She was wearing black skinny jeans even though it was a hot and sunny day. On her feet were black ballerina flats and her shoulders were covered by a lightweight grey tee. Her caramel blonde hair, tied in the now so fashionable messy pony tail, was dancing in rhythm with her step. She was walking fast towards the university library with a friend, a pile of books in her hands and a megawatt smile on her strikingly familiar face.
“Is she studying for a test or working on an essay?” Ethen thought. He followed suit and burst through the automatic doors. His gaze darted to and fro the packed space. It was exam period and the library was teeming with life. “C’mon, c’mon. Where are you?” he muttered to himself. As usual, Ethen was impatient. He rarely knew what he wanted, but when he did he always had to have it immediately.
“Ah there you are!” he thought when his eyes spotted the caramel blonde ponytail. The two young ladies had decided to occupy a corner on the floor near the staircase door. With backs against the wall and feet crossed, they were laying out books, notes and pens. He looked to the left of the pair. All the tables, and even the benches and colourful bean bags, were occupied by an army of first and second year students preparing for exams.
A group of raucous boys brushed passed him on his right. He looked in the direction they had come from and spotted the table they had freed. He also spotted a girl with glasses so big they reminded him of an insect making her way to that table. But Ethen wasn’t going to let her have it. He was closer and taller than her. This meant his steps were bigger and he could get to the table quicker. As their eyes crossed paths both of them sped up. It was a split second duel, but one which Ethen won easily.
He dumped his bag on the table and threw his jacket on the chair. He then made his way to the toilet. He had to make sure he looked immaculate before approaching the two girls. He also had to decide on the best pick up line.
Ethen stood in front of the mirror. The face staring back at him was pale and narrow. His piercing green eyes were inspecting his almost perfect smile. His teeth were white and perfectly aligned courtesy of the braces he had to wear for two years in his teens. His thick black eyebrows were almost obscured by the just as dark mane sitting on his head. A lot of people said he looked like his father – something he disliked, but had gotten used to. His old man was a violent alcoholic and a gambler and Ethen knew he was better than that.
He decided to play it safe and to ask what the girls were working on. Perhaps offer them his help. He was a veteran after all; a PhD student who spent a lot of time buried in books. “I’m sure there is something I can help them with,” he smiled to himself as he left the loo and headed in the girls’ direction.