"Did you guys know that Salvador Dali thought he was his dead brother's reincarnation?"
"Clarke, why do we want to know this?"
Clarke put her pen down in the crease of the art history textbook. "It's interesting!"
Raven rolled her eyes, "Not to an engineering major."
"Or an undetermined major," Octavia piped up.
Clarke sighed. "Fine. Don't appreciate my passions. Some best friends you are."
Octavia picked up Clarke's light blue sticky notes and scribbled a sentence down. She pulled the piece of paper off the top of the stack and tapped Clarke on the arm. When Clarke looked up, Octavia bopped her on the forehead, effectively sticking the piece of paper to her. Raven and Octavia snickered.
"Really, O?" Clarke ripped the sticky note off of her forehead to read it. It said: ask me about boring ass art history shit!!! Clarke rolled her eyes, crumpled the note up, and threw it at Octavia. Clarke smirked when it hit her nose.
Over the PA system, Clarke’s name was called.
Clarke rose from her seat, "I'll be back."
Once Clarke was around the corner of another shelf in the library, Octavia pulled another sticky note from the top of the stack and placed it in the front cover of the textbook. She wrote another short sentence on the blue paper before flipping through to the page Clarke had been on.
Clarke returned moments later with the same book in her hands.
Octavia grinned conspiratorially, "Finally got your own?"
Clarke groaned as she sat back down, "Finally. A month in and they couldn’t order enough textbooks? So annoying. Now I don't have to share it with every other student who got screwed over by the bookstore." Clarke closed the borrowed book and slid it to the other side of the table. She opened up her brand new textbook and got back to work.
The light blue sticky note on the inside cover rested between the thick cover and thin page it was pressed on, waiting to be seen.
Lexa strolled into the library. It was early on a Saturday morning. Most students were still sleeping off the hangovers they had acquired the night before. Lexa, though, was eager to start her day of studying.
She walked over to the desk she normally claimed and set up her laptop. The wall on her right held an outlet for her laptop charger and a window that was small enough as to not distract Lexa from her studying, but big enough that she would get some sunlight through it. The natural light always perked her up when she was reading, as if she was a solar panel being recharged. Once her laptop and books were arranged nicely, she realized that she was missing that one book for that art history class that she needed to fulfill a requirement. The damn bookstore hadn’t had the correct edition of the book when she went to go buy it, so like the rest of the class, she was forced to share the one in the library as they all sat on the waiting list.
One of the benefits of being up early on a Saturday morning to study was that she didn’t need to fight for the book.
Lexa drifted between the shelves until she found the book she was looking for. She pulled it from the stack and walked back over to her seat. As she sat back down, she had a thought. Maybe the edition was online somewhere. An e-book or PDF would be tedious to go through, but at least then if someone else had the textbook, she wouldn’t have to share.
Lexa was not one to share when it came to her books.
She opened the front cover of the book to get all of the authors’ information down. She was met with a blue sticky note instead. It read: text xxx-xxx-xxxx for cool art history facts. Lexa peeled the sticky note off of the book and stared at it. It was likely a prank. Who would put their own phone number into a textbook like this? It was just asking for spam calls. She shook her head and stuck it to the top of the desk. She would throw it out later.
It was just after one when Lexa’s stomach began to get the better of her. The library was starting to bustle with people and she decided that maybe it was time to go back to her apartment to finish her studies. She closed up the books around her, placed her notebooks into their specific binders, and began packing up her bags.
The blue sticky note was still stuck to the surface of the desk. Lexa looked at it for a few seconds before gently lifting it off of the table. She opened her art history notebook and stuck it to the inside cover.
Maybe a few art history facts wouldn’t hurt.
Clarke’s phone vibrated from across the room. She darted over to grab it, happy for a distraction. Studying for online quizzes was not how she wanted to be spending her Saturday afternoon. She had a text from an unknown number. Her lips fell into a slight pout as she opened the message.
A sticky note told me to text you for cool art history facts.
Clarke stared down at the text. Who the hell gave out her number to a stranger just so they could ask her for art history facts?
Clarke rolled her eyes. Probably Octavia. She ought to go give her roommate a piece of her mind for giving out her number to random people.
Instead, Clarke found herself sitting on the edge of her bed and thinking.
A distraction was a distraction, right?
After a few minutes of deliberating, Clarke thought of the one she told Raven and Octavia last week in the library.
Salvador Dali thought he was his dead brother's reincarnation, who was also named Salvador.
Clarke watched the message deliver and then set her phone back down. It was only a moment later when it vibrated again.
That’s interesting, I suppose.
“Ha! I told you, Octavia!” Clarke said aloud.
“Told me what?” Octavia appeared in her doorway.
“That Salvador Dali thinking he was his brother’s reincarnation is interesting.”
Octavia’s nose scrunched up, “Who the hell agreed with you on that?”
Clarke waved her phone around in Octavia’s face. “The stranger who just texted me looking for art history facts. That backfired on you, didn’t it?”
Octavia grinned, “No, it worked out perfectly. Now when you get the urge to blurt out something boring, you can text someone instead, and I don’t have to listen to you.”
Clarke rolled her eyes, “Why are you my best friend again?” She closed her bedroom door in Octavia’s face.
“Because I loved that you punched my brother in the face when we were six, remember?” Octavia called through the door.
Oh, yeah. That. The playground days.
Clarke glanced down at her phone to find another message from the stranger.
Got any more?
Clarke’s lips tugged up into a smile. Her thumbs tapped the screen quickly, another sentence forming under them.
Lexa’s mornings started off the same every day since last Saturday. It was the same routine she had held since the beginning of college two years ago. A pot of coffee would be put on. Always a full one. The skillet would be pulled out from under the stove and placed on the front burner. Two eggs cracked into the middle of the pan once it was hot, along with a handful of chopped green onions and bell peppers. The scrambled mix would be cooked, just under done, since the residual heat in the pan would finish off the eggs while they sat on the stove.
