Monday 24th August 2009

by Tina

Monday was finally coming to a close, and Anna found herself wandering towards the table at the Central Plaza, just as she found herself doing for the past few days. It was the first time Anna got out of the library early, and the sun was still out, putting her in a slightly better mood and giving her a spring in her step.

“Hey Anna.”

Anna looked up and saw Rich coming down from the SJ Walk. She felt herself blush slightly when she saw him, remembering the first time they “met”. Anna spent early in the term trying not to stay in one place alone with him, but somehow, they almost, always do.

“Hi,” she replied and the two of them started heading to the hangout together.

“No more class?” Rich asked, adjusting his backpack on one shoulder. Anna glanced at him and noted that he still hardly looked like a Computer Science major with the way he dresses up — always in shorts and preppy polo shirts, something she usually sees in the few Liberal Arts guys. If not for the bags under his eyes and the Leithold book he lugs around, no one would think he’s from Planet Gox.

“Nope, none,” Anna replied. “I also just finished my homework a while earlier.”

“Wow,” Rich said, impressed. “You’re not one to put things off.”

“No, I’m not,” Anna said, feeling the corners of her mouth turn up into a smile. “I just like it when things get done.”

Rich smiled back. As they turned at the end of SJ Walk to the Central Plaza, Anna noticed that Rich seemed to be in deep thought. Despite her initial and sometimes ongoing embarrassment with him, she nudged Rich playfully and said, “Penny for your thoughts?”

He looked at her, equally shocked at what she just did, but then smiled. “Just thinking. It’s my first free afternoon, and I’m kind of weirded out. What are your plans for the rest of the day?”

Anna shrugged. “None yet, but I might clean out some papers at the dorm. My desk is messy already.”

Rich laughed. “Ever the OC,” he teased. “Any chance you’ll have time for snack before that?”

“I have some snacks at the dorm,” Anna said, feeling her cheeks redden again, but without the mortifying feeling of embarrassment. There was an unfamiliar feeling inside her that she wasn’t sure what, and she wasn’t even sure if she wanted to know.

“Oh, okay,” Rich said lightly. There was something in his tone again, something that Anna thought sounded like disappointment. But why would he be disappointed?

They reached the hangout, which was full for the moment, at least until the next bell rings. Anna was immediately welcomed by her dormmate Nikki, who started talking about her day. She smiled and listened, but watched Rich in the corner of her eye. He’d walked to the boys at the other side of the hangout and had taken hold of the guitar and turned his back on her to play the instrument. The warm feeling Anna had earlier that she refused to identify had lessened and now she felt something else…something like disappointment.

But why?

Anna thinks she doesn’t want to find out.

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