The leaves were beginning to turn on campus, we were well into the semester but it was far from over. I sat on the bench by the old oak, trying to figure out this stupid course. Why did I decide to fill my language credit with Mandarin? It’s taking over my damn life. Oh, yeah, because Red wanted to go to Hong Kong next summer to teach English and he conned me into going… bastard.
I caught a scent of mango when she walked past. Sweet, tropical, definitely not what you expect on a crisp Washington day. She had stopped in front of me, looking out over the campus with one of those outdated maps the student union tried to unload. Her hair was straight, her glasses hid jeweled grey eyes, a levi jacket and long flower dress fluttered in the breeze.
“Half the buildings didn’t exist when that map was printed,” I piped up. She turned around and sighed a self-depricating laugh.
“Yeah, I was coming to that realization.” She smiled.
“What are you looking for?”
“The arts building.”
“It’s over behind the sciences building, over by that fountain.” I gestured, and got up, and stuck out my hand for a handshake.
She hesitated and slowly brought up a prosthetic hook, grabbed the map out of her left hand and awkwardly stuck hers out. I quickly switched to my left hand.
“Melody.” She blushed.
“Nice to meet you. You an artist?”
“Writer. My dad’s a professor here.”
“Oh- but you don’t know where the arts building is?”
“He just got the job, replacing-“
“Replacing old man Forde. Okay.”
“Liberal Arts… soon to be fry cook.” I sighed. She laughed.
“I’d love to walk you over there.”
That day was the best and first day of my life. That day she stole my heart and set my soul on fire. That day was a blessing. That day was a curse. She consumed me, and when the accident took her, I'm but just a withered shadow.