A piece of bread in the toaster. It was lightly toasted. Still soft in the middle but with just enough crunch that it would stand up under a light coating of peanut butter. The toast and eggs made it onto the plate together. A large cup of coffee and a glass of water accompanied it on the table.
Lexa would then scroll through her notifications on her phone if she had any (usually they were emails from her parents asking when she would come home to visit; how her grades were; if she had found a girlfriend yet). But since last Saturday, there was a slight change in her morning schedule.
Now, she would send a good morning text to a stranger.
They only talked briefly every day. Lexa would send a text in the morning over her breakfast asking if the stranger had anything good to share this morning. Her phone would get a reply around lunch. Her regards to the fact sent by midafternoon, only to receive a string of emojis back from the sender, usually reflecting the stranger’s general feelings about the fact.
It was something she had grown accustomed to in the past week. The stranger, who she assumed was also a student at the university (how else would their number end up in a textbook?), was now part of her daily activity.
Lexa enjoyed it more than she cared to admit to herself.
She had friends, sure. But she stuck to herself for the most part. The only exception to the rule was Anya, who casually forced her way into Lexa’s life years ago and was now comfortably stuck. Anya was a few years older and already out of college, leading to less of her presence in Lexa’s life.
Neither of them were very happy about it, but life got in the way.
So, here she was, eating her breakfast and looking down at her phone, trying to think of a nice good morning message for her the art history buff on the screen. It didn’t take long for her to think of one.
Good morning, Van Gogh. What have you got for me today?
Lexa finished off her breakfast and headed for the shower. When she returned to her bedroom, matching towels wrapped around her head and torso, there was a text from her mysterious art history buff. A blip in her morning routine.
Actually, I’m more of a Monet girl myself. Did you know that Monet’s father wanted him to become a grocer instead of a painter?
Lexa smiled down at her phone. The art history buff was a girl. This was the first personal fact that had been shared between them. She typed in her reply.
I did not. Why is Monet your favourite?
Lexa set her phone down on her bed and dropped her towel. She stood in front of her closet and pulled clothes off of plastic hangers. They were placed next to her buzzing phone. Lexa picked it up once more.
I like Impressionism. The nude female form in any type is a close second though.
Her eyebrows raised at that statement. The art history buff enjoyed the female body. The nude female body. Lexa glanced down at herself and blushed. Here she was, still naked after her shower, answering a text from a girl who she had never met, who just told her that she enjoyed a woman’s body.
The heat rose in her chest and filled her cheeks. Lexa put the phone back down and got dressed quickly, pretending that she didn’t care that this stranger enjoyed nude women.
Once dressed, Lexa braided her hair in the signature side braid she usually kept it in. Her phone vibrated once more.
You know, I’ve been sending you facts for a week now and I haven’t gotten anything in return.
You have gotten my appreciation.
It was hardly a minute when Lexa got a reply.
Appreciation doesn’t pay the bills.
The silly smile was still plastered on Lexa’s face.
Spoken like a true starving artist.
Lexa walked out into the kitchen again to get another cup of coffee. The phone buzzed in her hand twice in quick succession.
Thanks for reminding me that my fridge is empty.
Cmoooon, there has to be something to give me in return. What’s your major? Send me some cool fact about whatever you’re studying.
Lexa thought about it. She was an English major. She could do something similar and send Clarke literature facts. Or maybe quotes from her favourite works? That seemed like it could create a lot of long messages.
And then it hit her. Word of the day.
I’m an English major. How about a word of the day?
Lexa sipped her coffee and waited for a reply. It came moments later.
Baffle me with your knowledge, bookworm.
Lexa snorted. Bookworm? Her mind searched for a word worthy enough for the stranger. She wondered if she had as much difficulty thinking up interesting facts and that was the reason it was always the afternoon when she got a response. Lexa finished off the rest of her coffee before a word popped into her mind. Well, if she enjoyed the female form, and was a woman herself, this word would fit.
Something we both have in common, I assume? Gynaecomorphous. (adj.) Having female form or characteristics.
Her phone buzzed again. Lexa opened the message to see the nerd emoji accompanied by a stack of books and an insect. She looked closer at it. Lexa shook her head in mock disappointment and typed out her reply.
That’s a caterpillar, not a worm.
That’s a caterpillar, not a worm.
Clarke huffed at her phone. The stranger apparently going to let it slide that it was not the correct insect.
Cut me some slack. Apparently Apple hasn’t gotten that far in their emoji creations to realize how much we need the worm emoji.
“Clarke, are you ever going to get out of bed?” Octavia yelled as she knocked on the closed door to Clarke’s bedroom.
Clarke groaned in response, “No! I don’t want to go to class today.”
Octavia pounded harder on the door, “I don’t care if you don’t want to go. You’re paying for it so get up.”
Clarke’s morning routine generally went as such: she slept in until she was almost late, Octavia and Raven would tag team to drag her out of bed, and then she would slip into her morning class looking sort of presentable just before the class began. Her professors had yet to call her out on the almost-lateness since she hadn’t actually been late, but the looks on their faces every morning made her think they were quietly scolding her.
The only reason she was already awake this morning was because the good morning text from her stranger roused her from sleep. The stranger that Clarke was slowly hoping would become less of a stranger.
Octavia’s voice permeated her door again. “Griffin, get your ass up. You’re already awake this morning and that’s a better start than every other morning. You might actually get breakfast if you do.”
“I’m making pancakes!” Raven called through the wooden barrier. “Don’t let these wonderful, delectable, hot cakes made in a pan go to waste.”
