After my first failed relationship, if you could call something that happened over only a month a relationship, I stopped believing in love. I mean, think about it, I’m pretty smart, all these times it was me who rejected people! Who would have thought I would fail at relationships, out of all people? Not only that, it was the first semester of college, when I barely started my college life. So I decided to tell myself to never fall in love again, at least all through four years of undergraduate college. Prince charming didn’t exist at this school, I told myself. The second semester, I decided to change hall in order to avoid the sad little place that I used to live in. So much that I didn’t notice that there was a really handsome boy sitting behind me in Physics lab during the first semester.
That is, until out of nowhere, he walked in front of me, looked at my eyes and said, “How are you guys doing?” Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that there was a pretty and intelligent redhead standing next to me. And by saying “my eyes,” I meant I hoped he was looking at my eyes, but he probably looked at both of us. I had to admit that after after the period of acting cold towards the opposite gender, I started to become a little pathetic after getting played. I had to get that confidence back! I had to get someone’s attention! I had to prove to myself that someone out there liked me, genuinely!
Also, when he started talking to me was when we no longer had lab together anymore, during the second week of the second semester of my freshman year. The short conversation happened at a lab section that I went to because of schedule conflict with an appointment I had to take during my regular lab time. And by saying conversation, it was mostly him talking to my redhead friend. I was too mesmerized by his charm that I couldn’t speak a word, besides “We’re doing great!”
“What’s his name? Do you know that guy?” I asked my friend after the charming prince left.
“No, do you know him?” to which my friend answered.
“No, I thought you knew him. I thought that was why he started a conversation with us!” I replied.
“But he is cute though!” my friend flashed a smile that almost made me hate her because her smile was beautiful. Her confidence almost made me hate her even more because she had the courage to talk to my potential boyfriend when I was too nervous to speak. I was scared that her charms snatched my boy away from me.
“I don’t know him. But he looks familiar. I think I’ve met him before or something. But I can’t remember his name!” I moaned.
Then several flashbacks in Physics lab from the previous semester played in my head. Once, I wanted to confirm my results with other people, so I decided to turn my head back and ask very politely to the two guys behind me if their results matched ours, to which one of the guys politely said yes back. Another, I became stupid and couldn’t understand what material the instruction paper was talking about, so again I had to turn my head back and seek help from the two guys sitting behind me. There were also times when the instructor asked for answers from the class, to which one of the guys behind me would raise his hands and answer them correctly. I never really turned back to take a good look at the guys.
Like I said, before my “pathetic” phase, “why-didn’t-I-notice all-these-cute-guys-around me” phase, I had a “heartless phase,” aka “every-guy-is-a-jerk-better-ignore-them-all” phase. I didn’t really pay attention to anyone in the class. I never noticed who was in my class. I never noticed that the lab section I was in consisted of only guys but me and two other girls. I never thought that the people in my lab section would think that my lab partner is someone special to me, aka my boyfriend. Sure we always laughed and had fun in Physics lab, to the extent that once our lab instructor jokingly said that we must not have fun in lab. If we laughed, they would take off points, which made us laugh even more. I already told myself to never fall in love again, so I had no interest in falling in love with anyone. I told myself to never notice any guy.
But gradually, I began to neglect my promise to never pay attention to the opposite gender, on the last day of Physics lab the previous semester, when one of the two guys sitting behind me was answering a question, I turned my back and took a good look at the guy answering the question. I realized, too late, that besides being really smart, he – was – very – handsome.
That handsome boy was the one who asked me, I mean me and my redhead pretty friend, how we were doing.
However, after talking to us, he left, just like that! He left without introducing himself! He left without telling me what his name was! Then I realized that I should have known his name because the instructor would say his name whenever he raised his hand last semester, but I was too wrapped up in my “must-not-care” rules that I never paid attention to what his name, or anybody’s in the class, was. But when I wanted to know his name, I never had the opportunity to again! He was a Physics major, so he took the Physics class for Physics major. I was only a Biology major, so I took Physics for non-majors. We only had lab together because introductory Physics lab was for both majors and non-majors. I prayed and prayed for an opportunity to see him again. Except, it was proven that the saying “be careful what you wish for” might actually be true.
