I listened to Leo and Lydia talk. They talked as if they had known each other in a before life. I was amazed how easy Lydia could turn a simple thing into an interesting debatable topic. While I was severely cracking my head on what I could add to their talk except make it more awkward.
I stole small glances at him. Sipping slowly from his fountain of wonder. From the way his mouth would form when he had an argument to present. The way a small dimple would appear on the corner of his lower lip, when suppressing a smile. The lips. They were plum red, one would think he applied lipstick. Had he? What if I ran finger over them, would they feel soft like they appeared? What if I took a bite off them, would they taste my my favorite plum jam? Whoa. Hold up Prudence, where did that come from.
Maybe I should focus my eyes on something else that doesn’t look edible. His face didn’t help either. I hung my head low. His hands were resting on the table, covered in a suit. Better.
Now I had to wonder. How his arms looked like under the dark material. Did he have tattoos? I had to ponder on how big his biceps were. We’re they strong enough to rip....
I caught a movement near my eyes. It took me a moment to realize Lydia was waving frantically for my attention.
“Daydreaming?” she questioned. I felt my body heat up with embarrassment. Did she know about my thoughts?
I took a gulp from my coffee which was now cold.
“How was your first test?” Leo asked.
“It’s a touchy subject” I said once I swallowed the lump that almost choked me.
He smiled and didn’t peruse the matter further. Wise boy.
“Thanks for the coffee Leo. I have a class in the next thirty minutes, so l’ll leave you kids alone”
Lydia was already on her feet. What a liar. She had no class. Just her ploy to get me alone with Leo. Who would keep the conversation going? What was I going to say to him? I was going to bore to death.
I turned to find his eyes trained on me. I looked down at my coffee shyly. Suddenly the coffee seemed more interesting. I continued to stare at it, thinking. What do I say? What do I say? Weather is always a good icebreaker.
“How are you....”
We all spoke at the same time.
“You go first” I said.
“Make this an exception” it was better if he initiated the topic. Maybe it will be more interesting with open ended question, considering mine which may require a single phrase like ‘fine’. Leaving no room for further discussion.
“You are a shy one”
“Only to strangers, but once I grow comfortable around someone. You won’t believe am the same person.”
“You hunted me down, I believe am past a stranger” he smiled.
I felt my body heat up with embarrassment and looked away. What kind a girl pulls a cheap move and hunts down a guy he doesn’t know of her existence. A psychotic stalker. I bet that was the reason why my he didn’t reply my text messages and my facebook friend request was still pending. I really need to stop throwing things out of proportion.
“Don’t over think it. It’s just I have never had any girl do what you did. I liked it. I like you”
My head snapped up. Just to confirm that I heard it correct. I was his first stalker and now I hoped I’d be his first in many things. Focus on what’s important Prudence. He said he likes you. On your second encounter.
“Really?” my voice came out sharp and excited. I immediately placed my hand over my mouth. What was getting into me. Everything I was doing and saying painted me a desperate person. It normal to be excited. Stop over thinking.
“Is it hard to believe? Give yourself some credit. You deserve a whole lot”
“Thanks Leo. You aren’t that bad. I mean you are a drink mixology, good looking, You look smart.... I mean you must be smart to run for presidency. I know the University requires a 3.5 and above GPA. What else can’t you do?” I blabbered.
“I can’t cook but I can clean real good” he thought for a moment before adding “I also have moves like Jagger” he colly answered.
“Why don’t we go to my room and I’ll show you”
What? He might as well pick up my jaw from the floor.
Thank God I was seated otherwise. His words would have really knocked me down. He was asking me to his room. What was that supposed to mean?
I stayed silent, arranging the perfect words to deny his proposal without sounding like a prude. And thereafter he leaves or I leave. I never contact him again. He was a jerk just like rest.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea” Jerk.
“There you go again. Over thinking. C’mon you will love it. I have a fun simulation game. It’s your loss if you don’t come”
Game? A dancing game? If you wanted to catch me. Set any PS game as a bait and I will fall right into the trap.
“Brace yourself. Take a napkin, a fork and a knife. Because you my friend just got served” I let my head fall back and laughed. I three hours ago, I didn’t even imagine I would have this much fun when Leo invited me. Neither did I know this morning that I would end up in Leo’s room.
“It’s beginner’s luck. No one can be that good”
“You really are a sour loser. And am sure you are also unpleasant winner” I teased.
“Am not. Am just being a proper gentleman by letting you win”
I huffed. “As if”
He jumped on the couch beside me. Puffing and huffing. We had played non stop since we got here. And he only won once. Sometimes you have to boost a man’s ego before you deflate it ruthlessly. I won four times.
“Do you want something to drink?”
I released a breath out of my mouth before speaking. “Water”
He stood and walked towards the small refrigerator. The room contained a bed (bigger than mine), a classic leather couch and a cable TV. He lived in flats that were allocated to the body of the student council. The rooms were twice ours. Private bathroom and a shared kitchen area that was on the ground floor.
“The water is not that cold. I had unplug the fridge earlier to adjust the temperature. Everything was frozen, is that okay?” he said. And I made a mistake of looking up. The vest that had earlier covered his chest was gone. He didn’t have any tattoos. What a loss for art to lose a great exhibition, such as his body to showcase its artistry.
An involuntary gasp escaped through my mouth. I watched how his abs contracted and expanded at the same time. I was feeling hot. Very hot, in need of a bucket of cold water, drenching me.
“Blah blah blah...okay?” I didn’t catch a word he said only okay. Suddenly my mouth was dry and palm sweating.
I nodded and shook my head confused.
I continued to stare at his exposed chest. Counting all the visible scars. One day, I would love to listen the story each of them hid. Even if he got them by falling off a bicycle. I wanted to hear them all.
“I get you a cold bottle of water from the tuck shop. Give me few minutes” now I heard what he said.
“Huh” what was he talking about?
“I have asked you, if you were okay with not so cold water and you said. You weren’t okay with it”
“i am okay with it. Sometimes I tend to get lost in my own world”
“I have noticed”
He handed me the glass of water. Trying hard not to look below his stomach when he stood before me. Even after I took the water. He continued to stand there, looking down on me. He was doing it on purpose. I drowned down the water. It didn’t help my dry mouth. The heat from his body, dried it again.
I should probably leave. This was a bad idea. Prudence was a thoughtful girl. Before making a decisions she would draw a chart. Put down advantages and disadvantages. Then my conclusion would be drawn on what outweighed the other. The girl that was in Leo’s room wasn’t me. It was her confused ghost.
I lifted my head to look at him. I hated looking up at someone. I opened my mouth to tell him that I should leave yet his eyes Held me back. I didn’t want to leave. I wanted to stay a bit longer. To do what? You may ask. I also had no idea.
“May I use your bathroom. I feel a little sweaty and sticky” In my defense. I didn’t say that. It was the ghost that spoke.