“The next class is at Block C, level three,” I said to myself as I read the timetable while walking. It was the start of a new semester at school and I wasn’t sure of my timetable yet.
All of a sudden, someone bumped into me, sending the books in my left arm flying. That person merely said “sorry” and disappeared into the crowd in front of me. I let out a grunt and expected to pick up my books from the ground, hoping that no one else would step on them by accident. Instead, my books were handed to me in a neat stack.
She gave me a smile and walked away before I could say thanks. I didn’t get a good look at her face since her long brown hair covered most of it. I thanked my lucky stars and headed for my class, happy I met a good Samaritan at the start of my day at school. What I didn’t know was that it was the first of many encounters with her.
The next time we met, she had her arms around my waist. I was hurrying down the steps of the staircase to the lecture hall, trying to get a good seat at the back of the hall. Sitting in front meant I would be easily spotted if I was daydreaming. Being the klutz I usually was, I tripped. I was worried about destroying my glasses if I fell forward more than the pain it brought since I had just made a new pair two months ago. Mother would definitely ground me if she knew I broke another pair of glasses again.
However, a pair of arms circled my waist and prevented me from hitting the ground. The scent of wisteria filled my nose as I leaned onto the body of my saviour when I felt her pulling me back. Steadying myself, I turned around and met a pair of bright eyes and the familiar sweet smile. This time, I had a clear look at her since we were standing so close to each other.
“Thanks,” I said. She nodded her head and disappeared into the lecture hall. I stood on the steps for a moment, heart beating a little fast and I thought about what just happened. A classmate ran past me and tapped my shoulder, telling me that the lecture was starting. I snapped out of my daze and headed into the lecture hall.
To my blessing, an empty seat on the third row from the back greeted me. I made my way there and sat down. After taking out my textbook and pencil, I proceeded to look around the lecture hall for my saviour.
After a few minutes, I spotted her sitting somewhere in the middle of the lecture hall. She tucked her hair behind her ear, revealing her fair complexion. For the next hour, my thoughts were focused on the girl only, observing her every little movement.
She liked to twirl her pen with her right hand whenever she wasn’t taking notes. She seemed to have a sweet tooth judging from the amount of M&Ms she popped into her mouth during the whole lecture. I saw her biting her lips when she was furiously jotting down the formulas that the lecturer was flashing on the screen. She looked really adorable at that moment and I wished I could see that up close some day.
When it was nearing the end of the lecture, she turned around and looked up. She appeared to be looking for someone. My heart skipped a beat as I quickly looked down at my notes, pretending to be hard at work. I didn’t know why I had no guts to meet her eyes directly at that moment.
The third time we met, she saved me from walking into a dustbin. I was busy replying text messages on my phone and I didn’t look ahead to see where I was going. I felt someone tug on my backpack and I jerked backwards. Looking up from my phone, I realized I almost rammed into a dustbin that was in the middle of the courtyard.
Somehow I had the feeling it was she who saved me again. I didn’t have to turn around to confirm my answer as the scent of wisteria filled my nose. Once again, no words were exchanged as she flashed the same sweet smile at me before she walked away.
To be honest, I was mesmerized by her. Her lips turned up at the corners thereby revealing her well-defined cheekbones. Her bright brown eyes that seemed to twinkle like the stars. She had long brown hair that framed her fair complexion and curls at the ends of her hair that bounced a little when she walked. She was a work of art. It was then I knew I was falling for a schoolmate whom I hardly know.
I finally heard her voice when we met for the fourth time. I was engrossed in reading a thriller novel until I forgotten about time. By the time I looked at my watch, I was already running late for my class. I got up from the bench and rushed off. I blamed James Patterson for writing such a page-turning, causing me to forget about my classes.
“Hey, hey there!” someone called out. I didn’t realize that person was referring to me. Rather than stopping, I hastened my footsteps as I was running late.
It wasn’t until I felt a tap on my shoulders which made me stop abruptly. I heard the person panting lightly behind me, trying to catch her breath.
“You’ve forgotten to take your bag,” the person said after I turned around to face her.
I felt like all the air had been sucked out from my lungs when I met her face to face again. She held my tote bag in front of me.
“Thank you, you’ve saved me again,” I said gratefully. I was embarrassed at my own forgetfulness. I could feel the warmth on my cheeks. Was I blushing?
“You’re welcome.” Her voice sounded sweet and smooth like silk, coupled with her usual sweet smile on my face, I thought I went to Heaven for a moment.
She flashed a wink at me. “Heading for the Accounts lecture?”
I nodded, surprised that she knew. It took me a full minute before I realized that it was the same lecture we had been attending together since the first time I noticed her presence in the lecture hall. I was completely focused on her and totally neglected the lecture I was at.
