The rest of the week was pretty uneventful. I passed Maegan in the hall a couple times, but I didn’t see Dawson come around anymore. A small part of me hoped she had managed to hit him with something. Mom phoned on Wednesday, our call night, to check in and make sure everything was alright. After assuring her multiple times that everything was fine I got to talk to Adrian for a bit.
“Hey Alice, did you see the new How to Destroy Angels video yet?” Adrian asked.
“No, I don’t have internet, remember? That’s why we’re on the telephone,” I laughed, “And I haven’t had time to find the library.”
“Oh man, it’s the shit. I can’t believe you, I’m linking it to your Facebook right now so watch it as soon as you find internet,” I could tell he was jumping in his computer chair.
We hadn’t always been close. Even though there’s only a three year difference in age, I decided a couple years back to make an effort to get to know him. We mostly bonded over things like music or video games.
“I haven’t even set up my Playstation yet. As soon as I can get online we need to set up some game time, sound good?” I asked him.
“Yeah, because you really need me to kick your ass some more at Modern Warfare,” He said laughing.
“Maybe we can do some co-op missions? I need to get good somehow,” I said.
We chatted for a good half hour. I hadn’t realized how lonely I was starting to feel until I hung up. I grabbed Sparky and plugged in a movie hoping it would take my mind off things.
By the end of the week I had unpacked all my boxes and had the internet hooked up. Feeling accomplished, I grabbed a book and decided to relax. The last thing I needed was to be a zombie on my first day of classes.
The next morning I packed my bag and headed for the bus stop. Campus was, thankfully, only a fifteen minute ride. According to my timetable I had History of Modern Europe followed by French on Mondays and Wednesdays. It seemed like the longest trip I had ever taken. At nineteen I felt too old to be nervous. By the time I walked into class and sat down at a desk my hands were all gross and clammy. I watched as students continued to shuffle into class and sit down. A cute girl with long brown hair and a button nose sat next to me. Her green eyes sparkled with excitement as she pulled out her textbook. She turned and caught me staring.
“Hi, I’m Lindsay,” she said in an accent I didn’t recognize.
“Hi Lindsay, I’m Alice,” I replied.
“Gosh, I am just so nervous I feel like I’m gonna be sick,” she blurted out.
I couldn’t help but laugh, she was just too cute. She looked at me and blushed.
“I’m sorry,” she said, “My mama always told me I needed to tone down the dramatics.”
“No worries,” I chuckled, “It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels so nervous.”
She smiled and I kind of hoped we could be friends. I was starting to go a little stir crazy with Sparky as my only companion but at least he hadn’t started talking back to me yet. I glanced at the wall clock and wondered when the teacher was supposed to show when I noticed a straggler saunter into the classroom. I think my jaw hit the desk. No, no, no, no, this was not happening.
“Who is that?” Lindsay asked with raised eyebrows.
I groaned and she looked at me.
“Do you know him?” Lindsay looked at me inquisitively.
“Long story,” I said, “suffice to say our first encounter wasn’t the most endearing.”
I watched as Dawson scanned the room looking for an empty seat and wished myself invisible. His eyebrow rose when his eyes passed over me and he started walking over.
“Oh my god,” I groaned. “Hide me, please.”
I think Lindsay was trying not to laugh when I looked over at her.
“Hunny, he is fine,” she said, “Don’t look so sad, there could be worse things to look at.”
“You’re in my seat,” Dawson said to the guy sitting next to me.
“There are plenty of other seats here,” he replied, matching Dawson’s gaze.
“I don’t think you understand,” he responded, “You need to move. Now.”
I felt bad. The poor guy didn’t stand a chance against Dawson death glare and almost tripped over his bag trying to get out of the way. He hurried to a seat across the room.
“Hi handsome,” Lindsay drawled, “I’m Lindsay, it’s so very nice to meet you.”
Did she just wink at me? I think I’m seeing things. I don’t know if I like Lindsay so much anymore.
“Well Hello Lindsay,” Dawson said in a sweet voice, “It is my pleasure to meet a beautiful lady such as yourself.”
I think I just gagged. Was he serious? I looked over at Lindsay hoping she wasn’t falling for any of it, but she was blushing. I was losing her, and fast.
“I don’t suppose you’d like to introduce me to your friend?” He said to Lindsay, motioning at me.
“This is Al-,“ Lindsay started but I cut her off.
“The teacher’s about to start his lecture,” I stared at her pleadingly,” We should probably pay attention, since it’s the first class and all.”
“Whatever you say honeybee,” turning toward Dawson she continued, “don’t be a stranger now darlin’.”
“I wouldn’t dream of it,” he said with a look that spelled trouble.
I could feel Dawson’s gaze burning a hole in my side for the rest of class; I was ready to crawl under a rock by the end of it, but I doubt even that could have saved me. As soon as the teacher said we were dismissed I bee-lined it for the door. Dawson followed, catching up to me easily.
“You’d think you didn’t like the class with how fast you wanted out,” he said.
“Oh it’s not the class, I can assure you,” I said, walking as briskly as possible without running into people. “Why are you still following me?”
He shrugged, “Maybe I like you.”
“Uh huh, sure,” I said, “There’s my French class, see ya stalker boy.”
I didn’t even look back. French was like sweet release, even though it was going to be pretty tough. I had that class with Lindsay as well and I was kind of glad. I had a feeling I’d be looking for a study partner. By the end of the day I had two papers due for History and a worksheet for French. My pounding headache wasn’t helping matters. I was ready for a nap when I got home, but I decided I better start some of my homework.
By dinner time I was so not in the mood to cook so I ordered a pizza. When my buzzer went off I thought the stairs would probably be faster, so I bounded down the eight flights. As I was waiting for the elevator to take me back up I heard the door open and close behind me.
“If we keep running into each other like this, you’re going to have to tell me your name”, said a familiar voice beside me.
I looked over and stood there gaping. The elevator dinged but I wasn’t even paying attention. Dawson moved to open the door and stepped in.
“Are you coming?” he asked.
I debated on whether I should wait for the elevator to take him up and come back down but I didn’t want to eat cold pizza. I stepped on and prayed it would move faster than it usually did. I was going to stop taking the elevator altogether if it meant I could avoid these awkward rides.
“So, you and Maegan are talking again?” I inquired
“I’m just here to pick up some stuff,” he replied curtly.
Dead air. Ok then. What floor are we on? I had half a mind to walk the stairs the rest of the way. The silence dragged on.
“So history seems like a pretty interesting class,” I tried again.
“Uh-huh,” Dawson replied.
Kill me now. When we finally reached the eighth floor I went to open the door but Dawson stepped in front of me. I could see his shoulders work as he went to pull on the door. I never noticed how muscular he was before. What am I thinking? I walked off the elevator and headed toward my apartment.
“See you later, o nameless one,” Dawson called to me down the hall.
I felt an overwhelming need to shoot stuff after that. I know it sounds bad, but it’s a great way to let off steam. I plugged in Modern Warfare 3 and looked at Sparky. He stared back at me with a vacant expression.
“Stop judging me,” I said to him.