He somehow popped up at my lab section, came and talked to me again, and introduced himself properly. Then he asked me for my number. He blew up my phone with text messages and we went out on dates. And on a beautiful day, he told me, “I love you” in his deep, sexy voice. He became a physicist and I became a biologist. I was happily ever after.
Except that perfect scenario only happened in my dreams. My friends always told me, “Amber, you think too much.” The real things happened like this.
On a rainy day, during the third week of the second semester, I decided to go to the school coffee shop. Being boring me, I bought myself a chocolate croissant and a cup of hot chocolate as always. Then I went to the library to study, boring me. After half an hour of studying, I decided to leave because I had an appointment with a professor. As I was walking down the stairs in the library, with the cup of hot chocolate in my hand, I saw my dream boy walking up! I just wanted to hide! I looked tired and hideous in my miserable outfits that screamed, “I don’t care about how I look because it is rainy today and I don’t want to get out of bed!” But I couldn’t, I had an appointment so I had to leave, and I couldn’t turn back because it was too late! At first I wanted to ignore him and look away, but I told myself I had to act normal. So I decided to calm myself down, I took a deep breath. A phrase from the song “Beautiful” was playing in my head, “Well your hair is wet and your clothes are a mess. But still you’re beautiful!” I tried to reassure myself that behind my tired look and my ugly clothes I was beautiful. Thus, as our eyes met at nearly the top steps of the stairs, when he smiled to me, I put a smile on my face, pretending that I was this confident and friendly girl who would smile at anyone that crossed her path. Or at least, it was a return for his smile, because he smiled at me first.
The next thing I knew, my cup of hot chocolate fell down the stairs all the way down to the last step! The cap popped open, everything that was left poured out and soaked the carpet. At first I didn’t know what to do, I just opened my eyes wide. “Awww” I heard from one of my ears, which woke me up from my horror. I sprinted down the stairs and picked up the paper cup, with thoughts running in my head about how I ruined my chance of my prince charming ever having a good impression on me! He would think that I’m pathetic! He would think that I was already crazy about him! It was not that it wasn’t true! I was crazy about him! But he wasn’t supposed to know that! He was supposed to think that I was confident and boys were head over heels about me and he was only one of the plenty of boys who chased after me and he was extremely lucky to finally gain my attention! But no! I ruined it! No, my hot chocolate ruined it! I couldn’t believe my favorite drink betrayed me!
“Are you okay? Do you need help?” a voice asked right behind my back. It was him.
I was really upset at him for making me drop my cup of hot chocolate, so I bluntly said, “No I’m okay. I’m perfectly fine. I’m fine! I don’t need help.” I didn’t need his help, because I already lost my chance of ever looking cool in front of him! What was the point of his help? Without looking back, I sprinted away to the nearest trashcan and threw the damn cup away. At least after the incidence, although I still didn’t know my prince charming’s name, he finally had a code name, “Cioccolata Calda,” Italian for hot chocolate. Well, at least my broken Italian was put into use. But from now on I would never be able to enjoy my most favorite drink in the world, hot chocolate, without having a horrendous flashback of what happened between my prince charming and me.
That night, in my dorm room, I was really pissed at myself. I didn’t want to talk to anyone. I barely started my second semester of college freshman year and something embarrassing had already happened to me! How was I going to survive the entire semester? I thought I would start a fresh start without any issues with boys, or with self-confidence, for that matter. I couldn’t believe that I actually dropped my cup of hot chocolate in front of a guy I was attracted to. I couldn’t believe either that he actually walked down to where the cup of hot chocolate fell and offered help. Did he think that it was his fault that I dropped my cup?
Then I started thinking about my attempt to have a fresh start during the second semester in order to forget about my failure in the love department. I thought my new dorm in a different hall would give me a fresh, better, start. I knew only a few people in my hall, because the people in this hall were reserved and kept to themselves most of the time, it was only the third week of the semester, and I spent most of my time in the library.
