I let Wyatt do most of the talking as he led me to the coffee shop. I nodded when appropriate and smiled here and there, but honestly, my mind was still back with Greyson.
My heart is telling me to go back and find him.
My mind is telling me that I would be putting him in danger.
I must have forgotten to appear engaged because Wyatt started waving his hands in front of my face.
“Emmy! Hey, are you okay? You seem a little out of it”. Wyatt’s confused face came into focus when I turned my head to his direction. I noticed he was holding a door open for me. I gave him an apologetic smile and stepped through the door.
The warm and inviting smells of the coffee shop enveloped me. The sound of the espresso machine caught my attention and I realized I never responded to him.
“Yeah, I’m fine. It’s just been a while since I’ve taken classes so I think I’m just a little overwhelmed is all”. These half-truths seemed to fall from my lips before I even realized what I was doing. I had never been a liar, but it seemed like my new circumstances kept asking me to blur the lines of truth.
“I was going to ask about that. I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but you do look a little older than most freshman, so I just assumed you were an upperclassman taking an elective course like me”. Wyatt playfully nudged my shoulder with his as he spoke.
“Umm... I took some time off. Ya know between high school and college to figure stuff out. I wasn’t ready to go to college yet so I had to wait”. What I didn’t say is that my waiting was involuntary.
Before he could respond we got to the front of the line and the barista asked us what we wanted to order. Wyatt spoke first.
“I’ll have a medium hazelnut latte, and whatever she wants”. He ordered so quickly I didn’t have time to look over their menu. I went with my go-to and hoped they had it.
“Could I have a medium London fog with a little lavender flavor please?“. My voice sounded breathless and I hoped the barista didn’t think I was trying to hit on him. Luckily, he didn’t seem to notice and put in our order without any questions.
Wyatt asked me if I would go pick out a table while he paid, so I perused the tables until I found one by the window. It was a small two-seater but it would suit our purposes just fine. I had class in about 30 minutes so I couldn’t stay long anyway. As I looked out the window and onto the street I took in the passing faces and hustle of the city.
How in the hell did I manage to find Greyson in a city this big, and how am I going to deal with it?As I was trying to wrap my head around that thought, Wyatt came back with our drinks. He set mine down in front of me and settled into the seat across from mine. As he was taking off his backpack I took in his features.
He had blonde hair that was cropped close on the sides and hung a little longer in the front. He was nice looking and reminded me a little of myself before everything happened. He seemed to have a joyful personality and I don’t think he took anything too seriously.
“So, what do you have going on for the rest of the day?” Wyatt smiled at me and I got the sense he had an underlying motive for the question. He was nice, funny, and handsome. But he wasn’t . . . them. As much as I wanted to be his friend, I had a feeling he might want something more.
“I have class soon so I’ll probably start walking over in a few minutes. Then I’m just going to lay low at my apartment for the rest of the day. I want to get my bearings for tomorrow and just relax”. I hoped my response came across nice, but firm. I liked my space and considering I spent nine years never being allowed to do what I wanted, I was going to revel in anytime alone I could get. Wyatt seemed to pick up that I didn’t want to hang out with him later because his smile slightly turned to a frown.
“I get that. First day jitters, especially if you’ve taken a break from school. If you want we could study together for Sociology, but I’ll understand if you prefer to do your studying alone”. He took a sip of his coffee and looked out the window as he spoke. I picked up my drink and tried it. It was really good. I’d have to remember this place.
“How about I let you know? I haven’t studied in a while so I’m not sure what my habits are yet”. I laughed as I said it. To Wyatt, it probably sounded like a normal chuckle. To me, it sounded like a jaded snort.
We talked about trivial topics for the rest of our conversation. Both of us trying to feel out the other and see if we would be friends outside of our academic relationship. When I got up to leave he passed me a piece of paper with a phone number on it.
“In case you need anything, feel free to use it”. He smiled at me and dug a laptop out of his backpack and set it on the table.
I didn’t know what to say so I simply smiled in response and left to carry on my day.