Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The First Impression

I remember the young, well groomed guy who rushed into the red lift I was in a few years ago as I was rushing for my computer class. The first thing that struck me was the well groomed look he had about him. He was tall, good looking and clean shaved. He reminded me of the young officers I had seen when our school had taken us to visit the Indian ship that had docked at the Kuwait port. And it was the precise reason I turned around to take a second peek at him as I walked out of the lift.  You see, I had developed a huge crush on these officers thanks to the well groomed and disciplined aura they had around them. 

I saw this guy walk into the same institute I attended the class at and took a third good look and branded him “handsome” in my mind.  Though he appeared to be a new student at the institute, I failed to find him in the class from the next day and forgot about him effortlessly.

The next time I met the same guy, he had a completely opposite look going. As I walked into my computer institute a month after the incident, I saw the same guy talking with a group of students outside the institute. He stood there with his hands held behind his back, a rough stubble covering his face. The first thought that came to my mind was “roguish” as I walked quickly past him. I was so taken aback by the change in his appearance that it was only a hesitant smile I gave him before hurrying past him to the computer lab.  As he came in and sat at a computer next to mine, I noticed the bandaged hand he sported. I inquired about the injury and he got talking about the accident, and before we knew it, we had talked through the class time.

We had class during the same hours and that definitely made us cross each other’s paths often. Needless to say, it gave us further opportunities to become acquaintances first and friends later. In the years we remained friends, he sported clean shaved, lightly stubbled and heavily bearded look, with the first look always being my favorite. It was the look he sported on the day he came dressed to impress, he proposed and the day we met after I accepted his proposal.

I always joke that it was the bandaged hand that worked as the saving grace for him. If it wasn’t for that, and the first impression he had created in my mind, he would have been just another student who I shared the computer lab with.
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This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette

Treasure Hunt Through Melbourne

Mira remained groggy as she stepped out of the shower in the room she was staying in. Her eyes were puffy from lack of sleep, and from endless crying. All her excitement about her final day in Melbourne had dissipated after her call with Rahul yesterday. A month in Melbourne and all she had seen was her office headquarters and the hotel she stayed in. This was her day off work and she had finally decided to take a tour before she returned to India.

Last night's conversation brought unexpected tears to her eyes. He had said that her office trip to Melbourne was a blessing in disguise because he needed some time to think about their future. It came as a curve-ball to Mira who had no doubts that Rahul was 'The One' for her. Of course, she frequently chided him about his lack of romantic gestures, but she also knew that he was the more caring and stable one in their relationship. She had hoped that he would be excited about her return, but he merely sounded resigned when he told her that he needed time to think.

Mira tried dialling Rahul's number one more time and got the message that it was switched off. She heard the intercom ringing as she dropped her phone on bed dejectedly.  She picked up the phone and got the message that she had a parcel which was being sent up to her room.

“Parcel? I did not order anything”, Mira thought to herself as she collected the parcel. She opened the parcel to find a wooden box with detailed carvings on the outside. She opened the box to find a single red rose and a note.

The note read “Mira, here’s a little adventure for you to remember your last day in Melbourne by. Visit Federation Square and enjoy the view, the shows and the crowds milling around. Walk into Cup of Truth and order your favorite Vanilla Latte and ask for Jono”

Mira looked from the rose to the note wondering what was going on.

“Who….? What???”, Mira thought, confused. Though she wanted to dismiss this as a silly prank, she felt the slightest twinge of excitement within her. She always enjoyed solving puzzles, and here was one that was begging to be solved.

She dressed quickly and walked out of the hotel determined to find out what the next clue would be. She reached Federation Square and immersed herself in the crowd. She enjoyed the band performance, the art displayed and felt herself feeling better than she did in the morning.



She slipped into The Ian Potter Centre and checked the souvenirs on display.  She placed back the souvenir she picked up; it wasn't needed anymore. She felt her excitement dampened but cheered herself up. She followed the instructions and walked into the cafĂ© specified in the note.



 She joined the queue to pick up her coffee. As she reached the counter, Mira asked for Jono as the note instructed. She found a pleasant looking woman approaching her.

