Backpack? Check. Keys? Check. ID Card? Check.
Rey does one final glance over her dorm room before she takes off to her class. As she’s descending the stairwell, she realizes that she forgot to eat breakfast. Again. It’s become a pattern. Oh well, maybe she can swing by the quick service shop on campus afterwards and grab a muffin and maybe a bottled Starbucks drink.
It’s a gorgeous day outside. April in California is one of the more tolerable months, as the summer is unbearable. She leisurely makes her way to class, knowing that she’s going to arrive early anyways so no use in rushing.
Rey glances down at her phone. It’s a text from her friend, Rose.
Rose: Hey! Wanna grab a bite tonight and study for our chem test?
Rey: Sure! How does 7:30 sound? I have an erra-
As Rey is typing her message to Rose, she runs into this guy and drops her phone and her keys. He drops all the papers that he is carrying.
“Hey! Watch where you’re going!,” she says, flustered. She glances up at a face that she doesn’t recognize. A handsome face, but still a stranger to her
“I’m not the one texting and walking so don’t blame me,” he says, holding both hands up in an innocent surrender. Ben has never been so stunned by a girl before, even though she was clearly angry and frustrated with him.
Rey picks up her phone and her keys and he picks up all of the papers one by one. “Whatever, I have to get to class anyways.” She resumes typing to Rose and continues to her class.
Rey: Sure! How does 7:30 sound? I have an errand to run and then I can meet you.
Rey sends the text and walks into her class. She is a good 15-20 minutes early, a usual for her. She likes to be early so that she can pick her seat and get set up without feeling rushed. It also allows her some peace and quiet, something that she doesn’t always get from living in a dorm with a bunch of other girls.
She opens up her phone and starts a new text to Rose.
Rey: Ugh, as I was walking to class this morning, this oblivious guy ran right into me and I dropped everything I was holding.
Rose: Uhhh were you looking at your phone distracted tho?
Rey: Whose side are you on anyways? Ugh nvm.
Rey begins to scroll through social media to kill the time. Her usual routine, which was Snapchat, Instagram, and then Twitter, saving the best for last.
Before she knows it, students start to trickle into the classroom. It’s about 5 minutes until the class starts and the professor arrives. When it’s time for the class to start, the professor begins to make an announcement.
“Hello class. Today is the day that we are starting our group projects for the semester. As you already know, I will be pairing you up with one another. When you hear your name and your partners name called, go over to sit next to them for the remainder of the class and that will be your sit for the rest of the semester as well,” said Professor Hux.
Great, Rey thought to herself, peace and quiet ceasing to exist and she knew it.
The professor starts to call on names and finally Rey hears her name called and...Ben? She wasn’t exactly sure who that was. She looks around the room until she sees a boy standing up, also looking around for her partner. It couldn’t be. The guy who ran into me this morning as I was leaving my dorm?! Ugh. Of fucking course. It’s just my luck.
Rey starts to walk towards him and Ben has a sheepish grin on his face, with his hand on his neck.
“Hey, I just wanna say sorry for earlier. I want to start this group project off on the right foot. I just transferred to this class because it worked better for my schedule,” he says with a genuine tone in his voice.
“It’s fine. Let’s just assign roles to each other so we both do the same amount of work. We’re gonna have to do work outside of class too. Do you live on campus?,” Rey asked.
“No. I’m actually living with my friend Finn, who goes to the local community college. We’re living in an apartment together,” Ben said matter of factly.
So that explains why she doesn’t recognize him, she thought to herself. If he didn’t live on campus and they hadn’t had a class together before, there would be no other way for their paths to cross.
“Okay well I have study groups in the evening with my friend Rose but I guess I could move one of them so that we could get together and study. How does Wednesday night sound?,” she says, studying his face. She was still annoyed with their first encounter but she’d be damned if she didn’t admit to herself that she was momentarily lost in his gaze.
“Wednesday works! Finn might be around too so just ignore him if he annoys you,” he said.
For the rest of the class, they listened to the lecture, sitting next to each other. Rey occasionally made glances at his hands. They were huge. She had to look away. She was getting ahead of herself. They were just partners for this project, and besides, he clumsily knocked into her. She didn’t like him. And she definitely was not counting down the time until their study session on Wednesday...