"Why am I suffering like this?" I kneeled down on the floor, with the blanket covering me, valiantly trying to protect its mistress from the disease known as writer's block. "Ugh, I'm really screwed."
I had been trying without much progress for the past few hours, to get a headstart on wordcount that was needed for the essay - we had to write a ten thousand word essay and I was stuck at the.. title.
I sat up and pushed my head out of the long piece of fabric known to many as The Blanket before scratching my head. "Sheesh man, I gotta be nuts to be up and about at four am doing this!" I groaned again, before looking back to the desk, and on it the laptop's glowing screen. "Aw what the hell, I'm going for a run."
The Blanket fell away from me as I stood up in one smooth motion - before I could comprehend the aforementioned statement. "Run?" I glanced at the Popart watch on my left wrist, and grimaced. I must be hopping mad. Then again.. Aw shrugs man, I'd better get out of the house before I worry myself to death.
It had been a particularly tough run up and down the hilly terrain, and there was this bubbly pool of contentment in my stomach that had made its presence felt after my run as I wheezed my way towards the exercise corner complete with swing, monkey bar and whatnot. I slowed my footsteps down to an amble as I paused breathing to catch the heartbeat unaware.
The park was devoid of humans, not that I could blame it as it was - I checked my watch - five forty five. The sky had lightened to a dark dark blue, as compared to the inky black when I had first reached the park. The air was chilly and the slight gasp of wind blew icily at me as I stood hands akimbo between the monkey bar and the bench area.
I stumbled my way over to the bench and leaned my whole body adjacent to it, looking up at the sky. I rubbed my eyes tiredly and yawned. I was in need of sleep and with that last thought.., I drifted off.
It was the sound of human activity, of cars honking and screeching, and motorbikes without mufflers that woke me up. I was disoriented for a moment, and only that moment before my eyes snapped wide awake and I jerked up in response.
There were people milling around; the elderly group doing their own qigong, sparse number of jogging enthusiasts running towards each other, looping after each other and there were also the students who were walking to the nearby secondary school. I scruched my hair in dismay. "Alexia! Why the hell did you fall asleep!"
The answer was obvious: I had been an isomaniac the past few days and it was finally with desperation that I had chosen to start on the essay given by my Communications lecturer before dashing out of the house in a mad attempt to knock myself out. And I had.. very much like one of the many homeless people straggling to places people wouldn't frequent at the dead of the night.
I sighed noisily, the sound attracting a body near me to turn and pause whilst the body was doing its warm up. I turned in response, and sat stunned as my eyes connected with a pair of curious brown eyes. My eyebrows rose and the lower end of my jaw hung low. It was.. My eyecandy.
I could feel the red slowly burning up from my collarbones to the jawline and eventually creeping up my face. I could see the quirk on his face as the eyes widened slightly in show of a familiar face and he gave a small smile. I pursed my lips weakly in response before scrambling to my feet and hurrying away in the opposite direction. "Stupid stupid stupid!"
It was a few weeks later and I had clean forgotten about our less than pleasant exchange of looks until I saw him at the bus stop again. I stopped just a few steps away from the shelter as my heart hammered wildly in the left corner of the chest. I thumped the ribcage with my right fist and murmured, "Chill man. Take a breather."
It was light, and everything appeared to have a glimpse of blue in its surface. The light blue sky, the green grass that looked so fresh I could've have sworn its dew was fake, and The Eyecandy was wearing a light blue polo with pants and Vans. The clothes fitted him just nicely, without a hint of excess baggage or stretchiness, and I guess I could've stared at him for ages.
Alas, the bus came and he turned to my direction and started walking to the front of the bus shelther where the bus would stop. "Don't see me, don't see me, don't see me," I thought hard. But it came to naught anyway as he raised his eyes and caught me staring.
I started with a light shock, and pretended - albeit it being a very fake action - to look elsewhere. I couldn't catch his facial expression, but I really hope that I didn't make a fool out of myself and that he wouldn't think I was an idiot or anything.
My friends and I were out to do an easy biathlon with basic running before traisping to the recreational area beside the beach to do cycling. And that was what I was doing - peddling hard on the tandem bike as I drove my friend (who couldn't cycle, and well once fell off a four wheeler) and my spectacles were hanging precariously low on the bridge of my nose. I wrinkled my nose and lowered my eyes to see through the pieces of glass when I realize there was this person staring at me.
And when I looked up, there he was with a cap on, staring at me quizzically as we both drew nearer to each other before I hung my head as we whizzed past each other. My heart thumped harder, and I could feel my face getting hotter - even if nobody could see the diffference because it was already red from the exertion. I sighed, why did he have to see me when I am at my most unglamorous?
"HI!" I pronounced chirpily before realising the tall figure was a familiar one. I glanced up to his abashed face and I stoned for awhile before moving into action: pushing my hands into the apron's pockets to get the plastic glove and to move into position between the two ice cream freezers.
I tried my best to put on a professional front while doing all these; made easier by the one size too big visor I had on my head and stared right ahead, one hand clamped hard on the other wrist. I tried to appear unfeeling when all I had really wanted to do was to shout at him as if he's a long lost friend, sit him down with fantastic Baileys Irish Cream and listen to him talk. Aw well.
"Hey can I try that?" I looked up, momentarily distracted. The Eye candy was pointing to one of the tins and I smiled a very cheerful, very professional and very fake grin before chirping, "Yes! Give me a minute!"
I scooped an appropriate moment of the Macadamia Classic, which he had requested to try and immediately pushed my head down to a degree that no longer were I staring at his eyes and lips and face.
"You fit in here."
I pushed my head to a side, and glanced up at him inquiring. He placed the used wooden spoon into a container in front of me, before continuing to answer my silent question.
"Uh.. Well. I couldn't imagine you as a waitress."
I pursed my lips before letting out a half assed smirk show on my face. "Well, I couldn't too. Once was enough."
I was on the exercise bench, staring up at the night sky when a head popped into my line of vision and broke my reverie. "Hey."
My eyes widened and I sat up hesitatingly. What was he doing here?
"Uh well.. I couldn't find you at the ice cream palour today and I didn't have your number so I thought I'd drop by and see if you're around..." He drited off, and his hands pushed deeper into his jeans pocket.
"Why?" I was honestly confused. He couldn't have known about my slight crush now, would he?
"I wanted.. to ask.. You want prata?"
"So, how was school today?"
I stared at him incredulously for a second before breaking off to mutter a "Fine" under my breath.
He nodded, before sending his gaze out to anywhere but me. We were seated at the place where everything began: The Park. It was night time and the chilly air snapped at me. I shivered slightly, before hunching my body into my scrunched up legs on the seat.
It had been quite awhile since I last saw him, one or two months in fact. True, I had withdrawal symptoms the first few weeks but I was too stubborn to pick up the phone to text or to call him. I'd wait for him to call, I thought to myself churlishly then. But he never did.
Thinking back, it had been a whirlwind of a journey. We went from strangers to acquaintances to being together before ending up as strangers, and now we were tentatively building friendship bridges again. I wish I could say the relationship is something I could forget in a heartbeat, but strange – he's already infiltrated my defences. I could see a future with him despite and in spite of our beginnings, and that was why I was making effort to make sure our friendship took off well.
I glanced around before sighing and sneaking a peek at my watch again. He was late, that idiot.