Attempt 2: First Impressions



Please just tell me that you’re shy, and that you’re not ignoring me, okay? Okay.

“Excuse me, I was wondering if I could survey you for my business project?” I ask.

“Oh, sure,” he says.
 
“So, would you read advertisements on a coffee cup?”

“No.”

“And why not?”

“Because I just don’t really bother.”


“Where do you normally drink coffee then? Outside of campus or?”

“At campus.”

“Why is that? Is it because you live close to here or?”

“Yeah, I live on residence. Samjoon Hall.”

“What? Really? I live there too!”

“Oh cool.”

“What floor do you live on?”

“The first. You?”

“The fifth.”

“It’s funny because . . . I think I’ve seen you in and about the building. I mean, last time, I swear it was you that held the door for me.”

“Oh.”

“Well, I just wanted to thank you. Say, what’s your name?”

“My name is—“

Stop. Stop right there and rewind. 

That’s the whole script that I’ve planned out and envisioned in my head. How beautifully crafted yet . . . Mr. Ninja is not cooperating . . . at all. I purposely survey a few others beforehand so it doesn’t seem like I’m just asking him. Be natural right? All in the name of a project right? Right.

Except . . . once he sees me asking around, he has moved away from his original spot. Oh, he doesn’t want me to ask him.  

“Mph,” I scoff.

“Sorry, did I say something wrong?” the poor guy who is being interviewed by me nervously asks.

“Oh, no,” I mutter. “I j-j-just, ugh, had to yawn and cough, and that makes that sound.”

“Oh . . .”

“Yes, so my next question is why those places?”

My eyes again venture in his direction, yet he’s too occupied with checking his phone. Pretending to be cool eh? I can work with that.

The guy mutters even more anxiously, “Sorry, but did I offend you or anything? You’re frowning.”

“Oh no.” I push out an odd laugh that reminds me of a water buffalo calling for its mate. Yuck. “Your answer is perfect,” I reassure him with my best forced smile. Remember funny stuff to smile naturally, I tell myself. Let the eyes lead the mouth. Exactly. My forehead has relaxed, and my eyes are half-closed. Only the top half of my teeth are showing. Ah, this is perfect. I hope Mr. Ninja is watching me, so he’ll notice me . . .

“But you’re not even writing anything,” the guy chirps.

“Shut up!” I accidentally squeal with my cheeks flustering. “I have photographic memory,” I lie. “Oh, and thank you for your help. Have a good day . . . Mister—“

“It’s Minhyuk.”
 
“Minhyuk, have a good day.”

And may I never see him again. I don’t know how I’m going to live down this one. I’ve made a fool of myself, and as I head towards Mr. Ninja’s direction, I realize that he’s gone. What? I pace around, scanning the area. How can this be? How can Mr. Ninja disappear on me again?
“What the hell!” I scream out one of my thoughts accidentally. “What the hell is wrong with you? Fuck!” And out he pops out . . . from the men’s washroom just when I swear. Great. He’s giving me that odd look, that thing that says ladies shouldn’t curse. Wait, I want to say. Wait, I can explain. You’ve got this all wrong. I’m swearing because I couldn’t find you. I need you for my survey. I need to know your name. Oh my god! Of course I can’t say that. What the hell am I thinking? He already thinks I’m weird, and now he’ll think I’m even creepier. “No!” I blurt aloud. “No!”

“Is . . . something wrong?” 

I turn around and find him asking me that question. Mother of god, he has such a sexy voice. It’s deep, smooth and gentle. It’s even better than most radio hosts. If he speaks one more word, I’m going to get an eargasm. 

“Ah . . .”
 
“Are you . . .”

Oh my god, why does he have to sound so good? Crap, I better stop thinking in my own bubble and act cool. Yes, playing it cool will do, and so I cough. “I am fine. I am doing very well, Mister Nin . . .”

Shit.

Did I just say that? 

“Nin? I think you got the wrong person.” He’s frowning at me now with much puzzlement. I honestly don’t blame him, and maybe if I explain myself, he’ll get what I mean. Oh shoot . . . I’m heading for my own grave. He’ll know I’m a stalker! No!

Quickly, I cough like I’ve never coughed before, “O-o-oh, sor-ry, I d-d-didn’t mean to say that. Th-th-there’s just something itchy in my throat.”

“Okay?” He’s even more confused than before, and I know he’s about to leave. His foot has slid forward. No, I am not letting him leave.

“Can you, can you just let me survey you?” I end up demanding. Oh god. Why did I have to ask that in such a bitchy tone? No men will fall for me that way. I’m supposed to be cute or sexy. I’m neither now, but I have to try one way, right? Cute it is. “Please?” I try to flutter my eyelashes, begging that he’d notice that they were kind of long. “Please with cherry on top?”

Ew, why did I use that phrase? Cherry on top? Seriously? What age am I in? I can’t believe I’m being so retarded in front of him.

Luckily, he’s good enough to say, “Ugh . . . okay?”

All right, time to pull out the lines I have memorized. I’ve got this down. I’m going to introduce myself, and then . . .

Students start to come out of the classroom, meaning that the class that he and I share will start within minutes. Not good. So not good, especially when he’s about to open his mouth to say that he has class and then ignore me forever, sit in a spot far, far away from me. Then, I’ll never know his name!

