Rachelle has a boyfriend. Of course she does. She's beautiful and clever, so it shouldn't be a surprise to me, right?
We've been talking during our Monday, Wednesday, and Friday classes. Sometimes, we'll exchange a few words before the lecture begins. She's 19. Knows French, studying Arabic. I'm 23, honorably discharged. She bought a new Saab. A blue convertible. I flew to Atlanta to hang out with friends. Sometimes, she shows up late for class, and we can't get time to say anything. Some days we ignore each other until the very end, where I'll throw out a "See you later!" before rushing out the door. To where, exactly? I don't have class afterward.
Other times, she's there, waiting for me. My normal seat will be empty. As I sit, she will smile at me and offer a "hello." We might chat for 10 minutes while the class fills in. We'll talk about anything at all. I say her name, "Rachelle," during the conversation, looking her in the eyes while smiling. She'll smile back and look me in the eyes as well. Then, too soon, the professor will start his droning, and our sweet conversation will drift off as we scramble for pens and notebooks.
Still, she has a boyfriend.