“Hey, what’s up?”

“Hi, I was asked to look for Jono…umm, my name is Mira….”

“So you’re the lucky girl. Here you go…Don’t worry about the bill, it’s been taken care of”, Jono handed over the latte along with another red rose with a note wrapped around it and winked at Mira.
Mira unwrapped the note and read through it in a hurry.

“Now that you've had your morning coffee, jump onto the city tram and enjoy the ride. The note included a picture of the City Circle Tram, maroon and green colored with yellow and golden borders, reminiscent of the Harry Potter train, and the train schedule.



Mira walked to the boarding point and waited for the next tram to board. She boarded the tram and found herself seated next to a few tourists who were as excited as she was about the adventure she was on. She spoke to them while trying to run through her friends list to identify who could be the mastermind behind this adventure she was on.

Mira was lost in thoughts when she felt something being flung into her lap. As she looked down, she found a pouch lying there with a red rose peeking through the opening. She looked around to find out who had dropped it off but the tram was packed. She opened the pouch and pulled out the rose. A note fell out and she picked it up. The note read….”If you’ve had your fill of the tram trip, how about a little shopping. Step off the tram and go to Queen Victoria Market. Go visit Madame Pompadour.”



Mira smiled involuntarily as she read the note. Someone knew her real well. She got off the tram with directions to Queen Victoria Market and skipped her way there. She walked in and found stalls and stalls of anything and everything she could imagine.  Mira had a quick lunch of pizza before starting with her shopping expedition.

 She picked up things that caught her fancy which included everything from cheese to candy to souvenirs, before she walked into Madame Pompadour. Mira was awestruck by the collection of everything frilly, feminine and fantastic in the shop. As she browsed through the collections, a petite lady walked up to Mira with a box with a red rose placed on top and handed it over to her.
“This is for you, love”, she said while handing it over to Mira.



Mira had expected another note from the shop but not a gift. She opened the box to find a beautiful  pink floral dress with a note placed on top.

“Mira, meet me at Eureka Skydeck 88 in this dress at 6:00 PM.” There was an admission ticket in the box along with the dress.

Mira checked the time and found that it was 4:30 PM already. She couldn’t wait till she got back to her hotel and changed into the dress. She rushed out of the market and hailed the first taxi that she found empty and gave her hotel address. As soon as she reached her hotel, she tried on the dress and found that it fit her perfectly. It was like it had been stitched with her in mind.

Once she got ready, she waited impatiently for her watch to touch 5:30 pm. As soon as it did, she walked out and waited for a taxi to take her to Eureka Skydeck.



She reached Skydeck at 4:50 pm and stepped into the Skydeck with bated breath. She looked all around and could see couples, families and other single tourists walking around, taking in the view of Melbourne’s CBD, Docklands and Yarra river. She felt a tug at the hem of her dress and turned around excitedly.

A small girl of about nine years was standing smiling.

“This can’t be right…Who is she?”, Mira started wondering if it was all a prank when the girl handed over a red rose to her and ran off to join her family with a giggle. Mira checked and saw that the red rose came with yet another note.

“A few more minutes before we meet. Please step into ‘The Edge’ and wait for me. There was yet another admission ticket to The Edge box. Mira couldn’t wait any more and so, walked into ‘The Edge’ box.



 She was entranced by what she saw. She could see the darkening sky, the lanes and roads, with the lights being turned on. She could see the sun setting and the golden, pink and blue hues that appeared to be decorating the sky. She heard someone clearing their throat behind her and turned around.

Mira stay frozen for a few moments before she realized what was going on. Rahul was standing behind her with a note in his outstretched hand. His face had a curious mix of nervousness, amusement and joy and he appeared to be watching her intently. He extended his hand and there it was, a neatly folded note.

Mira walked close to him and plucked the note out of his hand. She unfolded the note and read…

“Will You Marry Me?”

As she looked up from the note, there Rahul was, on his knee, with a ring box in his hand.
Mira nodded yes as tears rolled down her cheeks. Rahul quickly stood up and walked towards her. He gathered her in his arms and hugged her tight before slipping the ring onto her finger.
“I’m sorry for what I said….will you forgive me?”