Turned out that not trying to get to know the people in my hall was one of my mistakes. A week after I dropped my hot chocolate in front of my Cioccolata Calda, on a morning just as dready as every other morning, I dragged myself up after only a few hours of sleep, thinking that today would just be as boring as any other day. I gathered clothes, a towel, and other necessities and walked to the hall bathroom with my eyes half closed to take a shower. The bathroom was quiet. No one seemed to be in any of the shower rooms. I dragged myself to a corner bathroom stall, my favorite one. I looked down at the lock to see if it was locked before I opened it to make sure no one was in there. It was unlocked, so I pulled the door opened.
There he was, almost naked, holding a towel across his lower body. He looked down at me, I looked up at him! I let out a scream and immediately pushed the door close. I stammered, “Sorry!” To which he replied back, “Sorry!” I couldn’t believe my ears. It was him, my prince charming. Why? But why must it be him? I didn’t know what to do, so I ran to the next bathroom stall and put my stuff down, thoughts running in my head. Great, so I started the day with a really embarrassing event! How was I supposed to face him again? Oh, but he had a great body though. But no, I must stop thinking about him. Argh why? Of all people, why must it be him? Why didn’t he lock the door? Did he want to be seen? Why did he forget? Of all people who walked in on him, why must it be me? And why did he have to have such a hot body besides a handsome face and a charming smile and a sexy voice? And he was so smart too! And how come I didn’t know he lived in the same hall as I do? He seemed to use the same shower stall as I do too, except he would shower right before me. Whenever I came in to my favorite stall, someone was already there and left before me, but I had no idea who it was. Turned out it might have been my Cioccolata Calda, whom I might also call “Bath and Body Works,” after this bathroom incidence.
Ever since that incidence, whenever I walked in a shower stall, I would become paranoid that somehow I would forget to lock the door and someone would walk in on me and I wouldn’t know what to do. I would check to make sure that no one was in the shower stall that I was walking into and that the door of the shower stall that I was using was properly locked.
Then suddenly my prince charming, aka my Cioccolata Calda, now my Bath and Body Works, disappeared for reasons I didn’t know of. A week went by without me seeing him. I became disappointed. But a part of me was relieved because I wouldn’t have to face my embarrassment.
Then suddenly he appeared again. I was walking down to the Science department as he was walking away from it, in the opposite direction I was taking. He had a stupid smile on his face, as if something really exciting was happening to him. I had no idea who he was smiling to or what he was smiling about. No one was with him so he couldn’t possibly be smiling with someone. I looked behind me but no one was behind me either, so the smile couldn’t have been to anyone in front of him. It occurred to me that he could have been smiling to me! But he couldn’t be smiling to me! Then it dawned on me that he might be laughing about me, about me dropping my cup of hot chocolate, about me walking in on him! So I stupidly looked away and ignored his smile. I derailed my path and walked far away from him. But then I regretted and prayed that he would not think that I am a mean person and that I was intentionally ignoring him.
Another week went by, I kept seeing my prince charming, but only from far away. Then one afternoon, I went to the kitchen to pour water into my water boiler, I saw him busy cooking something. But the moment he saw me coming in, he immediately took out his grapes and decided to wash them, taking the longest time ever. And I just stood there, not knowing what to do. He didn’t even say anything! There he was, crushing my dreams of a prince charming again for being so cold and so rude! He knew I was waiting for him to finish washing his food or whatever so that I could get access to water in the tab, yet he didn’t even say sorry that he was taking too long! What is this? Is this some kind of revenge? But I didn’t do anything! When he finished, I didn’t even look at him and just poured a little water into my water boiler and walked away from the kitchen really fast. There, I officially stopped thinking of him as being my prince charming. He was just another jerk.
But a familiar voice cut my train of thoughts, “Hey Amber,” I turned and to my surprise, it was from my no-longer-prince-charming.
