"I do hope that you all took the time to read your syllabus, for the class." The professor cleared his throat and threw his briefcase on his desk "however I made a slight change to it. The project you were to do for the end of the semester is now to be done in groups of two." He opened his brief case and took the time to study him intently, he was wearing a white button up top, his famous tweed jacket with the brown elbow patches, a pair of khakis and brown shoes. His salt and pepper hair was messy and his rectangular glasses were perched on his nose. "I know that this is the beginning of the spring semester, most of you don't have much longer until you finish your schooling." He cleared his throat "So with that being said I took empathy on you with the project." He lifted a piece of paper out of his brief case "and I took the liberty to pick out your partners for you; which you'll keep for the rest of the semester." He smiled slightly as groans filled the room.
I let my eyes scan the lecture hall, who did I want as a partner? I spent most of my college career with half of the people in this class; they were future biologists as well. I eyed a little blond haired girl, Megan Giry, I had roomed with her for three out of the four years I was at Harvard. She was a nice girl, she was bubbly and polite, a girl who had ambitions to be a librarian when she was younger but now was determined to do something in pharmasuticales. I had also considered her my best friend. She smiled at me and widened her eyes slightly, I assumed that she was nervous about the partners. I gave her a reassuring smile and let my eyes scan around the room, resting on a blond haired boy—Raoul. He looked back at me and grinned, showing his bright white teeth, he was handsome enough, a bright young man from somewhere in Europe, but he wasn't for me and although I said no to his offers plenty of times, he kept at it.
And then there was him.
He was a tall man with a Ryan Reynolds hair cut, black hair and the most fabulous green eyes. He had been in my ecology class during fall semester and it was there that I had learned he transferred from Cornell University to finish his business degree at Harvard. Ever since he made his presence known to the lovely ladies of Harvard he had been known as the Greek god, at least to Meg and I... even if he was the furthest thing from Greek.
"Holloway, Erik will be paired up with Daae, Christine." My eyes shot away from Greek god and to the professor who looked more annoyed than he did when he first entered the room "Miss Daae, please stand so Mr. Holloway can find you." I nodded but even the professor probably didn't know who I was, it was a large class of five hundred and there was no way that he'd know who I was.
I slowly stood up, and searched the room. Most people were on their iphones or their laptops; I wondered slightly if this Erik Holloway was even paying attention.
And then he stood up. My stomach lurched and I swear my heart stopped. The Greek God had a name, The Greek God had a partner… me! He gave me a small smile as he picked up his bookbag and made his way towards me. He was dressed in dark wash jeans, a light blue button up shirt and a dark blue blazer. He looked better than I did that's for sure. I gave him a slight smile back and noticed a bit of stubble was still on his face, it was a eight in the morning class, and perhaps he forgot to shave, either way it looked good on Greek God.
"Hey" He said as he stopped in front of me. It was then I realized that he had a khaki messenger bag draped across his chest and his Ryan Reynolds hair cut was tossled, it made him look even more desirable than last semester.
"Hi." I squeaked "Christine" I held out my hand and he took it, it was large compaired to mine but strong and warm "I read the Syllabus before we even got it," I flushed slightly "I already chose a topic to debate about."
He raised his eyebrow in intrigue, exposing his wonderful green eyes "Oh yeah?" he placed his thumb under his chin and rested the other fingers on the top "enlighten me." He grinned slightly, his eyes sparkling.
"Well…" I swallowed and sat down in the seat I was previously occupying, tucking my skirt under me "There is this super large company here in Massachusetts – Gregory Bottling Company that claim to be environmentally conscious, well they aren't." I let my eyes flicker back and forth between his and the professor who was still idly calling out names "I recently learned that they dabble in the Finning business." I watched his amused face turn to confusion "Finning." I said again but his expression didn't change "er-" I cleared my throat and played with the ends of my skirt "shark Finning is where they catch sharks in the middle of the ocean, shave off their fins and then throw them back into the ocean alive, just like they were trash." I looked down at the top of the desk "It's tragic really, the shark population has dropped 90% since the fifties." I looked at him and wrung my hands, he sat silent for a moment "Well… what do you think?" I questioned biting on my bottom lip.