Clarke looked at the door. Pancakes were rather appealing. She tossed the blankets off of her body and yanked the door open. Octavia and Raven stood there, fists up, ready to bang on the door again. “Chill, guys.” Clarke pushed between her two roommates and sat down at the table in the kitchen, phone in hand. “I was promised pancakes, where are they?” She waved her empty hand around, “And a coffee, please.”
Raven walked into the kitchen. She pulled the plate out of the microwave and set it in front of Clarke. The steam wafted off the small stack. Raven placed the maple syrup and butter on the table. Clarke hummed in appreciation and began preparing her pancakes as she liked them.
Lots of butter and lots of syrup.
“Want some pancakes with your syrup, Clarke?” Octavia asked as she sat across from her.
Clarke stuffed her face with pancakes and shrugged, mumbling words around her full mouth.
“Chew and swallow, then speak, young lady,” Octavia chided.
Clarke rolled her eyes but obliged. “To each their own,” she stated. “Let me eat my pancakes however I want and I won’t comment on how you eat yours practically dry.”
“They aren’t dry, they just aren’t swimming in sugar like yours are.”
Clarke opened her mouth to refute her words but Raven stepped in. She lifted the fork filled with pancake from Clarke’s plate and stuffed it in her mouth. Clarke yanked it out with a glare on her face but chewed nonetheless.
Her phone vibrated on the table. Another text from her stranger. Clarke’s lips tipped up into a smile.
“Is that who I think it is?” Octavia asked with a sly grin.
Clarke nodded, “She’s an English major. She’s going to send me words of the day.”
“What’s her name?” Raven asked.
Clarke shrugged, “I don’t know.”
“What’s she look like then? Where’s the selfie of her you’ve probably saved on your phone?”
“Non-existent. We haven’t sent each other much.”
“Why not?” Raven and Octavia asked in unison.
“You two are scarily good at that,” Clarke said, waving her empty fork around and ignoring their questions. She shoved more of her breakfast in her mouth and opened the text.
Okay, you’re forgiven. Honestly, I’d rather be a book-caterpillar. At least they get to transform into butterflies one day. Worms are destined to be in the dirt forever.
“Alright, Clarke. If this girl is making you this happy before it’s even eight in the morning, you need to learn more about her,” Octavia stated as she cleared her plate, about to leave the kitchen to finish getting ready.
Clarke shrugged again, “Why? It would ruin the fun of just talking about art stuff and flirting harmlessly.”
“It could be even more fun if the flirting gets out of hand,” Raven wiggled her eyebrows suggestively.
“I don’t know. It’s doubtful anything would go that far.” Her roommates groaned together. “Quit doing that, it’s creepy.”
“So figure out who she is without asking her for details,” Raven suggested.
Clarke squinted at her, “And in what way is that not suggesting I stalk the entire campus to find one girl just because I don’t want to push her into sharing details about herself?”
Raven held up a finger, “It’s not stalking, it’s getting to know your peers.” Clarke shook her head. “Listen, you already know she’s a girl. She told you that she’s an English major,” another finger lifted beside the first. “She’s got to be in your art history class, otherwise she wouldn’t have seen the sticky note in the first place.” A third finger joined the first two. “That’s three details that narrow it down considerably. How many girls in art history do you know?”
Clarke thought about it. Not a lot. There were over two hundred people in that lecture hall every class. Almost all of them were young women. “Four? Maybe? None of them are English majors.”
Raven grinned, “There you go! Four down, plenty to go. Now, isn’t that the lecture you have this morning?”
Clarke nodded. She saw the look on Raven’s face and sighed. “That’s your ‘I’m playing matchmaker face’ and I’m not having any of it.”
Raven rolled her eyes, “Just go to class looking cute as hell and see if you can get any details out of your classmates.” She pushed her chair back. The empty plates on the table were deposited in the sink. “Think about it, you could be having intellectual conversations and getting laid.” Raven winked at Clarke and left her sitting at her spot in the kitchen.
The more Clarke thought about it, the more she agreed with Raven.
Morning, English nerd. Hast thou gathered another word pour moi?
That was a mixture of Shakespeare and French. A bad mixture at that.
Yeah, yeah, I know. Word?
Habromania. (n.) Extreme euphoria.
Interesting choice. Van Gogh once ate yellow paint because he thought it would make him happy. Perhaps even habromanic.
I knew that one already. I like Van Gogh. I think another fact is in order.
So, if you’re a starving artist, tell me, did any artists ever die from starvation? How was that term even coined?
It was a typical figure in 18th and 19th century Romanticism. There was a painting of Van Gogh’s home that showed how little he had. Featured a lot of paintings and literature. Shouldn’t you know that, being an English major and all?
Palter. (v.) Talk or act deceitfully.
Oh haha. So clever of you to work in your word before I could.
What are you up to this weekend?
Becoming bibacious. (adj.) Fond of drinking. A friend is forcing me out to a bar.
Van Gogh was an alcoholic, among many others.
So was Hemingway. Apparently we creative types enjoy our booze.
So was Hemingway. Apparently we creative types enjoy our booze.
Clarke grinned down at her phone. Octavia peeked over her shoulder at the text. “Party Animal Clarke Griffin can agree to that.” She set down the three shots on their table and signalled Raven to come back over. “To getting through midterms!” The three girls clinked their shots together and threw them back.
The burn and warmth in her stomach felt nice. It had been too long since Clarke had last been out. She focused back on her phone to send a reply.
Amen to that.
She stuck her phone back into her pocket as Octavia dragged her out onto the dance floor. They moved together to the beat of the bass and laughed. Clarke turned around, back to Octavia to grind along with her. Her eyes were scanning the room for a new dance partner, knowing full well that Octavia was doing the same. Their dance usually pulled a few eyes towards them and they used that to their advantage.
