"Crappp! Late on the first day!" I muttered to myself as I wove through the narrow parking lot struggling to find a spot. After nearly half an hour of searching, I found one spot about 50 feet off into the distance and tried to rush to get it.
I smiled to myself, victorious as I got closer and closer to the spot. Finally, with any luck I could make it to class only 15 minutes late. I had lost all hope thinking I would have to miss the entire lecture.
Just then, a black mercedes came flying from the other end of the road and screeched to a halt in the parking spot- MY parking spot. I scowled in his direction, but the car was too dark for me to see anything but the outline of his upper body.
As I was about to pull down my window and raise all hell at him for stealing my spot, another spot opened up close by, and I rushed to get it. Priorities- surviving my first day of college was much more important than dealing with him, though I really wanted to give that rich snob a piece of my mind.
I had no time to figure out who he was, I rushed to grab my bag, my three giant textbooks, my coffee, and my phone. In my rush, I failed to notice the strap to my bag get stuck in my car door as I slammed it shut with the side of my hip.
I yelped at the sudden strong jerk I felt as I took one step forward and fell face first. Luckily I had the grass break my fall rather than the concrete that was dangerously close. Unfortunately, My books and papers were splattered all over the floor, the lukewarm coffee spilled on me and all around me. At least my phone didn't break, phew. I at my beautiful white dress, now completely covered in coffee, and groaned. "first day of college, indeed, " I muttered, sighing at the scene in front of me. Many upper classmen passed me by, giving me odd stares, some laughing commenting that I had to be a freshy, because only a freshy would end up falling face first the way that I had. I shot daggers at them with my eyes, and in due time, they kept quiet and went about their lives.
I tried to get up, but my ankle couldn't handle the pressure of my body, and I was forced back down. Waiting a few minutes, I tried again, but with no luck.
All of a sudden, as I lost hope, unsure of what to do, I saw a hand reach out to me. I was too disoriented to really pay attention for the first few seconds, but noticed a peculiar tattoo on the muscular arm. In vain, I tried to make it out.
"Need some help?" a quiet, stoic voice asked. I shook myself out of my thoughts and finally looked up into a pair of piercing dark eyes.
"Umm, thanks," i mumbbled as I reached out to grab his hand, but he was a little far from me. He moved a bit closer, and our fingers touched for a brief moment, and I felt a tingling sensation through my fingers. When my hand finally reached his, he enclosed his fingers over it, sending a small jolt through my body, and with incredible strength, pulled me up. As soon as I was up, I lost balance. I fell forward onto something hard, only to realize it was his chest and felt his other arm hold me up, steadying me.
Noticing his arm at my waist, I blood rushed to my cheeks. I must have blushed a crimson red, as it didn't go unnoticed by him, and he quickly moved both arms to my shoulders in attempt to steady me.
"Whoaa there," he said a little amused at how disshelved I was.
"I'm- I'm sorry," I said embarassed as I tried to take a step back from him.
"You don't have the strength to walk," he remarked, as he watched me wobble back towards him.
"I-I'll be fine. I'll just call someone up to help me or something," i replied.
"It's okay, I can help you. My car isn't too far from here. I'll take you to a doctor or nurse or something."
"No! I can't miss my first day of college!"
His amusement sparkled in his eyes at my college comment, and i instantly regretted it. "You certainly can't hobble through this massive campus all day with a sprained ankle."
"But my professors are going to drop me from the class! I hear if you don't show up on the first day, you get kicked out of class!"
He laughed. "That's only a story they tell the first years to scare them into attending," he stated matter of factly.
I looked up at him sheepishly. "it is? and how did you know im a first year?"
He looked at me and shrugged, and i inwardly thanked his kindness at not telling me that I'm a mess and only a stupid first year would believe that she would get kicked out of class after paying hundreds of dollars to be enroleld in the class.
"Trust me," he said, "You would be better off tending to your ankle right now than your class. If you just email the professor, he will understand."
I sighed and muttered to the sky "I'll deal with you later."
He seemed to laugh caught this and was unable to hide his amusement. "How about you deal with your ankle first? Let me get you to a nurse or something."
