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At a glance (Part 1)

Him, a textbook bad boy, getting into all the wrong things at all the right and wrong times.
Her, a textbook geek. Happy in her tiny world, with a few friends and her books.
Him, the world knew him or at least everyone at university did.
Her, her friends knew her and the baristas at almost all coffee shops in and around the university.

They met for the first time in the most cliché way possible. She was carrying a pile of books across the hall; he was faffing around with his friends. They bumped, the books fell, and he helped her gather them. A cursory glance and then they were off.

The second time was a little more intimate. They were both trying to get through a narrow passage way. Cliché again, fumbling and bumping into each other and then standing across from each other gesturing the other one to go. He took charge, held her on the small of her back and nudged her forward. A brief touch and they were off, again.

The third time though was the clincher. Cliché again, he saved her and a couple others from a crisis. What crisis? That’s probably not important, but what happened that night, was.

“Thank you for getting us out of trouble, thank you so much. I didn’t know this would happen, this the first time I am hanging out with these guys outside the university and it just went downhill, thank you!”

“Look woman, stop it with the thank you alright! Do not pretend to be grateful, when you and your dear old buddies are the reason we are in this mess. You have a place and it isn’t this, why cant you just stay there, huh? Thanking me won’t bring back what I lost tonight. Now step aside, it looks like we will be spending the night at this café. I need to make arrangements. Move!”

Her eyes started welling up, she had never been spoken to like that. Actually, she had never made a mistake, well at least she was never caught.

He felt bad for speaking to her like that, but it was too late. He convinced himself that she deserved it and was going to hang on to that thought.

“Here are some sandwiches for you guys,” the café manager said handing him the tray, “feel free to move the tables around and make yourself comfortable, this is going to be a long night.”

He distributed the sandwiches, and then spotted her, in a far corner, she had popped a squat and was listening to music. Great, he thought, drama queen, I’d better go and give her a sandwich, which she probably wont eat because I yelled at her. He walked up to her with the sandwich prepared to give her a whole speech about how she should eat because it was going to be a long night and he didn’t know when they would get food again. At that precise moment, she looked up at him and then at the sandwich.

She took it and started eating, without the need of him having to say anything or even offering it to her. He was stumped. Caught off guard, all his preparation down the drain. He sat down on a chair beside her, she turned away but continued eating...

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