Everyone told me not to do it, that there were much easier courses that I could be taking to fulfill my physical science requirement. Take astronomy, geology, even food science. But no, I had to insist on taking the harder course so that she could prove her friends and family wrong. That I wasn’t just a pretty face, that I actually had a brain and not just looks and cheerleading skills. But I never expected it would be this hard.
The course from hell that I was talking about was Physics 151: General Physics I. To the naked eye it seemed like a generic, easy gen-ed. But it was actually a two-faced bastard, made to cause procrastinating students to sign up without further investigation past the name, lulling them into a false sense of safety. That was until they showed up to the first day of class to find that it was not as easy it seemed to be, that this physics was the one for the engineering students, one of their prerequisites. Stupidly I had stayed in the class even after hearing this, I mean if a bunch of engineering freshman were taking the course, then surely I, a superior sophomore, could handle it. Right? God was I wrong.
I got a C- on the first exam. My heart had jumped into my throat when I had seen that score staring back at me from my laptop screen. After that I had really buckled down and made sure that all my homework was done and that I was studying a little bit each day and attending every class. But it still wasn’t enough, I just scraped by with a solid C on the second exam. I still had two more exams in the semester and I needed a B+ on both of them to be able to get a good grade in the class. But at the rate I was going it didn’t seem like that would happen. I couldn’t even hate the teacher because he was really nice and understanding, but I just couldn’t seem to grasp the material.
I groaned and ran my hand through my hair, still surprised a bit when my hand stopped short, unused to the short locks. I shouldered the door open, not even looking up at the old auditorium. It had been jam-packed with around three-hundred students for the first few days, but now only around sixty or so showed up. I bee-lined for my unassigned seat, second row, three in from the left. I shuffled in, slipping my bag off my shoulder, ready to throw it under my chair, only to stop short when a pair of legs come into view. I narrow my eyes and allow my eyes to travel upward. My heart stutters in my chest as I take in the girl who has claimed my seat. Her dark brown hair falls in waves to her shoulders, a yellow beanie covering her head. She’s decked out in a pair of skinny jeans and a yellow, plaid shirt to match her beanie. She’s doodling something in her notebook, lost in her own little world. Before I can even think I blurt out, “You’re in my seat.”
I press my lips together, regretting saying it as soon as the words leave my mouth. The girl’s eyes lazily looks up at me, raising an unimpressed eyebrow. “Excuse me?”
“That’s my seat, I sit there every day,” I wave my hand at her, emphasizing the seat she’s in specifically.
A smirk makes its way over her face and she leans forward, looking behind her. She scans the back of the seat for a moment before her eyes turn back to me, eyes sparkling with mirth. “I don’t see your name on it.”
I huff, “I’ve been sitting there every class since the start of the semester.”
She shrugs her shoulders, turning her attention back to her doodles. “Well you should have gotten here sooner, princesa. Besides there’s plenty of other seats open,” her eyes dart along the row, which is completely empty except for her.
I frown, heaving a sigh before dropping my bag and taking the seat next to her. I pull the small desk out before I begin to riffle through my bag for my notebook and pen. When I have them and I’m all settled I look up to find the girl staring at me. “The entire row is empty and you had to take the seat right next to mine?”
“I like the view from my seat and this is the closest thing that I’m going to get to it. If you’re going to steal my seat then you’re going to have to deal with me,” I say stubbornly.
She glares at me for a moment, but I maintain eye contact, though it’s not easy. Her eyes are pools of chocolate and I could feel myself getting drawn into them. I want to allow myself to get lost in them, but at the same time I know I should look away, lest I scare her off. Thankfully she just narrows her eyes at me before dropping her eyes, going back to her doodle once again.
For the next few minutes an awkward silence hangs over the two of us. She scratches away at her paper, doodling random things like lightning bolts to pass the time. Meanwhile I glance around the room, taking in all the bored faces, staring at their phones until the teacher starts the lesson. I soon get tired of this though and turnmy attention back to her, “I’m Kim by the way.”
“Nice to know, princesa,” she mutters, not taking her eyes off of her paper.
“You’re not going to tell me your name?” She glances over at me, a smirk tugging at the corner of her lips. Unfortunately the teacher takes this moment to start teaching and I have to tear my eyes away from the beautiful stranger, diverting my full attention to the PowerPoint. I sit through the lesson, hastily writing everything I can down, barely understanding anything about it. I know that we’re learning the conservation of momentum, and I get the basic principle of it down. But when it comes to the practice problems he shows I can’t make head or tales of it.
By the end of the lesson my hand was cramped from all the scribbling I had been doing and I tighten it into a first before relaxing it, trying to ease the ache. “You really like physics, huh?” the mystery girl asks, causing me to jump lightly.
A snort breaks past my lips before I can stop it, “Quite the opposite, actually.” She raises an eyebrow at me, “I’m actually doing horribly in the class, I need to pay attention to try and get better than a C on my next exam.”