I hesitantly agreed, and he asked me to lean against him so that my weight was on him rather than my ankle. For some strange reason, though I wasn't normally comfortable with strangers, I felt at ease with him and listened. My only other option was to sit on a bench and call my brother for help, which I was not about to do knowing the amount of comments that would elicit from him.
"I'm Virat by the way."
"Having quite the first day aren't you?"
"Hey now!" I protested
He chuckled at my half pouty half resentful face.
"DOn't worry. I am too."
"What year are you?" I found myself asking, knowing he definitely looked older and could not have been a first year with me.
"I'm a first year too."
He smiled " i just started law school here."
I must have looked flabbergasted at his revelation but before he could react i asked " don't you have class now too?"
He sighed. "I do but there's a damsel in distress who needs my help right now," he said almost melodramatically.
I shot him a defiant glare. "I'm no damsel in distress! I can handle myself."
He shook his head " women. can't handle a joke to save their lives." then added, "I know you aren't but you needed help, and looked like you were having a bad day. And I don't like to leave people in trouble."I softened a bit at the comment, he did genuinely seem concerned about my ankle.
"Why help a stranger?"
"Because im not one to turn my back on someone who needs help."
a few seconds later he said "here we are."
I looked up only to find that stupid, black mercedes in front of me.
He looked genuinely confused. "What?"
"You are the reason I'm in this mess to begin with! You stole my parking spot!"
"Um excuse me?! I'm missing my class to help you out and you're shouting at me over some parking spot? i didnt even--"
'Thanks for your help, but no thanks. I will be fine by myself."
"You can't even handle getting out of a car without falling face first."
"I wouldnt have fallen face first if you hadn't stolen my parking spot in the first place! All you rich boys think you own the place just because you drive mercedes! It's like you want to flaunt to the rest of us of how amazing your lives are and how much you have."
He closed his eyes, his jaw tightened with anger."Look, you are not in any condition to walk around on your own right now."
"I can handle it," i said, firmly, defiantly.
"Oh really?" he countered, his frustration growing by the second.
He was seething now and his smoldering eyes took one step away from me. As soon as he moved, i wobbled forward, trying to use his car to hold me up. Unable to handle the pressure on my ankle, I slowly began to stumble forward, only to have his strong arms wrap around me protectively, breaking my fall a second time.
"Get in the car," he managed to say through his anger.
Frustrated, he picked me up in his arms and carried me to the passenger side of his car. I struggled against him in vain and tried to get him to put me down. "I'm not some damsel who needs saving!"
" no, you certainly arent. Damsels are thankful. You are infuriatingly stubborn."
We sat in the car quietly for a few minutes until the nurse's office came. He picked me up yet again, assuming that I would not listen to him and dropped me off inside. He sat me down in a chair, and I watched quietly as he explained to the nurse how I twisted my ankle. As he turned to leave, I tugged at his arm and stopped him.
He looked to me and his eyes softened a little. But then remembering my comments about his "amazing life" his eyes narrowed at me. "Im leaving."
"Im sorry about the rich boy comment," I managed to say quietly.
"Don't judge someone before you get to know them" he retorted through his flexed jaw and left.
I sighed as I watched him go. As I waited in the lobby, I scanned my emails on my phone- one of which was a reprimand for being irresponsible and not showing up to class. Slowly, but surely, my anger at him and that stupid black mercedes returned.
None of this would have happened if he didnt take my spot. Even if he did help me, I inwardly resented him and his stupid mercedes for taking my spot and leanding me in this mess. And what was with him any way? Why did he go from JERK to kind to Jerk again? It made no sense.
My anger grew uncontrollable as I stalked back to my car. How DARE she? If anything, she should have been thankful and appreciative of me being the only one willing to help her. And waht parking spot was she babbling about?! I didn't even drive my car to campus today, Aarav drove it to grab us some lunch. I was already on campus running errands. He only met me up about 20 minutes before I saw her and gave me my keys. He didn't mention any parking spot battle between him and some girl.
