“Excuse me!” I snapped out of my trance and glanced to my left. My eyes met a wide chest in a university track suit. I slowly raised my eyes, staring quizzically at the stranger, as I took my AirPod out.
He smiled confidently. I quickly gaze over him taking note of his expensive sneakers and basketball warm-ups. “Are you headed to the A building? Maybe we can walk together? Is this your first day?”
I bit my lower lip stifling a laugh and said “No,” as I returned my AirPod, and let the music flood my ears again. As I stepped onto the crosswalk, I felt a hand lightly top my shoulder. Through an exasperated sigh I asked, “Year?” He paused as if registering the question, and with a light jog returned on my side, just as I stepped on the sidewalk. “Oh, I’m a freshman too? What's your major?”
This time instead of trying to stifle my laugh, I laughed out loud now, “What year were you born?” he hesitated, clearly annoyed now, “Two thousand and—“. I held my hand up and stopped mid-sentence, “No thank you.” He rolled his eyes and glared at me.
I checked my smartwatch as I grabbed my university ID out of the side of my bag. “I'm too old for you kid.”
This time he chuckled “How would you know? I didn’t even finish.” I opened my mouth to reply, but shut it, as a deep husky voice spoke, “You started with two thousand, and already said you’re a freshman. You're 18? 19? She’s wearing a blouse with slacks and heels. It’s safe to assume she’s not a student here.”
The husky voice in a tailored, navy blue suit turned his attention to me. With a grin and a nod he added, “89. You?”
I glanced from the freshman to 89 and laughed, “97”.
“Well 97, if I’m not too old for you can I grab you a coffee in the lobby?” He held the door as I walked under his bulging arms that seemed to be fighting against the suit sleeves. I stopped briefly and let him lead the way. I checked my smartwatch once more before ordering “Can I have a soy milk vanilla steamer with caramel please?”
He eyed me up and down before raising a curious eyebrow. “What? I'm not a fan of coffee and I’d rather not spend all day in the bathroom.” He nodded understandingly and stepped aside as we waited for our drinks. Once the barista brought the drinks out, I glanced at my watch once more before taking a seat at a nearby table.
“Am I keeping you from something?” He asked apologetically. I shook my head slowly sipping the warm drink. “I have a meeting at 8, but I’ve still got 12 minutes 'til then.”
While he took a long gulp of his coffee I couldn’t help but to finally notice the stranger across from me. I studied his posture and took note of his physique. Even from a sitting position he seemed to tower over me. His broad shoulders, and wide chest seemed so inviting. I let my eyes travel further upward and was mesmerized by his lips. Thin, yet plump resting under a wide nose. Not too bushy eyebrows outlined his kind brown eyes. I got lost in them like pools of honey before darting my own brown eyes away as he stared back. I smiled awkwardly as I took a sip of my drink.
He broke the silence first. “So 97, do you tend to get mistaken for a student a lot?” I sighed, “At least once a day. It annoyed me growing up looking younger than everyone, but as I get older I’m learning to finally appreciate it.” It was his turn to glance at his watch, “Shoot. I have a meeting as well. We should both get going before we’re late.”
I quickly gathered my things and thanked him for the drink as I shuffled through the doors. I had just made it in the elevator as I saw a hand squeeze between the shutting doors. “Did you think you’d lose me that easily?” He grabbed a pen from his jacket and scribbled something on the napkin that was surrounding his coffee. He pressed it to my chest before scurrying out the doors.
I shoved the note in my pocket while avoiding the glances from the other people in the elevator.