Third Time's the Charm

The first time he saw her, she stood in line at the bookstore. Her large blue eyes peered at the checkout counter. Her blonde hair fell in waves past her shoulders.

Was she a freshman, too? He couldn't tell. All he knew was that he couldn't take his eyes off her.

Someone bumped into her and she couldn't hold on to her large stack of books. They crashed to the floor. Ten books landed in ten different directions. She bent down to retrieve them and no one else seemed to want to help her. He wanted to. He willed his legs to move, but they refused. It was a perfect opportunity, and yet, he couldn't bring himself to take it.

The second time he saw her, she was carrying her dinner tray across the student union. No one was around; she was all alone. He watched as she found a quiet corner and curled up in a chair to eat. She pulled out a book to read, never realizing she was being watched. Still, he didn't take the opportunity.

The third time he saw her, it was the first day of classes. She sat three rows ahead of him.

His roommate elbowed him hard in the side.

"Dude, if you don't go over there and introduce yourself, I'm going to break your arm," his friend said.

He rolled his blue-green eyes, but they never left the pretty blonde sitting in the front row. She smiled and said hello to a group of girls who passed her.

"She's out of my league," he mumbled.

His friend leaned back in the small desk. No easy feat for a guy his size. "Then you need to stop whining about her."

He looked down at his open notebook. "I don't whine."

"Oh, yes, you do. Day in, day out, it's 'the mysterious blonde this' and 'the mysterious blonde that'." His friend sat forward. "Go talk to her already."

"No."

His friend dropped his head onto his desk. "You're an idiot, man."

At that moment, the blonde turned and her eyes locked on his for a moment. She smiled. He felt a corner of his mouth twitch, but that was all he could manage. She turned back around.

"Fuck it, this is ridiculous!" His friend stood and made his way down the aisle to her chair.

He almost knocked his book off the desk when he realized what his friend was doing. His friend bent down, whispering something to her. He'd never wanted to crawl under a desk so much in his entire life. When she nodded and followed his friend back to their seats, he hid his face in his hands. He was going to kill his friend.

He heard jostling and the rustling of clothing next to him. When he looked up, he saw her sitting there. She smiled and held out her hand.

"Hi, I'm Jess. Your friend asked me if I would come say hi. You're kind of cute so I thought I would," she said.

He felt his face grow hot as he shook her hand. "I'm Sam. Nice to meet you."

It seemed to Sam that the third time was the charm.