I walk down the oddly familiar hallway, because I’ve never been here before. Yet, I know where I’m heading, towards the large common area between the college library and the copying room. Students mill about, leaning on lockers, chatting; sitting on steps, reading, laughing. I walk slowly to the the copying room and take a peek. There he is, all six foot three, brown hair, white shirt with sleeves folded messily, cuffs exposed and flapping, black tie loosened at the collar, blue jeans, brown Land’s End sneakers.

He is talking to a chubby guy with glasses about some textbooks he’d purchased. They both look up as I enter. He gives me a quick smile and a nod, and continues to talk to the man who is clicking a mouse on a computer.

“So I think we need to change those today, before more of these books are returned and we can’t resell them,” says the guy in the white shirt, who moves towards me slowly but his attention still on the guy with the glasses, who is looking more irate with every click. Guy with glasses nods and grunts in agreement. Guy in white shirt looks up at me, smiles his gorgeous wide smile, and pecks me on my lips.

Wow.

“Ready?” His voice is deep, instantly recognizable, boyish somehow.

I nod, smiling happily and we walk hand-in-hand into the courtyard. It is another sombre day but I feel fine. And then I look down. I see my dirty, light blue sneakers. My worn, stained sweat pants. My white tee has the morning’s peanut butter on it, and think I even smell…what is that? Yogurt?

Oh great. Where are the kids? And more importantly, where can I get a change of clothes?

Guy in white shirt looks at me, his lips set in a kind, contented smile. He doesn’t even notice my clothes, the sorry state I’m in. We head across the courtyard, chatting about something I can’t remember. He notices me looking at the old oil burn at the back of my right hand, an ugly brown scar from a kitchen fire that almost burnt the house down a few months ago, because I’d been making fried won ton.

Guy in white shirt lifts said hand up and kisses it, giving the scar a playful lick. I nudge him away, shocked. He pulls me closer, hugs me to him, and plants a kiss on the top of my head before tucking me into the crook of his neck. And in this tight embrace, we stroll to his car. Me, in my soiled, stained clothes and him, behaving as though I am the most beautiful girl in the world.

Sigh. What a guy.

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