He can see someone approaching out of the corner of his eye. As he cradles the can of colas intended for the vending machine, he sees someone approaching.
And he doesn't turn until she's there. Leaning close to him as she speaks. Her dark brown eyes grow bigger before him. Her smooth skin toys with the soft lighting of the cloudy day. Her straight black hair blankets her chest.
Excuse me, she's saying with a slight bow, can you please assist me?
And he takes a moment to glance at the Hello Kitty iPhone case in her right hand. The sleek black purse over her left shoulder. Her tiny ankle boots lined with animal fur.
He blinks at her. Nods.
I need to find Forman Hall, she says, leaning closer, pressing into him with her curious gaze. Do you know where it is? She asks, tilting her head to the left.
But now his attention has traveled to her jawline. How defined. Her neck. How inviting. Her tight lips.
She straightens up. Do you know? She repeats. Eyebrows raised. Quizzical. Eager.
He blinks a few times. Reorients himself. Places the first cola can into the slot labeled A1.
Forman Hall? He asks, coughing on his words.
Mm, she says, nodding her head. A patient smile.
He looks behind them at the courtyard. The red bricks of Friar Library. The vending machine before the Hanley Building at the other end. The circle of students smoking cigarettes by the big oak tree.
No, he says, no, I don't.