She furrows her brows, zipping up her bag before standing. I follow suit and we both shuffle out of the row, slowly walking out behind the other students. I figure that is the end of our conversation and that we’ll part ways once outside the building, but she surprises me when she asks, “I could, uh help you sometime if you like.”
I shoot her an incredulous look, “You don’t even like me!”
She frowns at my words, “Why do you say that?”
I roll my eyes, starting to walk in the direction of the dinning common. “You won’t even tell me your name for starters.”
She rolls her eyes at me, checking her watch. “Look I have chem in five minutes, we can talk more during class on Wednesday.” With that she abruptly turns and starts speed walking away.
“I still don’t know your name!” I yell out.
“See you Wednesday, princesa!” she calls over her shoulder.
Giddy excitement rushes through me, I haven’t been this excited to go a physics class since, well, ever. Next to me Jason nudges my shoulder, wiggling his eyebrows at me, “Getting pumped to see your girlfriend?”
I ram my shoulder into him, making him stumble to the side. “She’s not my girlfriend, and can’t I just be excited for physics?”
“No you hate the class,” he deadpans, “Besides, all I’ve heard for the past day and a half is about this sarcastic little shit in your physics class who stole your seat. Going on and on about how beautiful her eyes are, how her raspy voice is just great, and-”
I punch his shoulder, “Shut up, so maybe I have a crush on this mystery girl, but nothing’s going to come of it. I don’t even think she likes me.”
He shoots me a glare as he rubs his shoulder, “Dude she said she’d help you in physics, if she hated you she definitely wouldn’t be signing up to spend more time with you.”
He’s got a point, even though everything else about our interaction makes me believe that I’m just a nuisance to her there’s no denying the fact that she offered to spend more time with me. Clearly she can’t dislike me that much, right? Unless she plans on making fun of me the whole time for being unable to grasp General Physics. I groan, “I’ll see you later, Jace.”
He sends me an encouraging smile before I break away from him to head into Hasbrouck, the building I have come to loathe. When I make my way into the auditorium I find that the mystery girl is in my seat again, glancing up at the door. We make eye contact for a moment before she looks away, a bit of pink tinging her cheeks. My hope rises, maybe I do have a chance after all.
I make my way over to the seat next to her, hesitating for only a moment before sitting down. “Hey there, Sarah.”
She turns to me, confusion plastered all over her face. “Who’s Sarah?”
I shrug, “Not you, I guess. I don’t know your name so I thought I’d give it a go.”
She rolls her eyes at me, “So you’re struggling with physics?”
Deflecting I can deal with that, “Yeah it’s not my strong suit, I took it to get rid of a gen-ed. Obviously it’s not my strong suit, unlike you Carry.”
She sighs in exasperation, “Not my name, princesa. Besides, physics not for everyone, what’s your major?
“Journalism, how about you, Lucy?”
She groans, “Would you quit it with the names?”
“Not until you tell me yours,” I shoot back.
She just shakes her head at me, “I’m a mechanical engineering major,” she mutters, “So what are you struggling with?”
I shrug, “The problems, I guess. I usually can understand the theory behind everything, but when it comes to putting it to action I crash and burn.”
She nods, biting her lip. My breathe catches, oh god was it hot in here or was it me? Actually it’s the mystery girl, she was definitely causing the room to go up a few degrees with her presence. I wet my lips, my mouth suddenly dry as I find myself staring.
“Kim!” she says, snapping her fingers in my face.
I blink, dragging my eyes away from her lips up to her eyes. “I can’t meet with you tonight at 4 if you want? We could go to the library and I can see if I can help you.”
“Really?!?” I ask, excitement evident in my tone. I throw my arms around her without thinking, “You are literally a life saver!” She squirms in my grip and I let her go, unable to stop smiling. “I can pay you if you want? I’d feel bad if you helped me with nothing in return.”
The girl hesitates for a moment, her hands playing with a hairband, showing her nerves. “Well you could buy me dinner, in return.”
Oh my god. Did she mean as in a date? Was I making this up? I didn’t even know this freaking girls name, Christ I had only known her for a few days. But god would I love to take her out on a date. “D-dinner?” I somehow manage to squeak out.
She blushes and turns red, dropping her face down to her notebook. “Forget it, it was a stupid idea.”
“No!” I yell, drawing the attention of a few people in the area, I don’t care though because a pretty girl might have just asked me on a date and I can’t let her think that I don’t want it. “I would love to have dinner with you! Would, uh, would it be a date?” My voice cracks on the word date and I cringe, god I just sounded like a fifteen-year old boy.
She looks at me through her lashes, biting her lip once again. “Yeah, as a date.”
A grin stretches across my face. “Deal, but only if you tell me your name.”
She rolls her eyes at me, but holds out her hand. “Give me your phone.”
“That’s not your name,” I shoot back, even though I’m unlocking my phone and handing it to her anyway. She rolls her eyes at me and takes the phone. She messes around with it for a moment before handing it back to me.
I look down at it to find that she has created a new contact and sent a text to herself with my name. I quickly look at the top of the screen to find the name Trini with a yellow heart next to it. I grin, turning back to her, “It’s a pleasure to meet you Trini.”