Mia's hands were shaking, palms sweaty, and she was absolutely going out of her mind with nervous energy. She looked up at Emily and watched her moving their books around the table, rearranging them with a look of concentration Mia herself reserved for when she was decorating the cake du jour at the café.
The library was almost in complete silence around them. The midterm exams were just close enough that you could see some students already sitting alone concentrating on their own books and worksheets. Other students seemed to be walking around looking for a book while there were those who were chatting quietly with friends on their table.
Mia watched them go about their activities and tried to distract herself from her own anxious thoughts.
This is insane. She should just forget about this whole idea and concentrate on simple things like... studying! or work! or maybe both! yes, both would be good, both would be amazing! No more anxiety over random looks and accidental touches or whether the other person also likes her and would they pretty please be okay with going on date with her and possibly a second and third one and so on until she finally gets the courage to ask her hand in marriage and-
"So, what did you think about the book I sent you?" Emily asked, startling Mia out of her chaotic- and really disgustingly cheesy- thoughts. "I thought it'd be perfect for our project, and it's got so many interesting subjects we could use!"
Ah, yes. Their group project. Right.
"Uh, sorry, it's just, I'm afraid linguistics really isn't my best subject." she joked.
Fortunately, Emily didn't seem to think much of her lame excuse and just nodded as if making note of it. "Right. That's okay too, we could cover the basics and whatever else we add I could just explain it to you."
She was an angel!
Emily then gleefully stated that they had already gathered all the information they needed, now all they had left to do was to study it hard and give their all in the presentation and it'd be done.
This was it, Mia decided as she saw Emily's excitement with the project as she gathered her things.
"So," she started, "since we got that part covered, what do you think of maybe, you know, going out someday..."
"Sure!" Emily answered with a smile, blissfully oblivious. "It'll be great to just hang out now that the project is almost finished. Oh, and your friend could come too, of course!"
"Yes! She's in one of mine literature classes, her presentation the other day was fantastic! I'm sure we have lots in common!"She said as she smiled.
Sighing internally, Mia resigned herself to further humiliation because, apparently, Emily didn't get she had been asking her out.
"No," she said, not looking up as Emily continued to look at her, now with her brows furrowed in confusion, "I mean, yeah, I think you and Rosé may probably have some things in common but..." she hesitated and glanced again in Emily's direction, deciding then to brave through this situation, she took a deep breath and stared straight into Emily's eyes before continuing. "What I meant was, I was asking you out. On a date."
None of them spoke for the few seconds that followed and Mia was already thinking of dismissing the whole thing and going home as fast as she could, when Emily finally reacted.
"I'm, uh, I mean, I wasn't- aware you were interested in me like that but, uh" She stammered as she dropped her head and tucked her hair nervously behind her ear for a moment before looking back up into Mia's eyes, determined but apologetic, "I'm really sorry, Mia. I think you're really nice but, I've been in a relationship for two years now, and I don't really see that changing in like, ever."
Now was Mia's turn to be shocked, her mouth hanging a bit. Dating. She didn't even think about that possibility. If her face hadn't been already heating in embarrassment before now it was positively burning!
"No, I mean, it's fine! I didn't know you were dating, but I can see how that'd be a problem, haha." she tried to joke but it fell flat even to her ears, blood pumping as it was in her nervousness. "I just thought I'd try to, you know, what? never mind." she gestured in clear dismissal.
Emily had started to look progressively more worried as she spoke, but Mia's thoughts were concentrated on the fact that she might actually puke if she had to stay there any second longer, so she started to gather her notebooks and pencil case in her arms and put them all hurriedly into her bag before standing up. "Since we're done with the research, I'll be going now then, ok? I'll see you in class!" she said all but sprinting for the stairs.
As she made her way through the parking lot she tried to make sense of the whole situation while adrenaline pumped through her body. A futile attempt to be honest. Now, if only she could get home before she started crying that'd be great.