done something. I don't think I should have let her walk over there, maybe it was something about him, I don't know what it was, it could be the way the air shifts around him almost as though light and dark are at a constant battle. It could be because in the back of my head there's a little voice that says "run as far away as you can". Or, of course could be the fact that I'm antisocial and the mere thought of talking to another human being is scarier than close to anything in the world.
But I still have this feeling....
You're over thinking things again, Ava, I thought and rested my chin on the palm of my hand.
For all you know he is a nice guy who just a little time getting used to, you can't judge a book by its cover no matter how.... Dark... it looks.
I glanced up and looked over at my friend Janice again to see her toss her head back laughing at something he had said.
I just tilted my head to the side not really listening to what they were saying. I wonder if a guy will ever take the time to get to know me and not run or hide away. My eyes closed on their own but my mind took off thinking about all those times I had scared guys away. I could never control my tone of voice very well, I thought and pulled on a piece of loose brunette hair that had fallen out of the bun placed on top of my head. A couple years back I had tried to help this guy with an assignment. Granted I hadn't talked all day and I was just sitting in the corner when I notice that he was struggling and I had leaned over and pointed out where the answer was. I hadn't noticed anything wrong with my voice until he lowered his head and glanced at me real quick then went back to work.
So now i make sure to talk at least to myself or Janice, so if my voice is off or if I need to change it, I can. I no longer have to ask myself "how many times have you spoken today?" Or "did that sound mean?" anymore though.
I saw Janice's hand jester in my direction and looked closer at her book. Please leave me out of this, I begged. But when I glanced their way both of them were looking at me.
Janice please, keep this one to yourself. I don't care if you want to date him or just be friends, but don't get me involved, don't try to play hook up.
"Hey," a male voice said and I looked up to see him.