“How…” I began.
“I think you would want the cap for your water boiler. I don’t think you intentionally left it in the sink. Aren’t you going to boil your water?” the now-a-jerk asked while handing over the cap to my water boiler.”
“Oh thanks, thank you,” I grabbed the cap.
“Are you always clumsy and forgetful like this?” he put a smirk on his face that broke my heart every time I saw it.
“No! I mean, not all the time. I’m not a clumsy, forgetful person! I mean, I think of myself as being smart…” I stammered.
“Ha I was just joking! Of course I know you are smart. Remember, we had Physics lab together last semester. You sat right in front of me, you always made really clever comments. You’re quite funny too,” to my surprise he blushed.
“Oh… thank you! I’d like to think I’m funny. But I think most of the times I laugh at my own jokes to cover the fact that no one laughs at them.”
“Hahahaha, see, I think you have a wonderful sense of humor. But the thing is, you said you’re not always clumsy. Does this mean you’re only clumsy in front of me,” he smirked again.
Oh how I hated him at that moment for making me blush from the top of my head all the way to my feet. I couldn’t find anything to say.
“Admit it! First, you dropped your cup of hot chocolate when you walked past me. Wasn’t it hot chocolate?”
“Ah yes it was…”
“Then you walked in on me half-naked…”
“That wasn’t intentional! You didn’t lock the door to your shower stall! You should have locked your door!” I shouted at him.
“Ooh come on. Okay I’ll admit I forgot to lock my door, and I swear that wasn’t intentional. But admit it, you checked me out, didn’t you?”
“No I did not! I closed the door right away so I couldn’t have!” I shouted again.
“Wow wow hush! Calm down. It’s okay. It’s okay. I won’t talk about this again,” he reassured.
“How can I believe you?” I questioned.
“Look, how about this? Since it was probably because of me that you dropped your cup of hot chocolate, may I invite you to a hot chocolate place down town? It’s called Cacao and it has really good hot chocolate, I think you’ll love it!” he went on.
“No, I think I’m fine. I forgot about that incidence already,” I lied. I wanted to accept the invitation but I lied, to keep my cool.
“Oh. I’m sorry if I said something that displeases you, and this invitation is going to be my apology to you for forgetting to lock the door to my shower stall…”
“Not again!” I stared at him.
“Okay look, truth is, since last semester, I’ve always noticed you. You sat right in front of me in Physics lab but you always ignored me so we never had the chance to talk. Several times I attempted to talk to you but you always seemed to ignore me. But, I think you are a very interesting person and I want to get to know you. I hope you’ll accept my invitation,” he sincerely said in his sexy voice, his beautiful brown eyes looked right through my heart.
“Okay, since you’re so sincere, I’ll accept the invitation,” I finally put a smile on my face.
“Great! How about this weekend? Are you free this weekend? Maybe this Friday night?” he appeared jolly like a kid getting his favorite toy during his birthday.
“Okay, I think that’ll work,” I suddenly remembered that he knew my name because he called me.
“But how, how did you know my name?” I stuttered. My face had the look ancient people would have the day they discovered that the earth was actually round and not flat.
“Oh, your name is written on your door. I always walk past it. I mean, I hope you don’t think I am a creeper for checking to see what your name is, since it’s right on your door… Besides, I knew your name since last semester…” he scratched his head.
“Okay, since you know my name already,” I began. “I think you owe me a name,” I smiled again.
“My name is Luke. Nice to finally get to talk to you,” he offered a handshake. With a wink, he added, “You have a really beautiful smile, by the way.”
“It was quite pleasant to know you too,” I smiled. Luke smiled in return, without any idea that he has a really charming smile.
And I walked away. This time, not only did I get his name, but also an invitation to something that might be called a date. I also realized that perhaps he was not a jerk like I momentarily thought, that perhaps my clumsiness might actually be okay with him, that despite my first failed relationship, it might work out this time. That perhaps, Luke could be my prince charming.
Wednesday, March 28th, 2012