 “I’ll consider it”, she replied as she swatted him lightly and sniffed and giggled at the same time. Rahul walked her out of The Edge cube. They walked silently to the Edge shop where he collected the souvenir photos which showed every frame of the proposal.

“Mira….am I forgiven, truly? I am so sorry for hurting you…”, Rahul said sheepishly.

“Yes you are forgiven….”, Mira smiled.

“Then will you forgive me if I told that I spoke to your manager without your knowledge and asked for a week’s vacation so that we can explore Melbourne together?”

“You did what? And Gautam agreed?”, Mira asked incredulously and got a shrug in reply.
“You know what, I take back my words. You are not just romantic but crazy….my type of crazy”, she whispered into Rahul’s ears as she hugged him tight, thinking about all the adventures they were about to go on in Melbourne.

This post was written as a part of “What’s your reason for falling in love with Melbourne” contest held by Indiblogger. Please visit the below link to know about the different activities to indulge in while in Melbourne:


Here is a sneak peek of the video that tells you how to come alive in Melbourne:


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Here’s a chance for the readers of this post to win some goodies. Tell me which of these places you would want to visit in Melbourne and why.  The best answer stands to win a voucher. Hurry up and send in your answers by January 4th, 2015.


Sunday, September 21, 2014

High School Drama - 4



She and he travelled in different circles...and why was it still so hard to brush offwhat he’d said and move on.

She had convinced herself that any feelings she had for him during the first year of school was nothing but infatuation. She had believed that she had gotten over him well and fully. But today’s incidents had shaken her faith in herself and her conviction that she was over him. It had taken nothing but a few minutes of attention from him to work her up. 

 For the first time in many months, Sam felt her eyes welling up. She didn’t want to come out of that stall ever. She could see Allie’s feet outside the stall, walking from one end of the hall to the other. 

Sam knew that she could stay in the stall for as long as she wanted, but it wouldn’t be fair on Allie. She knew that her friend would wait for as long as it took for her to come out. She also knew that Allie was looking forward to spending time with Nathan, her boyfriend, before her curfew time. 

Sam wiped her eyes and took a deep breath. She had to put on a brave face. She might be weak when it came to Alex but she didn’t want anyone else to know that. 

Sam opened the door of the booth and stepped out, giving Allie a small smile. 

“Let’s go! I don’t want to be late...Mom must be waiting for me to get back home before she can leave for the restaurant.”

Sam walked forward. She could hear Allyson trying to start conversation. She turned around quickly, and faced her friend. 

“I’m fine! If you think I’m going to spend more than 30 seconds of my time thinking about someone like him, you're mistaken. So quit asking me if I’m okay. “

Allie nodded with her arms raised. She brought her right hand to her face, pretended to zip and lock her mouth and toss the imaginary key away. She then gave Sam a salute with a solemn expression. 

Sam couldn’t help laughing when she took in her expression. She punched her friend lightly on her arm and walked out along with her. 

Just as she was about to step out of the main door, Sam heard her name being called out. She turned around in time to see her English teacher, Mrs. Jacobs walk up to her. 

“Samantha....please don’t forget about the Drama Club meeting tomorrow. We have decided on the play we’re staging for Drama Club’s annual celebrations.”

“Sure, Mrs. Jacobs. I’ll be there. Which play did we finalize on?” 

Sam asked with trepidation. Mrs. Jacobs was famous for choosing the overly dramatic plays most of the times. 

“This time, we have decided to go with.....", Mrs. Jacobs paused theatrically....and then continued, 

" Romeo and Juliet”...Mrs. Jacobs had her hands clasped together close to her chest, beaming, her excitement obvious. She looked like a child who had gotten her favorite toy for Christmas.

Sam sent up a silent prayer of thanks. She was glad it wasn’t another one of those dark and political tragedies. Mrs. Jacobs seemed to pick out. The last time, she had chosen Macbeth for the Drama Club’s annual play; there had been talks about trying to stage King Lear or Julius Ceasar this time. 

Sam would know, of course. She was one of the early members of the Drama club, and had always volunteered to assist Mrs. Jacobs with writing the script and dialogues for the plays the Club staged. 

