Stories

Life As We Know It #1

This was beginning to get frustrating for Randy. He has been trying to get Sarah to like him throughout their high school and it’s been to no avail. He was even thinking of applying to Stanford just because he knew she would be attending there.

Was he a stalker? No. He liked to view himself as someone that was relentless and always went after what he wanted.

“Randy I asked you a question” he heard the teacher saying.

Looking up he realized she was already standing beside his seat. Not again, he thought. His mind was wandering again. Like always, he glanced at Sarah first then back at the teacher.

“I’m sorry ma. I didn’t hear the question” he heard the others laughing.

Yeah, he’d become an object of amusement.

“Quiet” he heard the teacher say.
“I asked for the summary of the literature book you were meant to read for this class. That’s assuming you read it”.

She was making him uncomfortable and making him look stupid. In front of Sarah; could this day get any worse? He didn’t even remember to read the damn book. He looked down at his palms which were already sweating and quietly wiped it on his pants. He glanced towards Sarah and could see her friend whispering something to her and laughing. Yeah!It just got worse.

“Randy?”

Oh! He’d totally forgotten about the teacher.

“I didn’t read it. I forgot to”.

Again, everyone burst into laughter.
“Now that’s not a surprise.”

Every other sound became distant to him. He really had to stop making himself look like a fool if he wanted Sarah. And just on cue, the bell went off.

*******************

“That boy is so dumb” said Helen, Sarah’s friend.

“He is not dumb. Just distracted”

“By you..” chipped in Lois and they all laughed.
As they approached their lockers, Helen looked over Sarah and saw Randy walking towards them.

“Here he comes”.

“Hi Sarah, can I talk to you for a minute?” asked Randy

“You could really use some of that confidence in class.” Said Helen and laughing they walked out on him.

He just stood there looking at her. He didn’t know what else to do; she won’t even give him a chance. They were graduating from high school in two weeks and he still hasn’t gotten close to her. He made up his mind to apply into Stanford, and major in Law; he knew that was the major she got a scholarship to study.

Back home, Sarah’s younger sister Jules was disturbing her about Randy.

“He is so cute, why don’t you just give him a chance”

“Mum would go crazy if she finds out. He is so beneath our class. Plus Helen thinks he is dumb”.

“And what about you? How do you feel?” asked Jules.

Looking up, Sarah raised her eyebrows; “sometimes I wonder if you and Randy are besties or something. You always seem to push me to talk about him. Anyways I’m dating Austin and I still have school to think about. Can’t afford to be distracted”.

Jules scoffed but let her be. She knew she wouldn’t get more out of her. They talked about other things and she was content, for now.

High school soon came to an end and it was time for graduation. Sarah was the best graduating student and she gave the graduation speech. Her parents were very proud of her and so were the parents of others as regards to their kids. They were all happy to face the next step of their life.

The days flew by and it was soon time for Sarah to go to Stanford and she just couldn’t talk about any other thing. She had broken up with Austin with the excuse that she wanted full concentration on her books and  no distraction but the truth was that she had no deep feelings whatsoever for him and she didn’t feel comfortable stringing him along. She had never been happier since she did and never thought anything could ruin Stanford for her until Jules walked into her room one night.

“Hey you! Guess who I ran into today?”

“Who?” she asked, absent minded.

“Randy. Guess what?”

“I really don’t care but I have a feeling you’d still tell me otherwise so, what?”

“He is going to Stanford and he is going to be studying your major. Law” said Jules excitedly.

“Oh! Never knew he had any interest in Law” said Sarah trying to sound undisturbed. She wouldn’t give her sister that satisfaction.

“Well, you never knew him” said Jules as she walked out of the room smiling. She knew they would definitely end up together; it would just take a little time as her sister is very stubborn. But soon Sarah will see what a nice guy Randy is.

Immediately Jules left, Sarah picked up her phone and called Helen and Lois.

“Guess what Jules just told me!”

“What did she say?” asked Helen

“She just ran into Randy and he told her that he got into Stanford to study Law”

“Oh my God!” shouted Helen and Lois in unison.

“I know. He is such a stalker. I hate his guts. What does he think, that it will be easier for him at Stanford? He should better get ready because this is war”

Laughing, Helen said “calm down. Don’t be so serious. It’s obvious he is already a stalker. Never knew it was to this extent though and I never thought he was smart enough to get into Stanford”.

