Welcome back! Sorry it’s been a while but I hope you enjoy the next chapter of my story.
So much for an interesting first lecture. The professor babbled on for three hours about the importance of line when designing an artwork and how the balance and harmony of the piece must be simple yet complex in order to gain an appealing aesthetic. I don’t remember most of what he said because all I did for most of the time was think about how weird the situation was that morning. My first day and I’ve already seen a disabled girl’s wheelchair fall from a balcony, mystery boy (who, by the way, is the disabled girl’s brother) and most horrifying of all, my professor’s gross beard that appeared to have bits of biscuit in it. I sit on the train next to an old lady who looks very annoyed at having to sit next to me, one of ‘today’s youth’ as I heard her refer to me as. Too bad there are no other seats. Just as the train is leaving the platform, I get a call from Zahra. I eagerly swipe to the left and answer her call. “Hey!” I say.
“Hey there uni gal, how was your first day?” she replies.
“Oh. My. Gosh. It was insane.”
“Really? Did they give you heaps of work?”
“Um, no, not really. What made it insane was that firstly, a girl in a wheelchair had her chair taken and thrown over a balcony…” I glance over at the old lady who is now death staring me. I give her a shy smile and turn to face the window.
“Please elaborate on how the hell that happened,” she says.
“Right, well some guy puller her out and threw it over the edge. It was so crazy. So, then I went to help her and she called her brother who, get this, is mystery boy.” I pause to allow her to process this new information. The phone line goes a little fuzzy for a second or two then goes back to silence.
“Jayda? Are you there?” Zahra asks.
“Hey, yeah. Sorry, I think we just went through a dead spot or something.”
“Oh that’s alright then, I thought you’d hung up on me!” she laughs.
“No no, I would never! Anyway, did you hear what I said about mystery boy?”
“What? No? Oh my gosh please tell me he found you and asked you out!”
“Well, not exactly. He’s the girl in the wheelchair’s brother. I didn’t catch his name but he’s studying law at my uni.”
“Bud, that’ awesome. You totally have to go for coffee or something. He has to thank you now right? For helping his sister?”
“Well I guess but-“
“But nothing. Tomorrow, you go and find that spunk and make him buy you a coffee.”
“But I don’t drink coffee-“
“Jayda, there are way too many buts coming out of your mouth!” We both burst out laughing. Gosh we’re immature. The old lady glares at me again but this time I just keep laughing.
“Anyway,” Zahra continues, “I should probably get going to work. Gotta work the late shift tonight. What a joy.”
“Yeah good idea, thanks for the call, I’ll have to give Harper a buzz later too, see how her day was. Have fun at work!” I reply.
“Thanks bud, see ya!” I take my phone away from my ear just in time for the old lady to start grumbling something about today’s young people being rude and selfish or something like that. I’m in too good a mood after my phone call with Zahra to care. I take out ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ again and read until my stop is called.
The next morning I stroll into uni wearing my favourite boots. They’re almost 6 years old yet still look new which is pretty amazing considering how much I’ve worn them. Today’s class starts at 10. I glance at my watch and see that it’s only 9.35. I have a good 20 minutes to kill so I decide to explore the courtyard area. There are a few cafes, some fast food shops and even a jewellery store. I guess there are a lot of people that forget birthdays and anniversaries around here. I pick a café called ‘Polypop’ purely because its name is the same as one of the fabrics at work. I walk towards it in my comfy and worn boots while deciding what to get. I don’t drink coffee so that’s out, and the only other hot drink I really drink is hot chocolate. But, today, I’m feeling adventurous. I get into the little shop and study the menu board. There’s so many drinks that I can’t decide which one to try.
“I hear chai lattes are pretty good.” I spin around to see mystery boy only a metre away. He smiles at me while I stand there with my jaw almost to the ground. Gosh, I swear he gets more attractive every time we meet. He raises his perfectly shaped eyebrows at me and I manage to compose myself.
“Oh, hey. Again.” I grin the dorkiest grin that any face has ever had the displeasure of forming. He doesn’t seem to mind.
“If you’re trying to decide what to order, might I suggest trying a chai latte? They’re like drinking Christmas in a paper cup.”
“Wow, that sounds amazing. Hell, why not? I mean, I do love Christmas.” I somehow smile decently.
“Hey, can I grab two chai lattes please? Thanks.” He hands a $10 note to the cashier lady.
“Oh you didn’t have to get me one,” I say.
“I was actually getting it for Hail…but I could get you one too if you like?” he offers. He starts laughing hysterically.
“I’m kidding,” he smiles, “sorry, I like to prank people sometimes.”
I start laughing along with him.
“How is Hail after yesterday?” I ask quietly.
“She’s okay I think, just a little shaken.” His face seems to darken at the thought of someone trying to hurt his sister. I realise that I need to change the subject.
“So, Hail said you’re studying law. What’s that like?” I ask sweetly.
“Ah, you know, it’s alright. It can be confusing sometimes.” I nod in agreement. I remember doing legal studies at high school. It was, by far, my worst subject in Year 12.
“Anyway, what about you? What are you studying?”
“Art. I always loved it in high school so I figured, why not?”
“Well as long as you love what you’re doing.”
“Exactly. You’ve just got to find your passion.” We both nod to fill the silence that’s settling on us. After what seems like forever, the cashier hands him two chai lattes and he passes one to me.
“Thank you very much.” I say
“Not a problem…” he gestures for me to tell him my name.
“Oh, it’s Jayda.”
“Well, it was lovely to meet you properly Jayda. See you around.” He flashes me a glimpse of his perfectly straight and white teeth as he turns to walk away.
“Wait! What’s your name?” I reach out for his arm to stop him leaving.
“I’m Percy.” Mystery boy smiles one last time before walks out of Polypop.
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