She had resented her mom and gone on silent treatment for a week for having her enrolled into the club. But as her mom had predicted, it was her involvement with the club that had helped her get over her overly timid nature to some extent. 

Of course, the club didn’t bestow her with the much needed presence of mind and assertiveness, but she would take whatever was on offer. 

"We have a few new club members this time...That'll help when it comes to casting, dont you think, Sam?

Sam nodded in affirmation. She was just glad that she didnt have to go on stage again. The last time, they hadn’t had enough actors and she had been forced into doing the role of one of the three witches. 

 It was bad enough that she had forgotten her lines in the middle of the play, and had given the audience a good laugh at her expense. Thanks to her role, she had been stuck with the nickname “Witch of Scatterbrain-y-ille” for the rest of the term.

“We haven’t really decided on the roles yet...we’ll do that tomorrow in our meeting.”...Miss.Jacobs smiled at her. It was difficult not to like Mrs. Jacobs. It was occasionally felt that she was a little wooly-headed but she was a good teacher nevertheless.
Sam nodded, smiling at her. She tried to look excited but all she wanted was to get out of the school as soon as possible. 
 
“See you tomorrow, you too Allie”, and with that Mrs. Jacobs was gone. 

Allie looked from Sam to the retreating back of Mrs. Jacobs, sulking.

“Do I really need to come?” 

“Well...you’re technically a member of the club, so yes....you’d be expected there”, Sam said in matter of fact way as she walked out of the main entrance of the school. 

“Noooooo!”, Allie whined. 

“It’s the first day of summer break...I don’t want to come! Can’t I skip just this one?”

“Well, if you’d rather help your mom at the shop, suit yourself. It was your idea to tag along with me so that you’d be able to hang out with Nathan under that pretext. “, Sam snapped.
“You’re mean!”, Allie exclaimed and stuck her tongue out at Sam. 

Sam looked at her friend, laughing. She shook her head, smiling when Allie made a show of sulking and walked off. She could see Nathan waiting for her next to the school bus. 

 As Sam walked down the entrance staircase, she noticed Alex and his friends perched on the balustrade, chatting.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

High School Drama - 3



She knew her mom worked really hard to make sure she and Ethan had a decent life... (Continued)
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Her mom had been through a lot... she had walked out of the marriage with Sams’ father she was pregnant with Matt and with no family to turn for support; it had not been easy for her. Yet she had survived. Though she never told her, Sam was proud of her mom. Yes, she resented her mom secretly for having taken her and Matty away from dad, but her mom had done everything she could to make sure they were happy. Her mom called her her little elf....and though she made a fuss every time she called her that, secretly she being called her mom’s little elf...she smiled to herself. There was the bell....she stretched her arms out...the day was over, there was nothing that stood between her and the summer break now. Sam smiled to herself. 


She picked up her book and backpack and walked towards the door, Allyson tagging along, talking about the movie. It was yet another one of those sappy romances that Allyson enjoyed watching. She had agreed to go for it only to keep Allyson happy. 


 As she stepped out of the class, after letting those too eager to start with their summer break; which meant everyone else, Sam came to a halt. There he was, waiting outside the class, leaning against the opposite wall, earphones plugged in, looking at his ipod intently. He was nodding his head slightly, apparently engrossed in the music playing. 


“This is a first”, she murmured to herself as she walked past Alex. Allyson sniggered beside her...Sam glared at her and Allyson became silent...not for long, she was sure. 


“Do you think he was waiting for you?”


“I hope not....that’s the first time His Highness has waited for anyone as far as I can remember”, Sam replied, rolling her eyes. Allyson stifled another giggle, trying hard to keep a straight face. Why was he here...?


“Hey!”...Sam stopped as she heard a deep voice call out from behind. She slowly turned around, just in time to see Alex sauntering towards her. She noticed how his brown hair had grown out of the crew cut and had started curling a little at his neck. Her fingers itched to run her hand through his hair...Sam was shocked when she realized what she had been thinking...


