Maria stood outside the lecture hall. It was the first day of classes here at the University of Texas and she was terrified. The college was huge and she wondered how she would ever meet any friends. She was shy by nature and it was hard for her to start a conversation with someone she didn't know. Why she had picked a college half way across the country was a mystery to her. She was very close with her family. Her mother had died when she was four and her father had raised her by himself in a small Connecticut town where he had been born. Her father was a writer and like Maria he was quiet and somewhat of a loner. He sheltered Maria and as a result Maria was somewhat naïve and dependent on others. Perhaps the reason she had chosen a college so far away was the fact that she wanted to see if she could make it on her own.

Maria pushed open the door to the lecture hall. Immediately she was welcomed by a blast of cool air. She checked her watch and discovered she was early. She sat down at one of the desks and resolved to wait. She smoothed out her knee-length white skirt and pale pink top and gently put down her notebook on the smooth surface of the desk. She tried to ignore the stares from several passing men. It made her uncomfortable when people looked at her. She was very pretty and often attracted attention from the opposite sex. She her dark brown hair fell in waves down her back and thick black lashes framed her chocolate brown eyes. She was tall but slender and almost fragile looking. Her father recognizing her natural beauty had tried to put her in pageants, but Maria was too shy and couldn't deal with the stage fright that seemed to go hand in hand with the pageants.

Maria had been so caught up in her own thoughts that she barely realized that the room was full and the class was starting. A man who looked to be in his mid-thirties stood at the front of the class. He was undeniably good looking and Maria got caught up with what he was saying as she listened intently from the back of the room. She was sorry when the class was over. She had been interested in what the man, who had introduced himself as Mr. Douglas, was saying.

She quickly collected her books and walked down to where the man was standing. He was tall with broad shoulders and dark blonde hair. He turned around and look at her. He stood there a second eyeing the beautiful young creature that stood before him and then extended his hand to her.

"Hello, I'm Maria and I just wanted to tell you what a great lecture that was," she said quietly.

"Well Maria, I appreciate it, but please call me Matt. Mr. Douglas seems a bit to formal, doesn't it?"

Maria giggled nervously, "Okay, Matt."

"There much better," he said with a self-assured smile, "So are you a freshman?"

"Yes," she said smiling shyly.

"Well I'll expect to see you at classes, but if there is anything I can do to help you adjust to college life just let me know," he said eyeing her once again.

"Oh, yes. Thank you very much Mr. Douglas-um-I mean Matt."

"No problem," he said laughing, "See you tomorrow."