An Unexpected Meeting

January 22, 2010
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Leyla stood in silence from the uncomfortable auditorium chair after another boring lecture given by Professor Brown, her typical ‘living in the basement of my parent’s house’ history teacher. It’s not like Leyla didn’t enjoy comprehending and absorbing knowledge about the past, in fact, she frequently liked marveling the world preceding her. Professor Brown was just a stuffy, old man that bored all of the students in his United States History class. In fact, most her classes at the Pennsylvanian university tended to bring out the ennui in their given subjects.
Leyla walked on, though her head was rambling with thoughts as she emotionlessly ambled across the campus. How much homework do I have tonight? Do I have any tests to study for tomorrow? Am I finally going to understand the trigonometry Professor Truman is teaching me? But most importantly, she thought, am I going to lose my scholarship?
Leyla had worked for everything she had accomplished so far in life. She grew up in an overwhelming poor family in west Philadelphia. She had to earn her excellent grades throughout her educational career, as well as keeping up with them throughout high school to earn the full ride to her university for four years. She never partied on the weekends, and spent all of her free-time working at the local diner or studying alone in her dorm room while her roommate was off with some guy for the evening. Yet, her life was always filled with distractions. But the he was the most frequent and significant of her diversions.
Mitchell Hannigan, she thought to herself; Mitchell was the college’s prized athlete, and also and exceptional student. Most people just saw him as a normal, unordinary guy. But Leyla saw something that the rest of the world seemed to overlook; the exact picture of perfection. She loved the way he held his broad shoulders, and how he walked forward proud yet with a humbleness to him. She adored his bright blue eyes and how they shined when he smiled. Leyla found his light brown hair that gently rested above his ears utterly irresistible. Her heart skipped a beat when he laughed. And every time he smiled, she could practically se e her reflection in those shimmering, perfect teeth. He was perfection in her eyes. A perfection she would never obtain.
He was too beautiful, too smart, too athletic, to popular, too perfect. He would never be hers, and that idea hurt Leyla deep inside whenever she thought of him. He didn’t even know she existed.
Sulking inside, Leyla continued on her lonesome journey back to her dorm; her eyes never left the ground. She kept trying to ignore the world, but her protective wall shattered when a man with broad shoulders bumped into her. The books in her hand boisterously tumbled onto the concrete. She sighed as she bent down to pick up her fallen possessions, not looking at the stranger’s face. She was used to being invisible by now, and this occurrence wasn’t exactly out of the ordinary for her.
“I’m sorry. Let me help,” the stranger said casually, as Leyla’s fragile hear raced into oblivion. Mitchell got to his knees and began to help the girl. He slowly started seizing the textbooks off the pathway, avoiding her frozen hands. When their eyes met, much to Leyla’s dismay, absolutely nothing happened. No fireworks, no bells ringing, no magical bright light. Not even the tiniest spark. Mitchell stood, helping the girl to her feet as well, as a faint smile spread across his face. He hoped he would be able to keep his cool composure around her. “Leyla, isn’t it?”
She nodded, speechless from the entire encounter. He knew her name. That thought made her heart sing for joy. But she figured she shouldn’t let that get to her. Mitchell hid his feelings better than he would ever realize. He tried to pretend that the silent redhead that was in his Civil Law class on Tuesday afternoons, the same girl who stood in front of him at that very minute didn’t fascinate him completely. He concealed the fact that his heart melted when he caught a glimpse of her innocent emerald eyes. Every time he saw that tiny figure stroll across campus, he acted as if he didn’t realize that she existed, despite the fact that his mind was screaming her name: Leyla, Leyla! He couldn’t rationalize why he’d let himself get so close to her, and for a second, there was a glimmer of happiness that he did allow himself to do so.
“Well, I guess I’ll see you in Civil Law, Leyla,” he nodded in a friendly benediction kind of manner, handing her back her belongings as he continued on his way. The girl stood there, flummoxed by the fact that he knew she was in his Civil Law class, as well as her name. Maybe there was a flicker of hope…
“No another distraction,” she whispered, shaking the ridiculous notion out of her head. She took a deep breath of the cool October air, still frozen in place.
Mitchell knew he would regret the entire incident later. Against his intuition, he looked back at Leyla, who was immobile behind him. He wanted to run to her, to finish their unexpected meeting, but his body wouldn’t turn back. For that, he was severely grateful. Her images already filled his mind almost the entire day, and he didn’t need any more distractions.
He did have a scholarship to maintain…

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