Though she is incredibly infuriating, I had to admit, she was beautiful. After Aarav returned my keys, I sat on a bench in the courtyard. It was one of my favorite things to do on campus- to sit with a cup of coffee and people watch. Campus was beautiful and filled with green fields and tall trees. And every 15 minutes, the bell tower would chime, its rings echoing throughout the acres of land. I was enjoying my coffee and looking around the scene in front of me, a little disgusted at the touchy feely couple that were walking 20 feet away from me when my eyes landed on her. She was still in her car, a small royal blue honda, brushing her hair. it was her long, dark brown tresses that shone in the sunlight, catching my eye. I couldn't see anything else for a while. I watched as she piled them all on one side to comb them. She turned her head to pick up a call, flipping all of her hair the back. Bored, I almost looked away until I caught a glimpse of her smile. It was radiant, genuinely happy. Her eyes sparkled a gorgeous light brown as the sun hit them. Though her smile and eyes beamed, her face betrayed her and showed a slight hint of nervousness. I watched, a little spellbound by her beauty, by her simplicity. It didn't seem like she had any make up on. I noticed as she stepped out of her car that she was dressed in a simple white dress that complimented her figure remarkably well. She had a bounce of excitement in her step as she went towards her trunk to grab her books and then her passenger side to take her phone. I noticed her bag ge stuck in her car door and tried to call out to her, but it did me no good. Before I could get a word out, she fell. Within seconds, her books and papers were strewn about, her coffee spilt all over her. I rushed to go help her and then stopped myself as I noticed her glare at passersby. What if she was just another arrogant girl? I watched her try to get up, unsuccessful in both her attempts and deicded to go help her.
When I reached out to her, she seemed hesitant to trust me- as if she was generally a guarded person. After a few attempts at convincing her, she finally put her hand in mine. A surge overcame me as I clasped her hand and closed my fingers over hers. Something in me stirred. Just as soon as it did, I shook it away, telling myself it was nothing.
It was a battle getting her to agree to lean against me. She took a step back as soon as she could, and i noticed she wasn't arrogant at all, just nervous. and the idea that some strange man was trying to help her didn't ease her tensions. Though I was a little thankful that she fell into my arms the second she moved away. Iknew she was a first year, given her manners. By the second year, everyone knows where they are going and loses the first day of class anxiety. Hers was still fresh. It was hard not to smile at her innocence when she said they would kick her out of the class if she missed her first day. And it was difficult to maintain my compusure and not laugh when she looked up at the sky and told god that she would deal with him later. Her demeanor was dripping with innocence. And within minutes, it was established that she was a headstrong, independent girl. She did not take well to my damsels in distress comment, even though it definitely was framed to be a joke. that shows that she wants to make it a point to show people that she can handle herself, whatever the situation may be.
As we walked towards my car, I noticed her eyes were tinged with a hint of lonliness. Maybe that's why I felt an instant connection with her. I dont know how I noticed it, but i did. maybe we had kindred spirits. though I didn't know her, I was overcome with a desire to protect her. she seemed broken somehow, just like I was. but she didnt hide it as well as I did. THough she wanted to make it a point to prove she was independent, something in her eyes made me want to stay and help her, in spite of her protests.
Lost in my thoughts, I walked her to the car. But for some strange reason, she blew up at me, yelling about some stupid parking spot. I tried to explain to her that I didnt even have my car 20 minutes ago, but she wouldnt listen. She went on an on about rich boys and their amazing lives. As she contineud to rant, my jaw tightened and fingers clenched into a fist. I was trying to contain my anger. I knew something must have happened for her to go off on a stranger like that, especialy one who was helping her. BUt I couldnt look past it. She hit a nerve that i was not expecting her to hit- my rich boy life, as she called it. If only she knew how lackluster and painful it was to be in that life.
Still, that look in her eyes held me back. It was the same look i had in my eyes a few years back, when I began to really understand my lonliness. She had it too. The need to protect her overcame my anger at her words and accusations. Still annoyed at her comments, I decided to shut her up by picking her up and putting her in the car myself. that way, she would stop talking, and I could get her to a doctor without further delays. She drew near me as I picked her up, steadying herself against my chest. Her fragrance entranced me, as I put her inside the car.
I wanted to clear her misunderstanding in the car, but her words bit back at me in my head. I kept replaying them unwillingly. As I turned to leave the doctors office, she thanked me, and I tried hard to leave without saying anything further. I couldnt help myself from telling her not to judge someone and stalked off, still seething in anger.
It wasnt her fault. I knew it wasnt. still, her comment scratched an open wound. One that I was not ready to discuss. One that I had never really discussed.