Just because I am telling this story doesn’t mean I am really a part of it. I am but a humble onlooker, a keen observer. Although these days, people watching can be tantamount to stalking. To some, I might sound like a creepy stalker. In my perspective, I am a mere storyteller, taking the liberty of sharing with you the lives of these ignorant simpletons and their journey to learning life lessons and attaining wisdom of some sort. Let the stalking storytelling begin…

T’is a beautiful day – the sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the petrol prices are cheaper than usual. The first term for a new year has just commenced. Unfortunately, being a College Junior means nothing like its high school counterpart. Junior year in College = hell. This is the first day, and can we say ‘Burn, baby, burn?’

Who doesn’t love attending class when the topic is ‘International Studies’? Kill.Me.Now. Though before that, in walks a delightful creature – raven hair cascading down to a nice strong jaw, an athletic looking gentleman with a commanding strut, his broody stare bordering on arrogance, and a fashion sense that would put Nate Archibald to shame…

Who doesn’t like transfer students? And with that package, I would most certainly welcome him with open arms. I welcome all things new, and this is clearly one of those ever welcome new stuff. Not to Lauren though. The subtle scrunched up look in her face seems as if she feels some familiarity towards this fresh blood but she could just not put a finger to it.

“Everyone, this is your new classmate, Alexandre Philippe Karl Eugén…”

I could not help but snigger out loud upon hearing his name. Who names their children that? Judging from what I’ve heard from Professor Kingsley, I could not even tell apart his first name from his surname. What are we supposed to call him then?

“You may call me Alex…”

Alas, he has a name we could all relate to. Judging from the expression of disbelief plastered all over Lauren’s face – jaw still hanging, eyes seemingly about to pop – she obviously recognizes who this majestic piece of work is.

“Alright, Alex… You may already settle in your designated area – on the empty seat beside the auburn-haired lady…”

Oh Lauren, this is your lucky day. Although in her head, she’s mentally denying reality. ‘This is not happening,’ she tries to convince herself, but to no avail. An air of strange familiarity envelops the atmosphere between the two, although Alex is still immersed in the process of trying to remember who this slim, simple but elegant, auburn-haired beauty is.

Settling on his seat next to her, Lauren glares at him and, in an instant, his mental switch turns on.

“Ysabel? Is that really you?” whispers Alex, obviously not able to hold back his bursting thoughts.

Who wouldn’t want to see a familiar face in a new place?

“What the hell are you doing here, Philippe?!” exclaims Lauren in the softest whisper she could mutter despite the teeming hostility.

Apparently, he’s one familiar face she does not want to see. I wonder why.

“I should be asking you the same question… Are you following me?” asks Alex with a speculating look.

“I came here first. You’re the transfer student. Who’s following who now?”

I totally get where Lauren is coming from now. Nevertheless, I’m no Lauren so sue me for liking arrogant, broody, mysteriously hot men. Unfortunately, Professor Kingsley does not share my insight of what has happened.

“Mr. Eugén, Ms. Meinrad… Kindly reschedule your getting-to-know each other session after class… And Alex, kindly tie your hair whenever you’re in class.”

‘Of all people, why should HE be the one to come here? Ugh! Why on earth is that bastard here?! He just arrived and yet he’s already causing trouble for me! If he blows my cover and ruins my free, peaceful life, I’m going to make his life miserable!’ These are the thoughts overflowing in Lauren’s mind. Apparently, the feeling is mutual.

I never thought a man tying up his hair would look so sexy – those biceps = yum. But the thoughts in his head are not as delectable. ‘What the hell is she doing here?! Of all the schools in America, why did she have to choose Yale too? I just arrived and yet she’s already getting me in trouble! If she tells a soul about who I am, I swear I’ll make her regret it’

Condescending Professors, slutty classmates, and mysterious, bickering seatmates death-glaring each other? I love my Junior year in College already. How I can read through them? That should be the least of your concerns. I am but a humble storyteller with one word of advice and reassurance - ENJOY.

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