“Mr Lee is always late, we have a few minutes to get there.” She smiled and led the way. I followed closely behind her.
When we got to the lecture hall, there were two empty seats in the third row from the front. I blamed myself for getting so engrossed in the book and now having to sit in front meant I couldn’t daydream. On the other hand, it was a blessing in disguise and I got to sit next to my saviour.
She was right about Mr Lee. He was ten minutes late. We chatted briefly about schoolwork before the lecture started. She took out a packet of M&Ms and left it in front of her. About ten minutes into the lecture, she pushed the packet of chocolates to me, asking me if I wanted some. I gladly took up the offer. Those tiny colourful chocolate candies were definitely effective to keep us awake during a boring Accounts lecture.
I wondered if she realized I was stealing side glances at her during the lecture. She was a little too distracting with that flawless complexion and sweet smile. After careful observation, I noticed she had a cute little mole on her left cheek. At the end of the lecture, she stuffed the empty sweet wrapper into her bag, mouthed a ‘Goodbye’, flashed a grin at me and left the hall. I sat there for a while, before I finally woke from my daze and left the empty hall.
For the next few times she ‘saved’ me, we managed to chat a bit more. Our topics usually started off with mundane stuff like schoolwork but gradually grew to finding out more about each other. I realized that she loved fashion but hated cucumbers and melons. The more we talked, the more we learnt about each other and the more I felt myself falling for her.
I noticed she always used a particular pen for her Accounts lecture. Apparently it was one of the lighter pens she had and it was good for twirling. I noticed she liked the colour pink, judging from her pencil case to her cardigan, sometimes even her shoes. She liked to tuck her hair behind her ear and that she seemed to prefer her left profile more than her right. I started to notice all these little things about her and remembering them in my heart.
One day after school, I was engrossed in reading a novel on the bench outside the library. It was the latest novel from my favourite author and I had a strong urge to start reading it the moment I stepped out of the library.
“What are you reading? Another James Patterson novel?” a familiar voice asked as the person sat down next to me.
I was surprised she knew who my favourite author was. She scooted next to me and leaned against my arm, trying to peek at the page I was reading. Of course I didn’t mind the close proximity. In fact, it made my heartbeat turn erratic.
I held my book up, bringing it closer to her. She read the first two paragraphs on the page, sounding as dramatic as she could and that made me laugh out loud. She burst into laughter too, unable to continue reading. Her laughter was music to my ears.
She decided to join me to read, so she whipped out a book from her tote bag and started reading on her own. Both of us sat there for a while, trying to read our books but we knew that none of us could focus on reading. I kept reading the same few lines over and over again. I could feel her side-glancing me several times and she would pretend to read her book innocently if I ever caught her stealing a look at me.
Our eyes met for a brief moment. She put her book on her lap and flashed her sweet smile at me. Then she moved nearer and nearer to me, till I could feel her warm breath on my face. Her warm lips glazed across my cheek for a few seconds before she pulled away. The moment the warmth left my cheek, I hurriedly cupped the sides of her face and kissed her on her lips. That was our first kiss. I was thankful she didn’t pull away in shock when I kissed her. It was short, sudden but memorable. Till now, I still couldn’t figure out what had gotten over me that day but I was thankful my heart was ruled my mind at that moment.
The second time we kissed, it was much better. We were sharing ice cream at a shop in a mall. Instead of wiping off the ice cream on the corner of my lips, she decided to kiss it away instead. That was how we ended up kissing on our first date. She was a fantastic kisser and I was sure that wasn’t her first kiss. Me, on the other hand, wasn’t that experienced in this aspect. I allowed her to guide me through Kissing 101.
After going out with each other for a few months, I decided to ask her why she always appeared at the time when I needed help. Her reply was simple. She had noticed me feeding a stray kitten some milk near the school gate every morning and she was captivated by my kind heart. It was coincidental that on that same day, she was walking behind me when someone bumped into me, sending my books flying. Since she used to play netball in high school, her reflexes were quick and she saved my books from landing on the floor. From that day onwards, she started to notice me and hung out wherever I went (almost). She did defend herself by saying she wasn’t a stalker. Moreover, both of us were doing a business degree so the chances of bumping into each other were very high.
I told her the kitten looked very pitiful and it seemed like it was abandoned by its mother. My heart went out for the poor kitten and I decided to feed it, so that it wouldn’t starve. I didn’t expect such a simple act would capture someone’s attention. Nonetheless I was thankful it brought good tidings for me in the form of my girlfriend.
“The irony is you’re the one who needs saving most of the time. From tripping on the stairs to bumping into lampposts and dustbins,” she said with a laugh.
I kissed the back of her hand and said sincerely, “I’m so glad you’re always there to catch me when I fall. Sica, you’re my saviour.”
= The End =
A/N: For Pepero Day (11/11/2013) in Seoul!