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The History of Art and Other Things

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For the life of her, Lindsey Horan could not remember why she agreed to this. It was already bad enough that it was 8 o’clock on the first Monday morning of her Junior year and she had practically fallen asleep in this lecture hall chair two seconds after sitting down. 

And then she had to worry through her Russian-sounding professor warning the class that it was going to be a very difficult class, especially for non-art majors. How she had ever allowed her academic advisor to convince her art history would be the perfect way to get her arts credit without actually having to do any art is beyond her. Maybe she would have been better off taking ceramics or something, even though she’s sure her math-brain couldn’t handle that.

On top of all of that, her professor had just introduced the TA specifically for last names H-O, and Lindsey is absolutely sure her math-brain can’t handle her. Her name was Emily Sonnett, and Lindsey is sure that this girl, with her oversized hoodie and Adidas stripe sweatpants, her white-blonde hair tied in a sloppy bun, and the softest, sleepy smile is the hottest girl she’s ever seen. 

She had introduced herself to the class as Sonny, a Junior art major, sociology minor who loved drawing and playing basketball, and had smiled that absolutely adorable smile when she had said that she was excited to help spread understanding and awareness of art.

There’s absolutely no way that Lindsey can last a whole semester in this class she’s absolutely going to need help from the TA in if this girl is going to be the one staring at her as she asks stupid questions.

 

 

Lindsey has never been smooth . She’s not even really sure what that word means. Her whole life, she’s kept to math and soccer and her best friend Mal and it had all led her here. She had an athletic scholarship at a school that also happened to be top-ranked in their computer engineering program, and luckily Mal had been able to follow her here on her own athletic scholarship after graduating high school a year later. 

And you would think that being a bisexual and finding both men and women attractive would give Lindsey more opportunities to date. She has a bigger dating pool, it should be easier to find a significant other but NO. Lindsey has never had a girlfriend, and she has only had one pathetic boyfriend in high school that she didn’t even particularly like. He was the captain of the boy’s soccer team, and she was the captain of the girl’s soccer team, and it was like they were expected to date and so they did.

But Lindsey has never even kissed a girl, and with every day that passes, she’s starting to feel like that bisexual label she’s been proudly wearing for a little over two years now is a joke because she’s never had any experience with girls. She’s a fraud. A fraudulent bisexual.

A fraudulent sexual . Because she’s only ever had sex with her pathetic ex Russell and she’s pretty sure he had no idea what he was doing. And it’s not like she’s ever gotten into a situation that could lead to sex. Good sex, bad sex, straight sex, gay sex, any type of sex. And even if she did get into one such situation, she’s not sure she would actually get sex out of it because she would trip over her own feet or drop her stuff on the floor or forget all the words she’s ever learned until the other person would eventually lose interest.

It’s not like she hasn’t thought about it. Sex. Lindsey has plenty of fantasies. She’s read fan fiction, she’s watched porn, and she’s masturbated (sometimes thinking about men, sometimes thinking about women, sometimes thinking about both. Because Lindsey has plenty of fantasies). But too frequently, Lindsey questions if she’ll ever get to experience any of these fantasies, because she keeps thinking she’ll never get anyone, of any gender, to have sex with her.

Because Lindsey was not smooth .

 

 

Lindsey finds herself staring at the back of Sonny’s head for the rest of the class, drifting off into one of those fantasies (It’s just syllabus day, she can’t be missing much, right?). She imagines what it would be like to pull out the hair tie that so precariously holds those thin blonde strands in a loose bun and watch Sonny’s hair as it falls down her back. She imagines what it would feel like to run her hands through Sonny’s silky-looking hair. 

Her breath catches a little in her throat as she realizes that Sonny has a tattoo on the back of her neck, what looks to Lindsey like a thin, black cross, and she thinks that might absolutely be the hottest thing about Sonny so far. She can’t stop herself from imagining what it would be like to trace that tattoo with her fingers, or to kiss a line down the back of Sonny’s neck, stopping to lick at that bit of inked skin. 

