The following was inspired by real-life events.
The story starts with our hero seated at the back of class with a group of his friends. They are talking about some trivial thing or the other. Some of them have their eyes fixed on a screen where a sports game is being played. In the middle of the conversation, our hero notices a beautiful girl on the other side of the room. He becomes detached from the conversation, trying to get a better view of the girl. She is obscured by desks and the group of people who are around her. He only catches a few glimpses of her when someone in the group moves, so it’s only slight reveals. Hero stands up, pretending to stretch, but he is really trying to see the girl better. It doesn’t work. He can only see the top of her head. He tries leaning sideways, but he still can’t see her. He becomes frustrated and sits back down. He begins to wonder who the girl is and why he has never seen her before this moment. He always assumed that he would have noticed looks like that from the very first minute they were in the same room with him. He was already disengaged from the conversation with his friends, and he had long stopped keeping up with the game and who cited a faulty controller as the reason they were losing so badly.
Hero makes up his mind – he is going to speak to the girl. But first, he needs to devise a strategy.
Hero is not simply going to speak to the girl. He is going to rock her world. He starts planning the entire thing in his head.
He has heard of the expression ‘sliding in’ being used many times when people approach others to start conversation. But Hero is going to do the literal sliding in, none of this metaphorical rubbish. The tiles on the floor are smooth, his shoes have soles with just the right amount of grip; loose, but not too loose. He will start at a slow pace, then jog and finally break into a full sprint to get to the other side of class. Just as soon as he nears the girl, he will attempt to brake, but he will slide and look cool doing it, prompting numerous congratulations from the spirit of Michael Jackson. Then he will come to a stop mere inches from the girl upon which he will tap her on the shoulder and say “’sup”. The girl will turn and she will be taken aback by his devilishly good looks. Taken aback so hard that she will actually fall backwards. A half-swoon. Hero will then reach out and catch her before she hits the ground, because Hero has lightning reflexes. As he pulls her up, he will flex his biceps and triceps so hard his sleeve will rip.
“Oh my”, the girl will say.
“Oops”, Hero will reply.
He will pull her up and give them a moment to stare intently into each other’s eyes. He will blink once to allow the girl to return to reality, he doesn’t want her getting lost in his eyes. Not yet, anyway. The girl is still in shock, so Hero will be the one to break the tension.
“Hello”, he will say.
The girl will mumble something inaudible. In her mind, she is trying to think of how she will play it off cool, look disinterested. But all her strength is not enough to contain what she really feels.
“What? I didn’t catch that”, Hero will respond to the mumbling.
“I said ‘you saved my life’”, the girl will lie.
It will be a bit melodramatic to say he saved her life, but it’ll be a good alternative to what she had really said at first. Hero will smile inwardly at this, picture how she will very soon be singing ‘Hero is my hero’ to everybody she met after that. Smile inwardly for two reasons: he does not know if the girl can take his smile without fainting and he is also trying to play it cool – only he is having more success than the girl.
“It seems I have. You are now required to repay me”, Hero will say.
“Repay you? How do you suggest I do that?” the girl will ask, with a hint-laden tone in her voice.
Hero will smile inwardly again, knowing his mission has been a success. But he will be playing the part of the gentleman. He will weigh his responses carefully in his head before he says anything.
“You could accompany me to lunch at that nice café by the swimming pool. Then later we can go for a nice afternoon dip”, Hero will say.
“That sounds wonderful, but I’m afraid I haven’t brought my swimming costume with me”, the girl will reply with that tone of hers again.
“Neither have I”, Hero’s quip will come.
He will have thought of saying “we won’t need those”, but will decide against it because he will feel it is too heavy for a first conversation. The two will walk out of the classroom holding each other, smiling, as their classmates applaud. Their story will be told for generations to come.
Hero has planned out the whole thing in his mind. Now it’s time to put it all into action. It all flowed smoothly in his head; he sees no reason for it to fail. It’s perfect.
What could go wrong?
He starts moving towards her, but the randomly placed desks and people’s feet in the way make sure he never gets past a slow jog. He sees that he is at the place where he’s supposed to brake and commence the sliding that would find its way into history books. However, he finds he has not built up enough momentum, and the floor is not as smooth as he thought. He ends up tripping himself. His limbs flail wildly as he crashes into one desk after another, narrowly missing his frightened classmates. He gets up from the floor, ready to deliver his ‘’sup’ when he comes face-to-face with a group. The same group the girl is in. She is looking right at him.
He finally sees the girl up close. She is prettier than he had anticipated from that distance at the back of class. Her eyes have very dark irises, surrounded by a pure white. Her skin has no flaws on it – no acne, no blemishes, no scars, nothing. How did she get her skin to glow that way? Did she take baths in milk? Her hair just flows. There are no rebellious strands; everything just goes in the same direction. Her lips are full, but not in a way that makes it look like she is puckering up all the time. They are the type that seem like they are always holding back a smile. Her clothes are form-fitting; they reveal a pleasant frame without being too skimpy. The clothes are not too tight, they just move with the shape of her curves like the suit was custom-made for her. Hero notices no trace of make-up on the girl, maybe she applied it subtly or she looks that good naturally. She had the look that could qualify to be labeled ‘exotic’. If ever that class stood a chance against that other so-called exotic girl in Architecture, this one is that chance. She is stunning. Hero could stare at her for hours. Then he notices that he has been doing just that – staring. For seconds, maybe minutes. Who knows how long?
By this time, the girl has moved backwards a few steps. Slowly. Hero tries to remember what he was supposed to say to her. His thoughts are completely scrambled.
“Super”, he says.
“What?” the girl asks.
That’s not what Hero meant to say, but he doesn’t remember anything else. He tries to salvage some dignity. Maybe he’ll pretend he’s looking for someone. He tries to think of a name, but none comes to mind. He says the very first one that pops up.
“Nancy. I’m looking for Nancy”
“I don’t think there’s a Nancy in this class”, the girl replies as she takes another step back.
And she’s right. There is no Nancy in that class. To make matters worse, there is no Nancy in Hero’s life either. Well, except one.
“The lecturer. The lecturer named Nancy”, Hero says with a shaky voice.
“I wouldn’t know where she is. We’re not close. At all. Did you check her office?” the girl asks with impatience in her tone.
“I hadn’t thought of that. I’ll go check there right now”, Hero says as he quickly leaves the classroom.
By this time, the girls are fairly shaken up. The guys, however, are not. There is hysterical laughter coming from the back of the classroom. Stitches and tears are what is happening back there. Hero’s roommate is also in on it, the traitor. He has laughed so hard that his glasses have fallen off, but he doesn’t care. Some are on the floor while others have leaned on the walls to avoid falling from the crippling laughter. FIFA is not being played anymore, and one controller has been broken in the chaos of amusement. There will be no learning going on in this class this afternoon.
So goes the story of our hero.