He was not good for her, Sam knew, and she would never be good enough for him. As he came to a halt in front of her, Sam raised her head, locking her eyes with his deep blue eyes challengingly. 


“What?”


“Huh?”...he seemed to be surprised at the hostility in her voice. If he was waiting for her to flutter her eyelids and act like one of the other girls who fawned over him, he was in for disappointment. 


“What do you want....? Why are you following me around?”...Sam asked, with a glare. Her voice sounded too dry even to her; she hadn’t realized that her throat had gone dry. She could see that there was a crowd forming. Most of the students in the hallway were watching them. 


 “Following you? Seriously?”...there was a smirk on his face as he said it. 


“I’d rather call it stalking if someone made it a point to be in your face, wherever you went”, she continued, ignoring his jibe.


“What do you want?” 


“Stalking?” Couldn’t the jerk keep his voice down? 


“Me... stalking you? Interesting!”, Alex repeated, pointed towards him and then her, sounding amused by the idea. 


“ I came over to ask if your mom catered to private parties...my mom had met her at the last parent meeting and they had got talking; And I was stuck with the task of getting her number from you. 


I tried coming up to you in library, and you walked off. I ran half a mile so that I could give you your phone, which YOU had left behind..., and you bolted again...and now, all I wanted was to ask for your mom’s business number, and you accuse me of stalking you?” He gave her a smirk without breaking eye contact.

She could feel her palms starting to sweat....she fisted them and stayed still, refusing to be the one look away first. She felt worried that if she broke eye contact, she might either end up bolting, or worse still, punching, and breaking a very handsome looking nose...


“And of all the girls...to think I’d stalk you...”, he sounded insulted as he smirked once again, eying her up and down. 


“Take a good look in the mirror before accusing someone of stalking YOU next time”, Alex whispered as he got close to her before he crossed her and walked away . 


She heard the gasps coming from around her and wished that earth would split and swallow her right then.

“Stalking indeed”, a musical voice spoke up from behind her. Even without turning around, she knew who that came from. 


Sheila stepped in front of her and simpered. 


“I’m surprised he called you a girl!”, she made a show of looking Sam up and down, imitating Alex.

“It’d take a second good look just to make sure you’re one....I’m surprised that you had the guts to accuse him of stalking YOU”...she giggled. 


“It’s not empty heads and doll faces that make girls girls”...Allyson piped up, stepping in front of Sam.

“If I had any sense...”


“That’s enough, Allie”...Sam told her friend sternly. 


“I’ve had enough for today...”, she continued.


With whatever dignity she could muster, Sam raised her head, turned around and walked out of thecorridor, ignoring looking at Sheila and everyone else. She could hear footsteps hurrying behind her.



“You alright”...she heard Allyson ask from behind her. 


Sam chose to ignore the question. She walked straight into the restroom and locked herself up in the first empty stall she found. She couldn’t believe his words would hurt so much. 


What was wrong with her? She always knew he was one of those conceited jerks who looked down upon everyone else. She and he traveled in different circles...and why was it still so hard to brush off what he’d said and move on.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

High School Drama - 2

She looked at the phone, and back at him, her brows knit together in a frown.

(Cont'd)

What did he want from her? They had been in the same school for three years now, and he had never paid any close attention to her so far…so why this sudden interest?

“Here…take it”, he waved the phone in front of her.

“Th…thanks….I must have forgotten it”, Sam stammered as she picked up the phone from his palm. Her fingers brushed his palm…she withdrew her hand quickly, forcing herself not to blush again. If this was how she reacted just because of an accidental touch, she was in deep trouble.

Fighting the blush, she glanced up quickly and gave Alex a faltering smile before focusing her eyes on the rough edge of the tarred pavement behind him.

She wasn’t sure she believed what she had seen just now. She glanced at him once again and saw him looking at her curiously, smiling again.

“What?”….

“You look cute when you are confused….”. This time, she was surprised.  She knew that she wouldn’t be able to act nonchalant now….she wasn’t sure she had heard him right.

“Huh?”  She hadn’t noticed that he had stepped closer.

“And you look beautiful when you blush”, his voice whispered in her ears, she hadn’t realized that he had leaned in.  There was mischief in his voice, and laughter too.