She watches as Sonny leans over to the TA next to her, Lindsey remembers her as being introduced at the beginning of the class as Tori or Toby or Tobin… watches as Sonny tilts her head so she can whisper something in Tori or Toby or Tobin’s ear and Lindsey gets a view of her profile, her jawline and her hooded, squinty eyes and her dimple… watches as Tori or Toby or Tobin whispers something back to her and Sonny tips her head back in laughter, exposing more of her neck and Lindsey… 

Upon further consideration, Lindsey thinks this class might not end up being so boring after all.

 

 

Professor Andonovski, or Vlatko, as he had instructed his students to call him at the beginning of class, ends the lecture by telling everyone to come and introduce themselves to their TA, so the TA’s can start to match names and faces to help facilitate a collaborative environment where the students feel like they can ask for help. All that bullshit professors say on the first day of class.

Lindsey is not smooth . She is sure that if she goes up to the front of the room to introduce herself to Sonny she will make an absolute fool of herself. She will trip over her own feet or drop her stuff on the floor or forget all the words she’s ever learned. But despite her better judgment, Lindsey finds her feet carrying her towards the front of the lecture hall, towards the small crowd of people already introducing themselves to Sonny and Tori or Toby or Tobin and the other TA, some boy maybe named Andrew?

As Lindsey waits at the edge of the crowd, she finds she has plenty of time to think about how this was a bad idea. Getting this close to Sonny, actually trying to talk to her, being in this class in the first place, it was all a bad idea. Terrible really. She can’t do this. But just as she’s about to turn around and walk out—

“Hi I’m Emily Sonnett, but please call me Sonny. And you are…?”

There’s a pale, freckled hand extended in Lindsey’s direction, and Lindsey’s eyes follow the hand up Sonny’s arm and to her slim shoulders that are swimming in her oversized hoodie, to her neck that Lindsey can still remember fantasizing about marking up with her teeth and tongue and lips, and finally to Sonny’s eyes. Lindsey can’t quite make out what color they are, almost blue, almost green, almost grey, they’re the most captivating things Lindsey has ever seen and…

“Not a handshaker?” Sonny’s eyes sparkle as she almost smirks at Lindsey’s silence and starts to lower her hand when…

“Lindsey,” her voice comes out thick and raspy, and her hand acts on auto-pilot as it juts forward to grab Sonny’s retreating hand. Her large hand seems to envelop Sonny’s small one, and Lindsey gets a little lost in the sensation of it, staring dumbly at her TA, oh my God this girl is her TA , until Sonny pulls her hand away from Lindsey’s grasp carefully but a little awkwardly and Lindsey snaps herself out of whatever trance she was in.

“I take it you’re not an art major? I feel like I would remember seeing you around the art building if you were.” Sonny smiles at her, a sort of mischievous smile, her eyes sparkling even in the harsh light of this lecture hall.

  Lindsey swallows before speaking. “Um, yeah, I mean, no, um, not an art major. Computer engineering. I have a math brain. Don’t know much about art. Don’t know anything about art really…” Lindsey shifts her weight between her feet uncomfortably as she realizes that she’s rambling. Good job Linds. Smooth. 

Sonny laughs lightly. Lindsey thinks she could probably get lost in the sound of that laugh. “I take it I might be seeing a lot of you this semester. Here let me give you my number just in case you come across any questions on the first reading.” Sonny holds out her hand palm up and Lindsey finds herself just staring at it again because…

Well there’s no way this is happening. Lindsey is not smooth . She doesn’t just get girls offering her their numbers. Even for school things. This just doesn’t happen to her. 

But she flicks her gaze up from Sonny’s palm to her eyes, and the softness there makes Lindsey reach into the pocket of her sweatpants and pull out her phone and place it in Sonny’s hand. 

“Uh, Lindsey you’ll have to unlock it first,” there’s just a hint of teasing in Sonny’s tone.

“Right, right, sorry,” Lindsey shakes her head a little to clear it and plucks the phone back out of Sonny’s palm, holding it up so the FaceID can recognize her. Way to go, Linds. Good first impression. 

“It’s early, I get it. Takes a while for brains to wake up. Even big, beautiful, math brains.” Sonny smirks a little as she hands the phone back, her contact info still displayed on the screen. “Just text me your name so I know who it is. It’s nice to meet you Lindsey.”

Lindsey doesn’t think her name has ever sounded better coming out of someone else’s mouth.