“And you both think its only you two that are good enough for Stanford? This makes me wonder though, if there are other things we don’t know about him” said Lois.

“Whatever, I won’t even let this spoil Stanford for me”.

“You shouldn’t. I’ll keep him at bay” Said Helen.
That made Sarah smile. They talked about other things before finally hanging up.

It was soon late September and Sarah was more than ready for school as she would be resuming in the autumn quarter.

As expected, everyone wanted to drive her off to school including her brother Ryan who was already at Berkley. He’d even teased her that she’d gotten into Stanford just to be close to him and she’d just shrugged him off because they both knew he was teasing. She’d miss him though, and Jules but mostly her parents. But then again, she could always drive back home. She smiled at the prospect of driving across the state alone, her dad had gotten her a car when she’d gained the scholarship into Stanford; she couldn’t have asked for a better gift.     

She was riding with Ryan and Jules in her car behind her parents and the truck carrying her load closely behind them. She had let Ryan drive, not to soothe his ego but because she wanted to observe everything she saw.

She felt like though it were just minutes but knew it was longer than that, and they were already in her school.  
 
Stanford university campus was located on the San Francisco Peninsula in the northwest part of Santa Clara Valley. The main campus stood, adjacent to Palo Alto where the Stanford Shopping Centre and Stanford Research Park were incorporated. She could see the Hoover Tower, which was the tallest building on campus and was inspired by the cathedral tower at Salamanca in Spain. Bronze statues by Auguste Rodin were scattered all over campus including the Burghers of Calais. She had been here before but she was quite nervous then and didn’t really appreciate the beauty, she was so happy to be here.     
When they finally got to the Law sorority dorm house; the Sigma Psi Zeta, her dad and brother helped her move her things up to her room. They all went out for lunch, and spent a little more time together, before they bid their farewells. The others rode back in her parents’ car and they had to drop off Ryan at Berkeley before heading home. As they drove off she felt a little sad but happy too.

Turning towards her dorm she walked in and braced herself incase she meets her new roommate. She hadn’t been around earlier but she was guessing she might be now.

“Hi, I’m Polly. I guess you are my new roommate” the other girl in the room said extending her hand.

Accepting the hand she offered, “Yes, I’m Sarah”

“Hello Sarah. Sorry I wasn’t here when you came to help you move in”

“It’s okay. My brother and dad handled it. How long have you been here?”

“A year. Welcome to the house”.

“Thanks”.

Polly later took her downstairs where she met other freshmen. She talked with some people then later decided to walk around the school to get a better view and perspective of it. She was pretty tired by the time she got back and went straight to sleep.

It was soon morning and Monday. Polly helped her get the schedule for the freshmen’s orientation and then showed her the classroom. She settled in one of the seats, already dreading the long talks and tours, especially the fact that she’d face them alone. Sighing as she glanced around, she saw Helen and motioned to her. She’d never been happier seeing someone.

“Where have you been?” Helen asked as she hugged her.

“I should be asking you the same question. I’ve been in school since yesterday.”

“Me too. How come we never ran into each other at the house?”

“I don’t know. What house you at?”

“Sigma Theta Psi”

“That explains it. Polly told me there were two houses. I’m at Sigma Psi Zeta.”

“Oh! Who is Polly?”

“She is my roommate”

They chatted about the school, and their new roommates while waiting for the orientation programme to start.

Soon it was time for the first talk and more students gradually filed into the class. Helen glanced around and suddenly saw Randy then tapped Sarah.

Sarah glanced over and saw him, then scoffed. As long as he didn’t bother her, she’d act like he didn’t exist. She looked at him again; he seemed to have grown a bit taller. He even seemed to have filled out some flesh and muscles; he used to be scrawny. He looked good today and she could almost say he was handsome with his black hair slicked back on his face. She shook off the thought and concentrated.

He’d seen them when he walked in. Even now he purposely picked a seat almost adjacent to hers so he could look at her without being caught. He didn’t know Helen was going to be here too, everything suddenly seemed more difficult. He looked at Sarah then. It had only been months he last saw her, but it felt like years; he didn’t think it was possible but she’d grown prettier. Her strawberry blonde hair packed up in a ponytail, her lips; thin but firm. Her eyes; so blue you could get lost in them, and her nose; just perfect for her face. She had this classic beauty that will suck you in slowly then leave you breathless. Too bad she’d probably never feel for him what he feels for her but he was content to just be able to see her everyday; for now. Reining in his thoughts, he turned and concentrated.