He stroked the stubble on his chin and looked at me "well, I think, Miss Daae, that you and I are going to have a spectacular presentation." He pulled his messenger bag over his body and set it on the floor, I watched him intently "I think I can get an interview with the Bottling Company" he paused "My father is pretty close to the CEO." He ran a hand through his hair and gave me a lopsided grin, and just like the other girls around me, I melted into a large puddle.
I cleared my throat and smiled slightly looking down at the stairs "Um.. that would be great!" I smiled slightly and looked up at him "Really, really great!" I leaned in "do you have any ideas?"
He shook his head "No, your idea sounds pretty solid." He nodded and leaned in as well "since we are going to be partners for the rest of the semester, we should get to know each other better, yes?" he quirked an eye brow and I nodded "Good, how about coffee later? There's a great little coffee place…" he snapped his fingers "it's called the bean." He chuckled "it's not much of an original name."
I laughed slightly and looked at him "Tell me about it," I leaned in a bit further "I have to say it every time someone walks in 'welcome to the bean, have a great day thank you for visiting the bean' oh it's annoying!" I laughed.
He chuckled slightly "Well then, Pardon me."
I laughed and looked at him "oh, it's fine. It really is the most boring name on the face of the planet." I smiled and rested my chin on my hand "so… coffee… tonight?" he nodded "What time?"
I met Erik at the bean around 7:30, it had been one of the best times I had in a while. After the bean had closed down, Erik and I decided to take a walk, where he had told me about his upbringing in Connecticut, to a rich father, a trophy wife mother and two siblings who moved to Ireland and Germany. He told me that he was majoring in business and was taking speech to become a better public speaker. I had told him about my own upbringing in Maine to a fisherman father and a seamstress mother with a older brother who was currently in the Army and stationed overseas. He was interested in my major and what it had to do with speech class. I fortunately was taking it as a few extra credits to make my middle class parents proud.
Before we both knew it, the bean had closed and we were walking along the street.
"So…" I sipped at the last of my coffee "if we are to be partners…" I shrugged slightly, I was bad at this whole game.
"I'll need your number, of course." He looked at me and winked, it seemed as if he was reading my mind "certainly." He looked down at me and held out his hand, for a second I thought he wanted my hand "phone?" he questioned.
I laughed slightly and blushed "Yes… of course." I fished my phone out of my pocket, and handed him my RAZR and he handed me his iPhone. I flushed slightly and looked at the buttonless screen "How…" I swallowed hard "how do you work this?" I laughed slightly.
He chuckled, oh how I could listen to him laugh all day "Well, tap the contact button." He said while tapping furiously away on my phone "then there should be a tiny plus sign in the right hand corner" I nodded "Tap that and insert your name and phone number. Simple." He said as my phone snapped shut.
I laughed slightly and looked at him "Simple for you, perhaps" I laughed and handed him back the phone "fancy." I whistled.
He shook his head "not really." He put his phone into his pocket and handed mine back to me. "It's getting pretty late huh?" He questioned and rubbed the back of his neck. I nodded in agreement "I could walk you home, if you'd like… that is."
I smiled and nodded "Sure, it's just three blocks south." I looked away shyly and smiled to the concrete. Greek God was my partner in speech, bought my coffee and decided to walk me home. Five minutes later, we made it to the stoop of the apartment I had shared with Meg. It was a small townhouse, with a brilliant red front, a white door and a window box for flowers "Well…" I stopped at the stoop "Here's home." I shrugged slightly, holding my purse with two hands in front of me.