Clarke had all of her assets on display. Her hair was down and had a natural curl to it. The skirt she wore was tight to her hips and was short enough to uncover enough of her soft thighs to get eyes, but not too short to only get eyes on her ass. Short heels on her feet elongated her legs and displayed nicely toned calf muscles. And finally, the low cut shirt on her torso showing off the lovely cleavage that she had been graced with.
Clarke looked hot. She knew it. And she wasn’t afraid to use it to her advantage.
Clarke caught piercing green eyes. The woman wasn’t too far away, maybe ten feet at most. Clarke watched her eyes roam over her body. She moved her hips with more purpose. When their eyes met, Clarke felt like they were looking into her soul. She broke the contact for a mere second and when she looked back, the woman was gone.
Clarke shook off the disappointment.
“She looks good moving her hips like that. I bet you could get it.”
Lexa quickly pulled her eyes from the tantalizing blonde on the dance floor. She stepped out from the blonde’s line of sight when their eye contact broke, hiding behind a group of guys. “Anya, I’m not looking to get laid. I know midterms just finished but I still have a considerable amount of studying to do.” She yelled over the loud music. Lexa sipped her rum and coke and glanced up at her friend.
“You study too much and have no fun at all. Where are all your friends?”
Lexa held up her phone, ready to make a comment when Anya cut her off.
“Some random girl in one of your lectures that you text every day but haven’t actually met doesn’t count.” Anya pushed herself off of the bar. “Live a little, Lex. College years only happen once. Have some fun.”
Clarke didn’t end up getting laid. All she earned was a hangover.
A rather bad one.
I retract my statement of loving alcohol. It is the worst thing in the entire world and I’m never drinking again.
Clarke placed her phone on the pillow next to her and groaned. It felt like nails were being systematically hammered into her head as slowly as possible. The vibration next to her a few minutes later didn’t help her head but it made her heart jump to life in excitement.
Rue. (v.) To bitterly regret something one has done or allowed to happen.
Clarke rolled her eyes at the text. Her thumbs typed out a reply.
You’re not hungover?
Of course not. I know how to handle my alcohol.
Clarke laughed aloud and then held her head as it throbbed harder at the sudden noise.
And what, pray tell, does someone without a hangover do on a Saturday morning?
Study at the library as a diligent student does.
You should have more fun, college only happens once.
My friend told me that last night too.
Lexa set her phone back down on the desk, now on silent. She wanted to get ahead in her reading and if she was being distracted by the texts she wouldn’t retain anything. So here she sat, her final two hours in the library for the day, reading all of the material she could.
Her stomach made her get up like it normally did. Breakfast only kept her going for so long. Lexa decided to go home and eat, then go for a short run. The physical exercise would help the mental exercise stick better.
She gathered her things, slowly putting all of her notes in order, before pushing in her chair and walking out the swinging doors. Lexa took the stairs slowly, letting her legs stretch out from sitting for so long. She passed a few people going up. None of them dragged her attention away from her slow descent.
It was when she got to the door that she finally thought of something other than the muscles in her legs whining at the movements. A familiar blonde. The same one from last night.
Lexa kept to the side of the stairs, pretending to look at the bulletin board stationed at the bottom. Her eyes roamed carefully over the blonde. She wasn’t in the same type of outfit that she had last night. Her hair was now in a messy bun, lazy sweatpants pulled up over her hips, an old baseball shirt for the Red Sox covering the cleavage Lexa had been privy to last night.
Clearly she had a good one. The annoyed look on her face as she followed her brunette friend up the stairs showed all too much of the hangover and resulting headache she must have.
“Raven, I don’t even know why we’re here. We both know we won’t study.” Her voice was deep and husky.
A shiver ran through Lexa’s body. Her voice was heavenly sinful. The way it settled in Lexa’s chest was enough to push her out of the library. She had things to get to today. Lusting over someone was not in her schedule today.
“Aren’t you too old for college house parties?” Lexa asked Anya as she handed her a beer.
“No one who can pass for a college kid is too old for college house parties. Free booze is free booze, I’ll take it.”
Lexa shrugged and twisted the cap off of her beer. The lukewarm bitter liquid slid down her throat. “So, why did you drag me here? We went out to a bar last weekend, wasn’t that enough fun for you?”
Anya grimaced at the taste of the cheap beer and shook her head. “You weren’t drunk and you didn’t get laid. Not nearly as much fun as you should have had.”
Lexa rolled her eyes. Another gulp of beer. She spoke once the group of guys that were surrounding them had moved along. “I’m not interested in a hangover when I need to study.”
Anya groaned. “You need to have fun sometimes, Lexa. Live. Enjoy yourself. Get on a table and dance. For once in your life, do something without thinking it through six times around the sun.”
“I don’t think things through that much. I’m just cautious,” she mumbled.
“Throw caution to the wind tonight. Go make out with a hot girl.” Anya paused her short rant. She grinned at Lexa who swallowed the last of her beer. “That blonde from the bar last weekend is standing over there. Take a shot and go make out with her.”
Lexa glanced over her shoulder. Indeed, the blonde was there. Her brunette friend from the library was right behind her. They laughed at something they whispered together. The blonde’s smile was everything she could want and more.
Anya shoved a shot in her hand. Lexa raised her eyebrows at her friend but took the shot glass. The burning liquid quelled a little bit of the nerve, but not all of it. “I’ll wait for her to get a couple of drinks in.” Lexa said. “And then I will try.”
Anya grinned like the Cheshire cat. She clapped Lexa on the back, “Atta girl.”
Clarke was getting drunk. She wasn’t totally hammered yet, but she was getting there.
She was getting there and she wanted to get some tonight. Something. Anything.
And green eyes were catching hers every few seconds.
The same green eyes from the bar last week, coincidentally. She wasn’t escaping Clarke tonight.