The rest of the day moved slowly for all freshmen and soon the day was over. After lunch, Helen and Sarah returned to their rooms.

The week soon passed by and it was already Friday. After lectures, they went to Sarah’s room. They heard Polly and some other girls talking about the mixer that night with their counter fraternities. No one seemed to have any other thing to talk about, even Helen kept going on and on about meeting cute guys. She wasn’t all that excited about it but it doesn’t hurt to meet new people.

The mixer started by 8pm and soon the house was flooded. She had to admit, most of the guys were good looking and she was actually having fun drinking and eating. Some boys had asked her to dance but she’d politely declined. She could hear Helen’s laughter as she waltzed around the dance floor.

She felt the eyes before she saw him. Slowly turning to find the source, she saw him leaning against the wall steadily looking at her. He was handsome, dark sensual eyes that made you wonder what he was thinking. Thin lips that would make any girl dream. She looked at the fingers holding his styrofoam cup and wondered what it will feel like on her skin. She shuddered at the thought. God! She was already fantasizing about a stranger she didn’t know.

He smiled then, as if he knew exactly what she was thinking.

“Oh My God!” she heard Helen gasp beside her.

Without looking at her she already knew why she gasped.

She tore away from his gaze and turned towards Helen.

“Who is he?” Helen asked.

“I have no idea, done having fun?”

“I guess. He is staring at you. He probably finds you interesting”

“Yeah. Whatever”

“Hi Sarah”

She turned and saw Randy. Cursing under her breath she forced a smile on her lips.

“Hi Randy. Hope you are having fun”

“Yes. Thanks. Can I talk to you outside for a minute please?”

“Sorry. I really have to go. Later”

She sighed as she walked away. She had forgotten Randy would be there, she never even thought of the possibility that he would talk to her. He wouldn’t ruin her night.

Brad wasn’t the type to stare but he just couldn’t help it. She was beautiful, even the way she walked was very graceful. He saw her walk outside. He could easily go after her now but he won’t. She’d probably expect that. Smiling he turned to his friends and then left after some minutes.

When she came back into the house, she looked around for the stranger who was staring at her. Whom she just couldnt stop thinking about the way he was looking at her; and was sad that he was gone. She excused herself then went upstairs to her room as she didn’t want to run into Randy again.

The weeks flew by and it was soon October. Sarah loved every bit of school and she’d even made new friends.  

She talked with her parents and siblings always as much as she could. Ryan had even driven down from Berkeley last weekend to visit her. She was happy; almost. She just couldn’t shake off those dark eyes that were staring at her that night. They haunted her.

And unknown to her, thoughts of her haunted him too.

Around mid October, one noon after lectures she decided to indulge and went for ice cream. She soon felt someone looking at her, exactly the way she felt that night at the house but refused to turn. But she wished, really wished it was him.

“Hello. Is this seat taken?”

She nodded and he sat. She almost jumped with glee but she managed to look calm. Looking up at him, it was the same guy, not that she was surprised.

“Hello. I’m Brad”

“Hi. Sarah”.

They got talking and were soon at ease with each other. He had a good sense of humour and made her laugh a lot. They talked for almost 2 hours oblivious to the time.

“I can’t believe we talked for that long” said Brad

“Me neither” she said glancing at her wrist watch.

“Since lunch is long past, let me buy you dinner, please?”

“How could I say no when you asked so nicely?” she said smiling.

An hour later they were back at her dorm house.

“Thanks. I really had a nice time today”.

“You are welcome. Nice meeting you Sarah. Mind if I call you?”

“Sure. I hope you are not one of those guys that take a girl’s number then take ages to call?”

Laughing he replied her. “Definitely not. I’m the type that texts just before you get to your room”.

“Good” she said smiling.

They exchanged numbers then he walked her to the door.

“Good night Sarah”

“Good night Brad”

And just as she got to her room, her phone beeped and it was a text from Brad.

“I had a real nice time too. Thanks for that. Sleep good Sarah”.

Smiling she lay down on her bed and slept off with thoughts of him.

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