Chapter 2

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A few days later, Anna found herself at her favorite cafe, Cafe Solstice, in the University District of Seattle, close to her dorm room at the University of Washington. Dena had an afternoon class, so she wasn't able to come with her.

The cafe was small and quaint, with ample seating and windows letting a lot of light in, so Anna sat by one of them and pulled out her favorite book, The God Particle, and ordered herself a caramel macchiato and a small peach tart.

A couple pages into her book, she sensed a presence sitting across from her, and closed her book to look up. Oh, hot damn.

Sitting in front of her was a tall (and handsome) man with brown hair and glasses, wearing a flannel and a pair of jeans. He looked a bit familiar to Anna. I might've seen him around campus.

"Sorry to bother you," he apologized, showing off perfect teeth.

"No, no, it's fine! I'm just reading, anyway." Anna smiled at him.

"Thanks." He pulled out a computer and started typing. Anna could hear him muttering underneath his breath, "Dark matter could affect the way this works, huh."

"Astrophysics major?" Anna cocked an eyebrow.

"Something like that," he chuckled. He looked out of the window and sighed with relief. What is he looking for?

"They're gone." The man took off his glasses, and it took Anna a minute to realize who was sitting in front of her. Her eyes grew wide.


"Shhh! Wait," Taylor urgently whispered. He put a finger to her lips before she could say anything. "Do I know you?" His eyebrow rose.

Anna just realized what she'd done. "Oh, no. Nooo. It's just-why are you here? In a normal coffeeshop, uh, Mr. Nielsen?"

"Just running away from the press. As usual." He rolled his eyes.

Just like me, Anna thought.

"Now that you've met me, call me Taylor. No formalities needed. What's your name?"Taylor smiled.

"Anna, it's a pleasure."

His eyes locked on to the half eaten peach tart. "God, I love those."

"I know, they're delicious!" Anna said. Taylor ordered one of the tarts, putting on his glasses when the waiter came so he wouldn't be recognized.

"So you're in college?" Taylor asked. "Yeah, astrobiology major." Anna replied.

"Ambitious woman, huh?" Taylor smiled, as Anna laughed. "I try," she chuckled. "You just earned an astrophysics major, right?"

"Astrophysics major with a minor in leadership and biology." Taylor replied.

"Ambitious yourself," Anna countered, giggling.

Taylor chuckled. "Pshh. I have to be credible at least."

For the next 3 hours, they talked and laughed, until Taylor's phone rang. He picked it up with a slightly sour face.

"Hello? Yeah, I know. Huh? Ok. I'll be there in a bit."

"Sorry, duty calls. Here's my number-" he wrote a number on a napkin, "-text me sometime. It was nice talking to you for about half of the day."

"You too, Taylor." Anna smiled and waved as he walked out of the cafe.


"Tell me that you're joking," Dena swooned. Anna was back at the dorm room; they were eating crispy chicken with cheddar mashed potatoes for dinner.

"Dena, with all of that drama you could've gotten into Julliard," Anna laughed. "So it's true then?" Dena gestured with her fork. "You actually met Taylor Nielsen at Cafe Solstice?"

"It's actually just Taylor, and yes, I did."

"JUST TAYLOR?!?! You're practically close friends with him!!!!"

"He also gave me his number," Anna smirked.

"Oh. My. Freaking. Gosh. Anna." Dena's eyes grew as big as saucers. "You guys are practically dating. Dating."

Anna rolled her eyes. "Oh, stop it. Are you ready for the interviews tomorrow?"

"Yeah, how about you?"

"I'm so excited! Interviews weren't always my strong point, but I'm okay at them, that's for sure."

"Well, it's getting late," Dena checked her watch. "We need to rest up for tomorrow. I'll go and take a shower. Good night!" Dena put her dishes away and went to the bathroom.

Anna quickly changed into her pajamas and climbed into her bed, and soon fell asleep, the thought of tomorrow soothing her mind.

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