The room was dim but the staring contest they were having was growing old. Clarke broke it, finishing off her drink in a quick tilt of her head before sauntering towards her. The brunette stood straighter, as if looking to make the best impression on Clarke.
It wasn’t long until Clarke was leaning up against the wall next to her. “You’ve been staring at me,” Clarke said, eye roaming casually over the woman. She watched the ball in her throat jerk as she swallowed. Clarke quirked an eyebrow and their eyes met once more.
“I could say the same to you. Even last week, at the bar.” The brunette was certainly confident in herself with the help of a couple drinks.
Clarke nodded, “You left before I got a chance to make a move.”
“Are you going to make a move now?” she asked.
Clarke moved closer, legs brushing up against the brunette. They were almost standing chest to chest. “Maybe,” she replied quietly.
Green eyes flitted over her face, dropping to her lips. A tongue flicked out to wet them in preparation for what’s to come. Ultimately, it wasn’t Clarke who made the first move.
The brunette leaned forward, closing the minimal distance between them. The small intake of breath Clarke felt against her lips was all she needed to return the kiss immediately. Their soft lips moved in tandem. The brunette pushed her body against her own, leaving no space between them.
Hands moved to tangle in blonde waves. They pulled Clarke in to her further, if that was even possible. A tongue against her bottom lip, pushing gently past plump lips to massage her own. Clarke’s body was on fire. Never in her life had she felt like this over a simple kiss.
It ended as quickly as it started when a loud alarm began blaring around them. They jumped away from each other. Red and white lights flashed around them paired with the ringing of the fire alarm. People began herding out of the house and the two women were pushed apart from one another in the fuss to leave.
Clarke scanned the groups of people, looking not only for the brunette, but also her friends. Raven caught her eye, standing next to Bellamy. Disappointed, she made her way over to them. “What the hell happened?” she asked, annoyance clearly written on her face and in her voice.
Raven shrugged, “Someone decided to pull a prank, I guess.”
Clarke rolled her eyes, “Are you fucking kidding me.” She scanned the crowd more heartily, hoping to find her new friend. She was nowhere to be seen.
“What’s got your panties in a bunch?” Raven shoved Clarke when she didn’t respond, “Were you about to get laid?”
“Well now I’ll never know.” Clarke huffed. “Let’s just go home.”
“Damn, you have the worst luck,” Anya laughed as Lexa recanted her story. They were walking back to Lexa’s apartment. Anya had been waiting to snatch her up as soon as she left the house.
Lexa rubbed at her face, “I didn’t get a name. No number. No way to contact her.”
“She goes to the same school as you, how hard is it going to be to find her? You saw her twice in one week. Just go back to the bar next weekend and hope she’s there. Or the library. You’re bound to run into her again.” Anya wrapped an arm around her shoulders. “Don’t worry, Romeo, you will find your Juliet.”
Lexa pushed the arm off of her, “That’s probably the worst love story in existence.”
“You were obsessed with it when we were kids.”
“I was young and stupid.”
“You’re still young and stupid. You didn’t even get her name.”
“Shut up, Anya.”
Clarke woke up with a headache. Most of it was annoyance at herself from not getting a name from the girl whose tongue was in her mouth rather than a hangover.
What a bonehead move.
Alas, there wasn’t much she could do about it except constantly watch for her around campus or forget about her entirely. Another face added to her list of people she had made out with at a party.
What she could do was keep up with her English major. She pulled her phone out of the pocket of the jeans she wore last night as she thought of a fact for today. Her phone chimed before she began typing.
How was your night? Was it a calamity? (n.) An event causing great and often sudden damage or distress; a disaster.
Hardly a good night but I wouldn’t want to be dramatic about it. How did you guess?
She pulled herself out of bed and meandered into the kitchen to find food. She scavenged for anything edible in the fridge and came up empty handed. The cupboards weren’t looking any good either. Clarke sighed and resigned herself to scrounge for cash between the couch cushions to be fed. Her phone chimed again.
Mine wasn’t either. Had its moments though.
Octavia and Raven entered the apartment loudly. Clarke looked up from her phone to see bags in their arms. She sighed in relief at the food. “I love you both so much.”
“Where’s my sugar then, sugar?” Octavia asked, arms wide open.
Clarke shook her head but leaned into her anyway. Octavia squeezed her tight and placed an obnoxiously loud and wet kiss on her cheek. Clarke grimaced and wiped away the saliva. “You’re so gross.”
“I bought you food and you’re calling me gross? How rude. Isn’t that incredibly rude, Raven?”
“Incredibly,” Raven murmured, unpacking the groceries.
Clarke’s eyes landed on a box of chocolate poptarts. She hummed in appreciation and snatched the box from the top of the bag. The cardboard was torn open and two foil packages were pulled out. Clarke perched on the counter and tore into the first one. Her hips wiggled happily as she bit down into the pastry.
Octavia picked up the momentarily forgotten phone on the table and waved it at Clarke. “Aren’t you going to reply?”
Clarke took the phone from her and set it down on her knee. “I have to think of a fact first. It has to relate to what she said.”
Octavia rolled her eyes. “You’re so extra.”
Saturn Devouring His Son by Francisco Goya is one of the most terrifying paintings ever.
Is that a professional or personal opinion?
A bit of both. Look it up and see for yourself.
Saturn looks lethiforous. (adj.) Deadly; destructive.
That’s an understatement.
Plans for the break?
I’m going to visit my mom back home. I’ve really missed her cooking.
Would you say that you are coenaculous? (adj.) Fond of eating, especially suppers.
Yes. Very much. Starving artists don’t have nearly as much time or money to make good meals.
How was home? And the food?
It was wonderful. Almost as wonderful as A Starry Night.
You know, you mention Van Gogh a lot more than Monet. I’m not sure if he is truly your favourite.
Calling me a liar?