She knew that she had gasped, and took a step back. She must have looked quite stupid, standing there, her face red, looking at him as though he had grown a pair of horns right before her.

Sam turned around and sprinted, climbing the steps leading to the school building, two at a time, not pausing to think about what she was doing. She turned around when she reached the top of the stairs, only to see Alex standing rooted to the spot, looking slightly shocked. If nothing else, she had managed to shock him, Sam thought to herself, as she turned around and walked into the school building, leaving him behind.

“He said what???”…..Why was everyone acting so weird today? Allyson had decided that shaking her would be a good way to make her repeat her words…

“Allie…!Quit shaking me!!!, what’s wrong with you?”….Sam pushed her friend’s hands off and walked towards the classroom.

“He said I look pretty, beautiful…something of the sort, when I blush…I’m sure he was teasing me…the stupid jerk!”…Sam spat out knowing Allyson was right behind her.

“Why would anyone say something like that if all they wanted was to tease you?” Allyson had caught up to her.  She looked at Sam quizzically…she had a point….

“What did you say?”….she was dreading this question. She could lie, and make up something…but then she was never a good liar, and this was her best friend, her only friend, she was talking to.

“Nothing…I kind of scooted”. She waited for Allyson’s reaction as she settled down at her desk, and dumped her books on her desk. She looked over and saw Allyson sitting lost in thought at the adjoining desk.

“Hmm….I guess I would have done the same thing….But why is he talking to you now? What does he want?”

“That makes two of us trying to figure THAT out…he must have had a concussion….or perhaps, he’s lost his mind”

“Yet….Strange! I think….” ,…Allyson sat back in her chair, thoughtful.

“Forget it. So, our plan for tomorrow stays, right”….Sam waved her hand in the air and leant towards Allyson’s desk. She had to divert her attention, and divert it quick or else she would have to bear with all her questions and deductions for the rest of the day. She had had enough of Alex and talks about him for a day.

“Sure……Make sure you’re on time…..I don’t want to miss the beginning of the movie!”, Sam heard Allyson exclaim as she rummaged through her bag for her glasses.

“I’m always on time…what do you mean”….before she could start arguing about it, Mrs. Roberts entered the class.

As the class was called to order, Sam flipped through her book onto the latest chapter they were discussing in class…”World History”…

This was one of her favorite classes; she had always enjoyed learning about the past, about the revolutions, fantastical wars and interesting snippets about what had happened centuries ago…it allowed her to take a peek into what had shaped up the world as she knew it now.

 But today, she couldn’t focus on what was being taught….her mind was in overdrive trying to figure out the mystery of what had happened in the present to learn about the unraveled mysteries from past.

Sam was as surprised as Allyson by Alex’s strange behavior but then she was sure that it was certainly a mistake of some sort. Maybe he had mistaken her for someone else….she couldn’t think of any other logical reason for his behavior.  Would he talk to her anymore? What if he did? How should she behave? Should she act cool…or should she show just the right amount of interest? This was so difficult; she wasn’t good at this….and why would she be? She was rarely considered pretty…with her short, curly hair, nerdy glasses and lean frame…she’d be surprised if someone looked at her and realized that she was a girl.

Sam slid the glasses up her nose and tried to focus on what Mrs. Roberts was explaining. She seemed to be talking about Classical Greece, and about the project for summer break.   She’d have to check with Allie about the project and read the chapter once again; if her mom decided that it wasn’t a good day to try out her cooking experiments. Having a mom who knew to cook had its own perks of course…but not if it also involved assisting her in the kitchen and cleaning up after her. Her mom was a fantastic cook, she had to admit…but cleaning up once she was done was a mini project in itself. She knew her mom worked really hard to make sure she and Ethan had a decent life…
  

Sunday, August 31, 2014

High School Drama - 1

 Chapter 1 – The Tempest

 “In real life, love has to be possible. Even if it is not returned right away, love can only survive when the hope exists that you will be able to win over the person you desire.”
(Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept)

….Sam read the lines once again and sighed. She looked up from under her lashes at Alex when she heard the muffled laughter from his direction. He appeared to be engrossed in looking through the books displayed while his friend lounged against one of the shelves.  She had seen him looking over a few minutes back and had wondered if it was her, or if it was just his usual casual glance around the room. A second and a sly third glance in her direction had confirmed that it was indeed her who had caught his attention. Though Sam tried to ignore it, her heart seemed to sing from the knowledge that he found her interesting. But then she could not let it show, unless she wanted to make a fool out of herself. Stupid, treacherous Heart!

