He was standing in front of the cafetaria’s soup. Chicken and tomato soup, said the board. The soup inside of those pans barely looked like it. The tomato soup was thin, could have been a Cup’ a Soup with too much water. Anyway, he didn’t exactly seem happy about that fact.
‘Marco?’ Historia asked, leaning over the table. ‘What are you- oh-’ she stopped talking ‘Isn’t that Jean? From our art history?’
Jean frowned, picked up a cup once, put it back again, walked around the cafeteria, came back for the soup, didn’t buy anything.
‘You like him right? Why don’t you go talk to him.’
‘I- Uhm- He doesn’t even know me.’
‘Of course he does. He looks at you all the time?’
I stared at her as if she was crazy. ‘Really?’ She nodded with a smirk on her face. I looked at Jean again. He was still having a mental debate. I looked at the pumpkin soup I had just heated up in our class’ microwave. ‘I might.’
‘Go!’ Historia pushed my slightly, looked at the table Ymir was sitting on, and stood up.
With my heart beating everywhere except from in my chest I stood up. Something made me want to turn around and lock myself up, but Historia was staring at me from the other side of the room.
So I walked up to the soup. So I walked up to Jean. And so I tapped his shoulder.
Jean looked at me, wide eyed. ‘Marco?’
So he knew who I was. That was more than I had expected. ‘Hey.. The soup looks like it sucks, hm?’ Was that the right thing to say? Was that too much, too sudden?
‘Damn right. That’s what the fuck I was thinking.’
He smiled at me softly, awkwardly played with the cup in his hands.
‘I saw- I mean- I saw you standing here and I just heated my pumpkin soup. It’s nothing much but it’s.. Better than this.’
He stared at me, biting his lip in embarrassment . ‘That’s… good for you? Eh- So what are you doing here if you don’t neep soup?’
Now it was my time to feel embarrassed. I looked at my seat, my food on the table. ‘I have too much! I was here to ask if you wanted some.’
‘Oh..’ he looked surprised right.
‘Take that cup, we’ll share.’
‘That’s- that’s really cool of you.’ He looked at his shoes. ‘Thanks.’
I swallowed. He looked really cute like that. His ash coloured hair falling in front of his hazel eyes. I just turned around, signed for him to follow me. ‘You really think I’d come up to you just to make you jealous that I do have soup.’
He laughed while I sat down on my spot again. He took the seat next to me, glanced at the soup. ‘I don’t know. I guess I’m more used to people doing mean stuff. You’re an exception.’
I took my spoon and my bowl and scooped the soup into his cup. ‘You ought to get used to that.’
He chuckled. ‘If you’re willing to hang out with me I certainly will.’ He stared at me, wide eyed, and then said: ‘I can’t believe I just said that- oh my fucking god.’
Who could keep a straight face at that? I straight up grinned. ‘No take backs.’
‘Are you serious?’ He snorted sarcastically, a smile playing at his lips.
I’d never really seen him smile before. He was handsome with his serious- or even moody face, but his smile.. his smile was really something else. ‘Dead serious. You think I share my pumpkin soup with just anybody?’
Jean put his hands around his cup. He seemed warmed by the gesture. ‘Kind of.’
‘Well..’ I wondered if I could say it. If maybe it would be too much like I was flirting with him. I mean.. I was, but it didn’t have to be so completely obvious.
Whatever. I decided. I was a goner anyway. I’d already talked to Jean more than I had expected to do when I first saw him sitting at my art history class. He sat on the other side of the room, one row in front of me. Historia had said he’d glanced at me when I was taking notes. I didn’t know if I was supposed to believe her. He was in another department; illustration or something like that, I guessed.
But- he didn’t exactly seem put off.
‘Uhm-’ I started. ‘You’re as much as an exception as you said I am.’
He stared at me, surprised by my words. With a smile on his face he went back to eating his soup. I shyly looked away as well, ate. He had seemed to get happy at my words.
‘This soup is really good,’ he said.
‘I made it myself, yesterday. I always make way too much.’
He nodded, scraped the last bite from his cup. ‘Well, you can always bring me the leftovers. This shit is amazing.’
I looked at Historia, for some kind of comfort. She wasn’t even paying attention to me anymore. I knew she had seen that it was going well.
How was it going so well with such a beautiful boy?
‘I could also let you know when I’m making some, the next time. Fresh soup is even better.’
He smiled, leaned a little closer to me without noticing (or maybe he was just really smooth). ‘Damn, I can only imagine.’ He looked up, straight into my eyes and held them for a second. He seemed to be thinking. He frowned. ‘Eh- You- You want to get my number for that? I guess that’s easiest.’
‘Yes! I mean- that would be good.’ I sounded so excited. Freaking embarrassing. Still; functioning would get me his number as a reward. So I got my phone out of my pocket, wrote ‘Jean’ with a soup emoticon and handed the phone to him.
He bit his lip, fighting a smile.
‘What?’ I asked him.
‘You know my name.’
Shit. We were in the lecture with almost fifty people. No one knew each other. We were in completely different departments.
It was weird to- wait- ‘You said my name as well. When tapped your shoulder.’
He smiled at my phone, typed his number casually. ‘I guess I did.’
‘So?’ I asked.
‘So?’ He returned.
I rolled my eyes. ‘So, I asked a friend what your name was.’
He chuckled, handed my phone back to me. ‘So. I guess I did too.’ My heart sank into my stomach, turned around, made a storm erupt.
Did that mean he was interested. Did that mean that Historia had been right? Or maybe he had noticed me staring, and some people had told him who was doing so. Either way, he’d thought about me before.
‘Text me something,’ he said.
I texted him a gif of a dog rolling around in autumn leafs. He looked at his phone, laughed. ‘So fucking cute,’ he mumbled.
‘My favourite gif.’
That’s when one of his classmates walked up to him. I recognized the guy them as Armin, a friend of Historia and Ymir. Jean stood up right away. ‘Marco,’ I nodded. ‘I wasn’t talking about the gif.’ He said.
My damn heart.
‘Thanks for the soup,’ And with that he walked off. Talking to Armin slowly. I couldn’t help but stare at how damn good looking he was. Stare because of how cocky and brave that statement had been.
I stared until Historia came running up to me. ‘That went really well- what- what’s wrong?’
‘I guess? He called me cute?’
Historia chuckled, took my hand and pulled me off my chair. ‘Well that’s hardly a surprise. The guy is always staring at you.’
‘I didn’t know.’
‘You think I’d set you up for failure? No way.’
I smiled, bumped my shoulder against her. ‘Thank you.’
That’s when my phone vibrated. Jean had sent a gif of a cat rolling around in leafs. Then, seconds later, he sent: ‘ Ate enough with me eating half lol? Maybe I should treat u to something small after school? coffee and cake maybe :p’
Look at him, testing the waters.
‘Who’s that?’ Historia asked.
‘Jean… I think he’s.. well.. asking me on a date.’
‘Oh!’ Historia grinned. ‘So when you said it went well you meant. Really, really damn well.’
I chuckled. ‘Apparently it did.’
My eyes went back to my phone. I read the message a few times more, while Historia kept me from walking into everyone with my love filled brain. My belly was fluttering.
Who would have thought? This was reality.
'I’d like coffee! I finish in two hours.
Feel free to always eat half of my lunch tho :)'