"Yeah…" he rubbed the back of his neck again "Have a good night, Christine…"
I chewed on my bottom lip and nodded "you too… I'll see you in class… yes?" I looked at him before looking away quickly, a blush coming to my face.
He nodded "Yes, of course…" he gave me a lopsided smile and started to walk away. I watched him reach the lamp post before he sauntered back, his hand hanging on the back of his neck in a way that reminded me of Prince Eric from the little mermaid "Actually, no…" I looked at him perplexed "I don't want to see you in class… once a week. I'd like to take you out… on a date."
"Erik…." I whispered as his sweaty body laid on top of my equally sweaty body, my fingers gently stroking up and down his back, making invisible circles. I swallowed hard and freed one of my hands from his back and pushed strands of hair off my sweaty forehead
"Christine…" He looked down at me and rolled next to me, stroking my hair gently "you've never looked more beautiful than you do right now." He placed a small kiss on my lips, trailing down to my neck and in between my breasts.
I moaned softly and grabbed his head gently pushing him away "Erik… we have to finish our presentation. We won't get anywhere doing this…" I let my eyes gaze into his, how green they were, how beautiful my Greek God was.
He chuckled and leaned in kissing me, tucking a piece of my chocolate brown hair behind my ear "Well, that can wait!" He rolled back on top, and soon our project was forgotten once again.
"Okay, next up for the final presentations of the semester…." The professor looked down at his notes "Christine Daae and Erik Holloway…" he looked around and smiled as the pair of us stood up. I looked up at Erik who gave my hand a squeeze of encouragement before we walked up to face the class of five hundred.
"Well…" I cleared my throat and laughed a nervous laugh "We did our project on the Finning of sharks and how dangerous it has become." I clasped my hands in front of me "You might be asking yourself what Shark Finning is." I looked up at Erik who gave me his signature crooked smile and then looked back at the class "Well, it's the practice of removing the fins of sharks, for human use. Normally after the Finning has occurred the fisherman throw the body of the shark back into the ocean- alive where it will drown or be eaten alive by other sharks." I pointed to the large screen behind Erik and I "Shark Finning takes place at sea, where the body would be easily discarded as their meat is of low value and practically worthless and it wouldn't be worth the cost to transport the bodies back to shore."
Erik nodded "It also doesn't matter what the species, the age of the, the weight or even the size of the shark is. If a shark is caught, it's going to be finned. They catch the sharks via long lining, they are the most signifigant cause of loss among the shark populations worldwide." He clasped his hands together behind his back.
I nodded and cleared my throat again "Unfortunately shark finning has increased over the past decade due to the increasing demand for the fins, improved fishing technology and improved and experts estimate that over one hundred million sharks are slaughtered annually for their fins alone."
The rest of the presentation went off without a hitch.
"Christine…" Erik's eyes lit up with excitement as he drug me through his apartment and into the kitchen "I have a surprise graduation gift for you." He placed me down at the tiny table, where a white box laid "I wanted to give it to you before graduation, but I figured it wouldn't be appropriate…" he looked at me, his eyes wide with boyish charm "Go ahead open it."
I looked at him and laughed slightly, nervousness taking over "I have a surprise for you too… but it doesn't come in a box." I inhaled slightly and opened the box, where a brand new iphone rested among robin's egg blue tissue paper "An iphone?" I looked up at him.
He nodded "Yeah, I figured you needed one, You know, since you didn't know how to work mine." He rubbed the back of his neck.
I smiled slightly, tears stinging at my eyes "Oh Erik!" I wrapped my arms around him and wiped my eyes quickly "Erik…" I pulled away from him and grabbed his hands "I love you, you know that right?"
He cocked his head to one side and nodded "of course, I love you too."
I smiled slightly and looked down "I know your father doesn't approve of me and my 'hippie ways' but…" I swallowed hard and looked at him "but I want to spend the rest of my life with you and…." I closed my eyes "Erik…" why was this so hard to say "Erik, I'm pregnant."