More a prevaricator. (n.) Person who speaks falsely.
You said you like Van Gogh once. I’m just adding to your love of him.
Van Gogh made at least four butterfly paintings in his lifetime.
Lexa carefully opened the text on her phone as it sat in her lap. She didn’t make it a habit to look at her phone while she was in class but it had a home in the crease of her thighs. The professor continued to drone on about the topic at hand –one Lexa didn’t care much about now after seeing that she had a text from her art major.
Back to the book-caterpiller, huh? What other facts have you got for me this morning?
Lexa glanced around the room. She always felt like she would be reprimanded for being on her phone in class despite knowing that most of the professors didn’t care very much, so long as you didn’t interrupt their monologues with obnoxious ringtones or the cacophony of vibrations on desks.
It was almost an instant reply.
If you were paying attention to this lecture you might learn a few more.
Lexa’s eyebrows furrowed. Then it hit her. Of course she’s in this class. Who else would go out of their way to find the textbook? She looked around the room in front of her. No one seemed to outwardly have their phone out. No one screamed out to be her texting buddy. Carefully, as to not draw attention to herself, Lexa stretched her arms out a bit and turned to her right, rotating her body almost one hundred eighty degrees. Her back cracked nicely in a few sore spots as she scanned the areas behind her. She turned the other way and did it again.
No one stood out.
She picked up her phone again and thought about how to reply. Should she give herself away? Ask to meet up at the end of the class?
The thought of meeting the stranger excited her but the anxiety was getting the better of her.
What if she wasn’t good enough for her?
Lexa turned her phone on Do Not Disturb and settled it back in her lap. Maybe she would take the advice from the stranger and pay attention to what was being spoken.
Of course, all she could think about for the rest of the class was that she was in the same room as the girl she had a massive crush on.
Lexa’s head hit the desk with a soft thwack. She couldn’t focus on anything today. After the lecture and the realization that she was closer to the art major than she originally thought, it was all she could think about. She was definitely done for the day. A tea from the café across the street from the library and a hot bath were in order. She needed the relaxation.
With her belongings in her bag, she made her way down the street and to the locally owned café that she frequently visited. The barista took her order and she handed over the money for the drink. She made her way over to a table by the corner window and sat down. She sighed quietly and took the lid off of her cup, pulling on the string of the tea bag, bobbing it up and down in the hot water.
There were a lot of college students in the small café. A group of three girls on the other side of the room all talking together. Couples surrounding her. A few other single students working on laptops and sipping their drinks. It’s never a silent atmosphere by any means but it is comforting.
Her eyes landed on one of the couples as they went to leave the café. Before they left, they kissed gently. It was clearly filled with love and happiness. The word hit Lexa instantly and she had to send it to the art major. She had been trying to avoid thinking about her but clearly that wasn’t going to work. Her phone was in her hands, thumbs moving slowly, typing out the sentence.
Canoodle. (v.) Kissing and cuddling amorously.
Lexa leaned back into the chair contently, blowing softly on her tea before taking a small sip of the hot liquid. She resumed people watching once the text was delivered.
The girls in the corner opposite her grabbed her interest again. The two brunettes were sitting with their backs to her. They blocked direct view of the third girl, a blonde. One of their phones went off and before she realized what she was doing, Lexa started eavesdropping on their conversation.
“Ooh, Clarke! It’s from her. Can I read it?”
“Yeah, go ahead.” Lexa recognized that voice.
“Canoodle. Verb. Kissing and cuddling amorously. How cute!”
Lexa stilled in her seat. Her heart racing. She tried to regulate her breathing as she looked anywhere but at the group of girls. Her art major was sitting right there.
“Maybe she’s hinting at wanting to canoodle with you, Clarke.”
She glanced up to see the blonde grinning down at her phone. “I need an art fact about kissing.”
Lexa quietly got up from her seat. She couldn’t stay here. As she stood to leave the café, she willed herself not to say anything, not to stare. She couldn’t help but get a better look at the blonde when she walked by.
Impossible. Lexa couldn’t believe her eyes.
The blonde from the bar and the house party.
She made out with the girl she had been texting for over a month. The girl she had been crushing on for over a month.
Clarke was still smiling down at her phone when the door chimed next to her. She paid no attention to it, engrossed in thinking of the perfect fact.
Lexa’s night was everything but relaxing. She woke up in the morning feeling like she had run a marathon. She debated breaking her routine by staying in bed for the day. But what good would that do? Her mind would be occupied with thoughts of the art major. Clarke. At least she finally got her name.
She sat up in bed and rubbed at her face. Avoiding the lecture she shared with the blonde wouldn’t help anything. Soon, the blankets were off of her body and she was in the kitchen putting on a pot of coffee. Her phone vibrated on the counter twice.
I never thought of a good art fact yesterday. I was trying to find my favourite kissing painting last night but I never found one.
There’s a lot of old ones with brothel workers locking lips though.
Lexa sighed loudly at the texts. Part of her wanted to tell Clarke that she knew who she was. Part of her wanted to hide in her apartment and never come out, which was absurd. What was she so worried about? Clarke had come on to her at a party. Obviously there was an attraction between them physically. They talked every day, maybe about unimportant things, but they were still nice conversations. Texting her was easily the highlight of Lexa’s day.
She couldn’t remember what she occupied herself with before Clarke.
Maybe the thought of that is what terrified her. The fact that it could end if Lexa wasn’t what Clarke was looking for.
She left the text unanswered.
Clarke jogged towards the door. The professor was just about to slam it closed when she slipped inside with a quiet, “Sorry sir, won’t happen again.”
“Better not, Miss Griffin.”
She nodded and headed up the stairs to her normal seat. Her eyes glanced around the lecture hall when a pair of green eyes met hers.
Those oh so familiar green eyes.
