She was posing.
Her laptop sat on the table, the screen set to a Word document, ready to type.
The document was blank, and so was her head. While trying to get out of a situation involving a potential suitor she had excused herself by saying, she had an imminent need to work, and work could not be put off any longer. And then, in hopes that perhaps the lie could draw out some inspiration from her, she determinedly walked toward the cafeteria.
Usually, mapping a plan that had formulated while she walked was the norm; the cafeteria had this one small round table nobody bothered to sit at. It was located in a secluded little corner of the first floor, with a view of the various trees outside, the spot was perfect to complete assignments, write, or just enjoy a coffee with her own company. Today, she put off thinking about what she’d write, until she got to her spot, ordered something to drink, set up her workspace, and – the list to put off the actual work could go on forever.
She had an excellent tendency to talk her way into and out of situations, but there wasn’t any getting out of this one. On the way upstairs, her sight fell upon the very people she was avoiding. She gave a half-hearted wave, zoomed past any familiar faces, and went straight to her spot. In her hurry to avoid people – although, secretly an intrusion would’ve been excellent procrastination – she hadn’t noticed anyone follow her.
The minute she sat down, she began to set up her tiny workspace the way she liked; laptop in the middle, notepad on the right, drink on the left, hands poised to write. Alas, she was interrupted.
The potential suitor had separated from his friends and followed her to her little space. She looked up in alarm as he encroached in her space, and plunged into the comfortable chair next to her. Okay, so she was being harsh, describing him as an intruder, since this was a place meant for all cardholders of the university. Her little spot wasn’t hers at all, so she had to relent.
“Hey,” he spoke rather gently as if taking care to ensure he didn’t disturb the atmosphere.
“Hi,” she whispered back, “I didn’t see you.”
He smiled at her, and asked, “So, what are you writing? I’m allowed to ask that right?”
She laughed, pleasantly surprised. Nobody ever asked, they just looked, so she asked just that.
“I could ask but, then we wouldn’t be able to talk, would we?”
So, he was charming, but everyone seemed that way at first. A part of her wanted to shoo him away, but another wondered: there weren’t any ideas drifting around in her head, and she wasn’t writing, so why not talk to the poor guy? He seemed nice enough, and if he was interesting…endless possibilities.
So, she went with the latter.
“I’ve been trying to write but nothing’s really” she waved her hands around, searching for the right word.
“Happening?” he finished for her. She nodded, her message conveyed.
“I’ve been trying so hard to write something, but the words just won’t…” she trailed off again.
“Coming to you?” they shared a laugh over the second completed sentence.
“I don’t know anything about writing, or being an author, but why don’t you write what’s around you?” He suggested.
She went on the defensive, “It’s not that easy, putting thoughts into words and words on paper, or a screen. There’s so much energy and emotion that goes into the writing process and nobody really appreciates that, and it’s so frustrating that I just can’t get it done today.”
He looked thoughtful, “You’re not feeling the emotions today? Feels blank with a side of detachment?”
She nodded. He did understand her emotions or lack thereof. It would be wonderful to just get some new vibes, or energy off of someone or something, but it just wasn’t her day.
“I can’t make any promises to fix that, but I can help you feel something?”
She raised an eyebrow, “You want to make me…feel something?”
“Not like that,” he blushed a little at her insinuation, “let me try?”
“Try away, then. Can’t do any worse than I already am,” she sighed and kept her gaze on him for further instruction.
He leaned closer, but looked at something a little distance from them, and nodded toward it. She followed his gaze, which led to three people engaged in conversation.
“Those three are making plans,” he began, “with fervor. Look at them argue, they can’t decide what to do. And it has to be important since they’re so worked up about it. Imagine trying to make plans, and not getting through to anyone, like the one in the middle,” he nodded toward the one who looked the most flustered, “they’re not listening to her, and she’s desperately trying to not lose it, because…”
“She has really good ideas and put effort into her plans, but they keep shooting them down?” she guessed.
“Exactly, now look at them,” he nodded in encouragement, this time toward a group of people, “what do they look like to you?”
She thought for a moment and then spoke up, “Awkward. They’re strangers, and they don’t know what to say around each other, and someone probably, already said something they shouldn’t have and now everyone’s thinking how to not offend the other.”
She looked back at him in question, but he was already watching her. Caught looking, his cheeks slightly flushed, he just nodded toward some other folk. They kept at it for ages, laughing, making up wild stories about people they had no idea about. Before long, an hour passed. It took one more until they sobered up.
“Feel better?” he asked in earnest.
“I do, and I feel like writing…” she paused to find the word, “everything! Thank you, I feel so refreshed.”
He was saying something, but his eyes looked so good in the fading light; a deep, hypnotizing shade of green, like forests after the rain when the sun shines upon them. Instead of staring at him like a creep, she just typed the description of those eyes and thought of writing more.
“Who’re you writing about?” This time he read.
“You,” she said unabashedly, “it’s only fair since you’ve gotten me out of my stump.”
“Does that mean if I ask you to accompany me to a special, showing of black and white movies this Saturday? It’s only fair…” he was grinning ear to ear, and it was hard to say no, so she didn’t.
She turned back to her laptop when he excused himself.
Time to write about something new.