“I have class too, now,” I interrupt him before he can do anything. “We can continue this after we get our seats?” 

My, oh my, my voice has raised an octave higher. Definitely a sign of insecurity. After a year of studying body language, I still can’t master it properly.

“I guess.”

Yes! I want to do the happy dance right now. Scream around an open field and run across the weeds. Screaming, yes, fuck yes, yes! Then again, he’s not even marrying me. Why am I so happy?

Out of the corner of my eye, I see him moving ahead. Oh no! I chase after him, mumbling, “Wait! Wait!” He just shifts his gaze towards me and holds the door for me. Deja-vu. Totally deja-vu. Too bad, I’m the only one that’ll remember this as a deja-vu. “Thank you,” I gasp. 

With just a bit of running, I’m already this tired. Man, he’s fast. Stupid ninja. Now he’s off to some seat. I’m going to lose him at this rate. Got to keep on, I remind myself while climbing down a few sets of stairs. He’s going to stop, but no, he keeps turning left and right, trying to find the best spot. Settle down, I want to tell him. Just fucking settle down, and finally he does. He sits and places his backpack beside him on the seat. What, I’m thinking. Where am I going to sit huh? I subconsciously glare at him, and he smirks. I’m about to sit beside his backpack when a girl swoops by and settles her butt there. 

Ugh, that bitch, I’m thinking.

He doesn’t even say anything and places his backpack on the ground now. “Th-thanks,” I mutter.

I scurry and get out my notebook and pencil case. As expected of a ninja, he is already settled. He’s not even sweating while I am. At least I’m wearing a sweater so he can’t tell. I better cool down, so I take off my jacket. Maybe, he’ll be stunned that I’ve tried to reveal a tiny bit of cleavage with a V-neck. Nope. His eyes are definitely not looking there. He’s still waiting for me to ask him my survey.

“So . . .”

“Yes, the survey,” I announce. “It’s for my project for Business 2860.”

“Go on.”

“So, would you read advertisements off of a coffee cup?” I reiterate that line that I’ve used at least five times now with five different strangers. 

As I thought, he answers, “No.”

“And why not?”

“Because my hand would be covering the cup.”

Great. Not what I anticipated. Now what? “So, where do you drink coffee usually? On campus or?”

“I don’t really drink coffee,” he says. “The most I drink would be iced caps.”

Right. Saw him with one the other day.

“But is it on campus?” I stress.

“I guess so.” He shrugs his shoulders.

“Is it because you live on campus?” Immediately, he shoots me that bewildered glance. How did I know? I bet that’s what’s on his mind. Well, too bad, I’m too good at guessing. Not. “So I take it you do. Samjoon Hall?” I guess.

“How’d you . . .”

“Just thought you lived there.”

“Wow.”

“Actually, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen you around that building,” I utter. “I live there too.” He’s probably thinking that this is not a coincidence. He’s too smart to be tricked by me, so I confess again, “Really, I do live there.”

“No, no.” His cute eyebrows furrow together. Gosh, why is he so cute when he’s frustrated? And why am I being such a fan girl? I don’t even know this guy. Ugh, get a grip of yourself, Jang Haera. This is only a man . . . with superior genes. “I believe you,” he continues to say. 

“It’s just that . . . I don’ t think I’ve ever—“

“Seen me?” I chuckle. “Well, I do live on the fifth floor.”
 
“Ah.”

“And you live . . . on the second floor, I’m guessing?” There I go, pretending that I know nothing about his living arrangements. He better buy it.

“Good try,” he corrects me. “First floor.”

“Oh cool,” I tell him. “Do you, perhaps, know someone called Junsu?”

“Chae Junsu?” I nod, which causes him to answer, “Yeah, I do know him. He’s my roommate.”

“Holy!” My eyes bulge out and I leap out of my chair. “What a small world!”

Seriously, who knew? The few people I knew in this building could be of use. Junsu just so happens to be someone who I talked to during a volunteer orientation. He also coincidentally lives in the same building as me. I don’t know what’s up with that, with me meeting people living at Samjoon Hall. I guess people who live there are kind of similar. Junsu is one of those rare people that I can talk to for hours. He doesn’t look too shabby either. Too bad he has a girlfriend. I would have become his best friend, but I didn’t want to be a third wheel there.
“Yeah, I suppose,” he answers in a desolate tone, “that it is a small world.”

“By the way, I’m Jang Haera.” I extend my hand out casually even though I know that my stomach is almost exploding with those idiotic butterflies. Just as he is about to open his mouth and tell him his name, the professor starts lecturing. 

Great.

There goes a failed handshake, I think and mope in my mind. There goes . . .

Whoa, whoa, whoa.

He’s shaking my hand, and I’m sure he sees my jaw wide open because he’s smiling. What an adorable and rare sight! What a gem! We have a winner here. Ding! Ding! Ding!

With a lighthearted chuckle, he whispers, “I’m—“

There’s too much ruffling and talking going on around me that I didn’t hear him! I want to cry as I sit through lecture. This is so stupid. How am I going to get his name again? Excuse me, but I didn’t quite catch your name? 

Lame.

So lame.

Someone get me a rewind button so I can do this all over again. But, too bad, says life. You just have to move on, and with that, I proceed . . . with following him home. Correction. Going home with him.
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