It all started with this girl.
I first noticed her during the second week of classes. I was leaving anatomy and crossing the large grassy lawn in front of the library when I stumbled over a rock and dropped my anatomy textbook. I hated dirty books; the only things that should be in a book are pencil marks, highlighter streaks, and Post-it flags. I was wiping dirt off the cover when I saw her.
She was sitting on the ground under a flowering tree with her backpack and various books spread out around her. Her back was against the tree and a box of pencils, most of which were scattered errant in the grass, sat by her side. Her eyes and her hands were focused on the spiral-bound sketchbook propped up on her knees. Her hands moved swiftly and smoothly as if they had a will of their own, contrasting the stoicism of her face. Her face was still with concentration but would randomly break into a smile. She lifted her head and, for a second, I swear she looked right at me but she brushed her black hair away from her eyes and went right back to drawing.
I never spoke to her.
I saw her, sitting there under that tree, three times a week for weeks but I never spoke to her. Truthfully I didn't have the courage to even though I told myself that I just didn't want to. I assumed she was an art major from the way she lost herself in her craft. I was pre-med and had never drawn more than a simple diagram or a pie chart. Why should I deviate from my walk to class and risk being shot down by an art major when, as my friends claimed, there were many girls clamoring for the chance to date a future doctor? I could think of no logical reason so I never did it. It was safer to stay in my world of books, facts, and case studies than it was to walk over to that tree and start a conversation. And yet when anatomy ended I was always the first one out the door. I always looked over at that tree as I crossed the lawn, hoping to get another glimpse of her drawing, or reading, or eating. I never stopped, always walked straight to my next class, content with the view from a distance.
I was fairly confident that our paths would never cross.