“Okay I’m done. This is enough torture for today. If I fail, I don’t care.” Actually, I’ll sue the school for emotional distress, I thought as I slammed my book closed.
“Yeah, I’m too tired for this. I’m literally about to pass out.” Jess sighed as she stood up and tucked the binder under her arm.
I rubbed my forehead. It was around ten o’clock at Barnes and Nobles and Jess and I had been there all day (all day) studying for our hardest exam to come: chemistry. The background chatter of the café had gone, and a few hushed conversations lingered reminding us that we were not alone doing last minute study sessions. As I stretched my arms over my head, I felt my phone buzz in my sweater pocket. When I answered, my friend Ashton was on the line babbling about Applejacks. This idiot… I rolled my eyes and proceeded to pack my pencils and my notes, listening to him prattle. As I flung my backpack over my shoulder, I stopped; a peculiar sight had caught my eye. I saw a boy about our age standing in front of Jess; however, by the looks of it he appeared traumatized. His brown eyes were wide in shock, his body was tense, and his mouth was open but not a word came out.
“Hey Ashton, I’ll call you back…” I turned to Jess and looked back at the boy, “Hey, what’s wrong…?” I asked, but the boy became silent and looked as if perplexed by my question.
“I don’t know. He walked up and scared the crap outta me,” Jess laughed “And now he won’t talk.” She looked back at the boy, still struggling to come back to his senses. After a few stammers, he managed to speak, “I…uh…Are y’all going to be here again tomorrow?”
Jess and I looked at each other wondering where he was going with this.
“Yeah we will. We have to study exams,” I replied cautiously.
“Alright well I’ll come up with a better line then,” He replied and briskly walked off leaving us confused girls behind. Again, Jess and I exchanged looks.
“Do you know him?” I asked looking around the bookstore.
“No…I don’t. He just came up to me. He didn’t even tell me his name,” Jess laughed.
“I wonder if he was trying to get our number or something,” I replied also laughing about the failure we had just witnessed. I rubbed my arms and looked down at my watch. I should be getting to bed soon…
“Come on Jess, let’s leave.”
The scent of Starbucks coffee greeted us the next day at Barnes and Nobles. After walking into the chilly ambience of the bookstore, Jess and I quickly spotted our strange new friend sitting with two Indian looking boys who also appeared to be about our age. He soon noticed our presence after looking up from his study materials, but when I waved to him, the boy quickly looked back down. Wow, he is shy…that’s so funny, I thought as I stood in the line to get coffee.
“You should tell him something to make him nervous. This is hilarious, it’s like he’s traumatized,” Jess laughed. “I’ll have a caramel macchiato.”
“I’ll have the same thing but iced. Thank you,” I automatically chimed. Again I looked over at the boy. What in God’s name are you wearing…? I thought as I observed him from across the café for the first time. He was tall, of a tan complexion, and bundled up. He looks like a little tan Eskimo, I laughed in my head. I know its freezing at Barnes and Nobles, but I wouldn’t bring a thick sweater and jeans…its May! I looked down at my bare arms growing goose bumps. That boy is making me feel cold. I rubbed my arms and looked over at Jess; who was also observing at him. As if reading my mind, she commented on his clothing options.
“That weird Indian kid is dressed for forty degree weather.”
“I noticed too.”
“What are you going to tell him?” She asked with a devious smile as she picked up our ready drinks. “You should ask him if he has that line yet,” She laughed.
“Good idea,” I whispered at her and walked towards the Indian kid. The closer I walked towards him, the more concentrated he looked with his studies. This is too funny.
“Hey, you got that line yet?”
“Not yet…” he replied at his notes.
“Well okay, we’ll be upstairs… and waiting,” I laughed and looked at Jess who was holding back a laugh. “Come on, we should study.”
Four hours later, the group of boys appeared behind our table upstairs by the railing. It was still the weird Indian boy but one of the other boys seemed to have been replaced with a white kid. I shrugged and didn’t think much of them until I stood up to go to the bathroom about an hour later. My shy friend immediately turned around in his chair startling me.
“Hi, I’m Christopher Petit.”
“And how’s that make you feel.” I replied, slightly peeved because he had startled me. His face froze and I sighed, “I’m kidding, I’m Lauren, and that’s Jess.”
“Are y’all studying for exams?”
“Well we were studying for world history, but I think we’ve studied enough for today. How about y’all?”
“That’s cool, we’re doing the same. What school do y’all go to?”
“Mount Carmel sophomores about to be juniors.” I answered. “And y’all are…?”
“Jesuit Juniors about to be seniors.” Christopher replied as he shuffled around in the seat obviously disappointed with his weak attempts for small talk. However, throughout his horrible attempt at small talk, I looked at Christopher's face closely for the first time: he had a soft face for a senior, unlike many of the other guys I’ve known; and as he opened up, he was incredibly sweet.
As predicted, the day ended with me eagerly giving him my number after he unobtrusively asked. He seems like a good guy, (maybe a little weird) but I’m single so why not?
To this day, I can definitely agree that giving the weird Indian kid my number was the best decision I had ever made this past year. After getting to know him, he opened up, as well as opened me up as a better person for the rest of the world. Christopher quickly became a good friend to me and ultimately became one of the most important friendships I have ever made.
Conclusively, a few days ago Christopher and I celebrated nine months of our relationship over a homemade meal we had cooked ourselves shortly after attending an evening mass at St. Pius. Although by the story and his descriptions, one might assume he’s an introvert, I quickly became familiar to the true fun, crazy, and open side of him. Nowadays, every time I think about my first impressions of Christopher and/or tell somebody the story of how we met I laugh. My favorite part and the funniest part of the story is that the weird Indian kid I came to admire isn't even the slightest bit Indian to begin with.