Why hadn’t she seen her before? They shared this class for almost an entire semester and she hadn’t noticed her once?
Clarke was going to find out her name at the end of the lecture. She had to.
She tried to look away, she really did, but when she heard Clarke’s voice, Lexa couldn’t help herself. They locked eyes for a second.
She wondered if Clarke knew who she was.
She wasn’t sticking around to find out.
Brunette curls bounced up and into Clarke’s eye line in the middle of the lecture. She had been staring at the back of her head on and off throughout the first part, wondering if she could figure out her name from any past discussions in the class.
Clarke watched as she stood from her desk and quietly made her way out of the room, books and bag slung over her shoulder. She probably wasn’t coming back to finish the lecture.
Clarke wasn’t about to lose her chance.
Lexa walked into the café and ordered a coffee. Today was going to be a long day. She sat in the same corner table, settling in to study in early morning quiet. The door chimed, signalling someone walked in or out. Lexa kept her head down as she pulled out a book.
“So, do you make it a habit to leave lectures in the middle?”
Lexa froze. Clarke had followed her out of the hall. She swallowed and glanced up at her. Blue eyes and an amused smirk framed but wisps of blonde hair. She cleared her throat, “No, not usually.”
Clarke helped herself to the seat across from her. Lexa’s eyes followed her down. “Just the boring ones then?”
She shrugged. Should she give herself away? Should she act like she doesn’t know exactly who Clarke is? Lexa kept her mouth shut.
“I’m Clarke,” she said, hand outstretched over Lexa’s books. “Clarke Griffin.”
Lexa clasped her hand gently in her own. The tingles from Clarke’s touch ran up her arm and into her stomach. “Lexa Woods,” she replied. She pulled her hand back and settled it around her coffee with the other. A safe spot for it.
A spot where she could mask the shakiness and nerves at the fact that she was talking to Clarke.
“So,” Clarke started. “We kissed at a house party.”
Lexa bit her bottom lip. “You get right to business.”
Clarke laughed, a genuine smile pulling at her lips. “I’ve been looking for you. I had no idea you were sitting six rows in front of me all semester.”
Lexa’s heart pumped hard in her chest. “You have been looking for me?”
Clarke nodded, eyes growing dark. They flickered down to Lexa’s lips. “You’re a good kisser. Not something I forget easily.”
Lexa felt heat rise in her chest, creeping up her neck. “I’ve been told.”
Clarke’s tongue rested between her teeth as she grinned at Lexa. “So, Lexa. Can I take you out sometime then? A girl can’t let that kind of talent go to waste,” she flirted.
The heat rose further into her cheeks. She nodded in agreement before she could think too much.
Clarke’s grin only got bigger. “Cool.” She pulled out her phone and opened it up to a new contact. “Put your number in for me?”
Lexa took the phone. She looked at the blank contact application. Again, before she could think too much, she hit cancel in the top left corner. Lexa typed her number into the search bar instead. When the nerd, caterpillar, and book emoji popped up, along with “English Major”, Lexa opened up her contact and added her full name in brackets to the end of it. She saved the changes and put Clarke’s phone back to sleep.
She handed the phone back over to Clarke and offered a small smile. “If you will excuse me, I have another class I need to get to soon. Enjoy your day, Clarke.” Lexa all but ran out of the café, not looking back to see if Clarke had realized what she had done yet.
Clarke strolled around the campus after all of her classes were done, waiting for a good moment to send another art fact off to her English major. She hadn’t gotten a word yet today, which was odd, but Clarke played it off for being busy. They were at school after all. She was probably studying.
No good facts were popping into her head. But she did have one thought in her head.
No good words about brothels?
Clarke hit send and smiled at the messages. Just as she was about to close the conversation, the name caught her eye. There was a left bracket sitting at the end of the name. She rolled her eyes. Octavia must have added something to the contact when she wasn’t paying attention. She clicked on the details and then on the small circle with an ‘i’ in it.
Lexa Woods sat between a set of brackets. Clarke stared at the name. Lexa was her English Nerd? And she knew? How did she even know?
Lexa’s phone vibrated twice in her back pocket. She ignored it until she got in the door and had placed her bag of books in her bedroom. Slowly, she pulled the phone out to see two texts from Clarke.
No good words about brothels?
How long have you known?
Lexa let out a shaky breath and sat down. There was no way to tell how Clarke was actually feeling about this. Texts weren’t the most open form of communication. Her thumbs typed out a response.
If you don’t want anything to do with me I understand.
The reply was instant.
I never said that.
So, how long have you known? The entire time?
Lexa’s thumb hovered over the keyboard before she tapped on the details and then the small phone icon. She let out the breath she had been holding. Nerves pooled in her gut.
“Lexa?” Clarke answered after two rings.
“Hi,” Lexa squeaked out. She cleared her throat. “Hello, Clarke.”
“So,” Lexa fiddled with the bottom of her shirt. “I didn’t know until yesterday. I overheard you and your friends talking about the word I sent you.”
“Canoodle,” Clarke replied.
Lexa nodded, “Yes. Canoodle.”
Clarke let out a quiet laugh on the other end of the line. There was silence between them until Clarke spoke again. “You know, you could have just said something.”
“We weren’t sharing personal details over text. I didn’t know if you wanted to know me that way.”
Clarke’s voice was softer, “Of course I would, Lexa. I’ve talked to you every day for over a month.” She paused, “And had you up against a wall for five minutes.”
Lexa huffed, “I believe that I was the one to kiss you, not the other way around.”
“You were still up against the wall though.”
Clarke’s laugh poured through the phone and Lexa felt her body relax. “So, what are you doing tonight?”
Lexa bit her lip, “Going out with you, if you’re asking.”
“It’s a good thing I’m asking then.”