Samantha continued gazing into the book, attempting to block out the flutter in her heart and the strange feeling she felt in the pit of her stomach. She knew that to anyone who looked from outside, she looked as though she was intently reading her latest pick from library; if only they knew how her heart drummed inside her. She felt she heard the sound of footsteps overpowering the ruffling sound of pages being turned all around. After a while, it stopped.  He must have left; Sam thought to herself and sighed, partly out of disappointment and partly out of relief. It was then she sensed the presence of someone standing across her, at the table.

As she looked up, her eyes took in the shoes, muscular, male legs clad in jeans, hands, specked with hair and palms resting in the jeans pockets. Her eyes continued on their way up and saw the grey t shirt which had a pair of earphone wires resting on it, squared jaw, aquiline nose and light blue eyes. Her eyes stopped at the face of the intruder, if she could call him that. Sam’s eyes widened slightly as her brain registered that it was Alex, looking at her, his head cocked sideways. He looked calm enough but his eyes seemed to be shining with something. Amusement? Excitement? She didn't know what her face showed, but whatever it was, he seemed to be enjoying it a little too much; the faint smile he tried to hold back gave it away.

Sam realized that she had been staring at him for a while…and he seemed to be waiting for her to wake up from her reverie…if only he knew that it was rather shock she was trying to recover from…shock that he was at the table which had only one extremely quiet, and inexplicably nerdy looking her sitting with a book she wasn't able to concentrate on. Sam copied him and cocked her head sideways; trying not to let him know that beneath the cockiness was a fountain of happiness that seemed under the danger of bursting and overflowing, any moment now. She’d kill herself before she let him in on how she felt about him. She leaned on to the table and blinked her eyes a couple of times, trying to act unconcerned, her toes curled up all the while, the only sign of her nervousness.

What surprised Sam was Alex’s reaction… a loud chuckle which seemed to turn all heads in the library in their direction. She sat up straight and glared at him. She hated attention of any kind, and here his highness had invited the complete room’s attention to themselves with a single laugh. She felt her ears turning hot and knew instantly that her face would soon turn a dark shade of pink. She had to do something! Sam slammed her book hard and got up from the chair, avoiding looking at anyone. The scraping sound her chair made when pushed back made her wince but she refused to look up. She turned around and walked towards the door, hoping that her actions showed her displeasure at what he had done.

By the time she walked out of the library, Sam was convinced that she had driven him away for good. She brought the book she had picked close to her chest and hugged it, telling herself that she was an idiot to have believed that he was even slightly interested in her. He must have probably come up to her to ask her about some book, or enquire about something trivial. She had made a fool of herself, without even trying. So much for trying to act nonchalant!

She sighed once again, feeling her heart crack into a million minuscule pieces. What was wrong with her anyway? He was THE most popular guy in the school, and probably starred in the dreams of every single girl within the perimeter of the school.

Being popular had some perks and one of them was that you never had to act as though you were interested in the wallflowers. Most of the girls fawned over you and fell over their feet trying to impress you anyway. Wallflowers were reserved for the less fortunate ones, the non handsome, non smart, non athletic ones. For them, these girls presented the opportunity to test their kissing (and drooling) and fondling (and groping) skills.

“Hey!”, a breathless voice called from behind.

Sam turned around and saw him standing right in front her, breathing hard, bent over and hands resting on knees.

“You walk real fast...didn’t you hear me call out?”, he asked in between the pants.

“Uhhh….me? Umm…no, I’m sorry!”….where was this going?

“No worries….you left your phone behind”, and with that Alex straightened up and stretched out his left hand, her phone resting in his palm.


She looked at the phone, and back at him, her brows knit together in a frown.