A peal of laughter from her stops him in his track. He can see tears running down her cheeks like a pair of meandering streams.
“I can’t resist. I didn’t know I left such a big impression on you.”
“Well, you are beautiful.”
“Thank you. But you should’ve noticed me long ago. I always made a point to be within your range of vision since that debate. I was intrigued to see what kind of guy you are. You have a mysterious air around you.”
“Maybe I was too engrossed with my books.”
“I think it is true when they said that you only see what you wanted to see.
He clears his throat.
“Anyway, sorry about the interruption. Carry on.”
Typical of an academically excellent student like he is, he scoured the Internet for information on how to approach girls that night. It was a very foreign and difficult topic for a guy whose best friends are academic books and drawings. He was the type of guy which in a party is likely to be found in the corner of the room, pretending to be invisible. That was if he turned up at all.
The next day, he reached the campus one hour early, ready and armed with a few conversation openers. He sat down on the grass in the front lawn of the campus, where he can have a good sight of the approaching students. Remnants of the morning dew still linger on the grass, making them a little damp, but he was too worked up to notice. He picked out three books from his knapsack, putting two of them on the grass next to him and used the third one, opened in the middle, to hide his head behind.
The first tram clunked to a halt just as he opened the book. He felt a chilling sensation of anticipation running down his spine as he nervously peered beyond the browned pages of the book.
He could feel his heart beating faster as the tram door swung open and the first student alighted from the train. She was fair, tall and blonde. The second one was a guy. Enough said. So was the third and fourth and fifth. Then the door swung close and the tram groaned and bemoaned before continuing its journey, despite its load been lessened by a considerable amount. He felt his shoulders hunched down in disappointment.
He experienced the oscillating cycle of high anticipation and low disappointment a further five times, with the difference in magnitude of both sensations getting bigger each time. If she didn’t arrive in the seventh tram, he had a feeling he will die of a heart attack first.
She did arrive on the seventh tram. She was wearing a one piece grey dress that hung above her knees, with a pink cardigan on top and her signature royal blue scarf. He waited until she was just twenty paces away. He quickly shut the book and placed it on top of the other two lying of the grass before picking them up.
She was fifteen paces away.
He unwound his leg and attempted to stand up. “Damn!” He muttered to himself as he wobbled up. His left leg had developed pin and needles for sitting too long on the grass. He tried to steady himself on the right leg.
She was ten paces away.
He breathed in deeply a couple of times, trying desperately to slow down his heartbeat and ensure that the butterflies in his stomach are flying in formation. He quickly ran his free right hand up his hair to make sure there are no stray strands.
Five paces away.
He looked up just in time to see a guy running up behind her and tapping her shoulder.
“Annyeong-haseyo!” he heard the guy called out, before launching into an animated exchange of phrases with the girl in Korean. He saw the girl glanced up at him for a fleeting moment as she passed by him. She must be surprised by the sight of a guy who looked like he had just received a crushing blow to the ribs from some invisible opponents.