Clarke stood outside the restaurant with a rose in one hand and her phone in the other. Lexa would be there any minute to meet her for dinner. When she saw her in the lecture hall today she had no clue that she would be finding out that the hot girl from the party was also the dorky nerd she had been texting for a month.
She was incredibly happy that it turned out this way.
Clarke glanced up to see Lexa walking down the sidewalk to meet her, arms behind her back. Clarke grinned and met her part way. “Hi.”
“Hello, Clarke. You look beautiful.”
Clarke glanced down at herself and then at Lexa, “So do you.” She lifted the rose and held it out for Lexa. “This is for you.”
Lexa’s eyes lit up at the flower and Clarke knew it was a good choice. She accepted it with one hand. The other still behind her back. “Thank you.” Her left hand came out from behind her.
Holding a rose.
“This is for you,” Lexa said, a twinkle in her eye.
Clarke giggled, “Great minds think alike.”
“They do,” Lexa nodded.
They looked at each other with soft eyes for a moment before Lexa broke it. A small smile lifting her lips into a soft curl. “Jubilation.”
“Noun. A feeling of or the expression of joy or exultation.”
“You’re literally a human dictionary.” Clarke’s hand went up to cup Lexa’s cheek. Their lips met standing under a lamppost in front of the restaurant. The restaurant that was the beginning of something wonderful.
Agastopia. (n.) Admiration of a particular part of someone's body.
So what part of my body are you admiring?
Why my thighs?
I like having my head between them.
Lexa. I’m in class.
I know. It makes it more fun when I know you’re squirming.
You’re going to pay for this later.
I’m counting on it.
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Clarke, that’s just mean.
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If you go any lower with that camera I’m not going to be able to focus on anything else all day.
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I have an essay to write, you know I can’t come over.
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I’m coming over. Don’t move.
“You’re kind of easy, you know?”
“You need to stop sending me nudes in class, Clarke. Someone could see.”
“Doesn’t that make it all the more fun?”
Insatiable. (adj.) Impossible to satisfy.
I’m not impossible to satisfy. Rude.
Clarke, we had sex three times yesterday.
You say that like it’s a bad thing.
It isn’t. But this is still your word for the day.
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Why do you do this to me?
“Can we just cuddle tonight?”
“You’re finally satisfied?”
“You always satisfy me, Lexa.”
“Are they ever going to separate?”
“Can’t they at least get off my side of the couch?”
“And what? Get onto my side? Hell no.”
“You’re the one who started all of this. You put the sticky note in the textbook.”
“You encouraged her!”
“Would you two be quiet? Lexa and I are trying to make out.”
Lexa stretched out in her bed. Two months into summer already, and it was pure heaven.
Mostly due to the girl with golden hair sprawled out next to her still deep in sleep. Drool settled on the pillow under Clarke’s chin.
Lexa laid there until Clarke began to stir. “You know,” she said quietly, pushing strands of hair out of her sleep-filled blue eyes. “You’re drooling all over my pillow.”
Clarke rubbed at her mouth, successfully getting rid of the saliva on her face. “Get used to it, it’s probably going to keep happening.”
“If I had known you were going to secrete bodily fluids all over my bed, I wouldn’t have asked you to be my girlfriend.”
“Lex, you asked me to be your girlfriend while I was secreting bodily fluids all over your bed. Literally in the middle of you going down on me.”
Lexa grinned lazily at Clarke, “I thought it was good timing.”
Clarke rolled her eyes, “Could have waited until I was done coming.” She scooted sideways until she pressed against Lexa’s bare chest.
Lexa wrapped her arms around her. “I’ll wait next time.”
It took Clarke an hour and a half before she caught on to Lexa’s early morning words.
“I’ll wait next time?” She asked as Lexa set the coffee on the table in front of her.
“You said in bed, ‘I’ll wait next time’, when I complained about you interrupting my orgasm.”
Lexa took a sip of her coffee, “So?”
“What’s next time?” Clarke’s eyebrow rose as she drank from her own mug.
Lexa shrugged. “I dunno,” she muttered. “Next time I have to ask you something important.”
Clarke walked into the apartment and glanced around the empty space. Lexa hadn’t arrived back from her first class yet. It gave Clarke a chance to get her spread all set up.
When Lexa walked into a candle-filled apartment, rose petals all over the floor, and the sweet smell of Clarke’s perfume, she forgot all about the readings she already needed to get through. She moved into their shared bedroom to find Clarke in her favourite lingerie. Her jaw dropped, taking in her stunning girlfriend.
“Hi, Lexa,” Clarke said nonchalantly as her hands glided over her glowing, soft skin. “How was class?”
“I can’t remember.”
Clarke giggled, pulling a fully clothed Lexa down to lay with her on the bed.
“I love you, Lex,” Clarke whispered into Lexa’s messy hair.
Lexa curled up tighter into Clarke. “I love you, too, Clarke.”
“Oh, fuck, Lexa. Don’t stop, please don’t stop.” Lexa stopped her ministrations as soon as she spoke and Clarke groaned. “Three years. Three goddamn years and you keep teasing me,” Clarke lifted her head off of the pillow to look down at Lexa.
Lexa held up a small black box. The top was open, revealing a small diamond ring. Lexa looked up lovingly. “Marry me?”
“Not until you let me come.” Clarke reached down and took the little box from Lexa’s hand. She slipped the ring onto her finger and then laced her fingers into Lexa’s hair, pushing her back where she needed her most.
Lexa let out a rough bout of laughter before getting back to work.
“You proposed to me.”
“Did it have to be then?”
We’re getting married in an hour. Octavia won’t let me in the back room.
We are. You know she’s superstitious. And dramatic. Bad luck and all that.
Habromania. (n.) Extreme euphoria.
You sent that to me once before we met.
I know. But now I’m habromanic.
I think I’m habromanic too.