Having Gabriela’s book is frustrating for Igor. He reads it trying to find its transcendence, its wisdom, its beauty. He doesn’t get it and feels, once again, that she’s way out of his league. His efforts are being sabotaged by the mother of all frustration: expectations. But there’s a bright side to the book: he’s determined to find her and return it.
One day as he’s walking past “el ampere”, the main cafeteria in campus, he sees her and taps her shoulder. She responds with a defensive move, a very well orchestrated one. She’s startled and responds by instinct: she’s a black belt in karate. Once she sees him she wants to avoid smiling, but it’s too late.
They strike up a conversation, a very pleasant one. Getting to know each other a little bit better. After some minutes, his friend Lucy interrupts to greet him. She asks: “how are you?”. This time he takes his chances and responds:
– very well, I think I’m falling in love with a wonderful woman.
Lucy leaves with an expression reserved to those who have seen a ghost.
They both pretend that nothing was said. But their minds are busy, making the conversation flow awkward. She thinks: “oh my god, I can’t believe this guy said that. I hope he isn’t playing because I’m having strong feelings too”.
His thoughts are somewhat different: “damn! where did that come from? control yourself! Well, at least she’s still here. She’s probably just being polite – what kind of guy does something this stupid?” …But her smile reassures him. His friend Daniel comes to save the day:
- Hi Igor, sorry I’m late. Let’s go to the study room.
– Hi Dani. This is Gabriela.
– Nice to meet you, Gabriela
– Nice to meet you, Daniel
– Sorry, I’ve gotta take this guy. We have a lot of stuff to finish for tomorrow.
- No problem
As the boys cross the street and disappear she feels like the only person in the cafeteria. Alone, smiling, lingering in the moment.
As they walk to their destination, Daniel notices something is weird: Igor isn’t walking on the pedestrian path, but rather on the long concrete divider that serves as a garden fence and as a sitting place for students to interact, to share, to live. He, too, noticed the beauty of Gabriela and asks:
- So, who’s that girl?
- an amazing woman I met recently. She’s something else.
- I can tell, you look like an idiot
- I know, but this is weird: I think she’s also interested
- dude, that girl’s way too hot for you
- I know, but I could sense she loved the attention
- all girls do, but if I were you I would come down from that cloud
- you think so?
- at least get down from that divider and let’s go finish our business
- you’re right: she’s out of my league.