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in a thousand

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That can’t be my alarm going off already, can it? I barely fell asleep five minutes ago. Yes, it’s definitely my alarm. Damn it…

The young girl forced herself out of bed, dragging herself, willing herself, to the bathroom to start getting ready. It should be a crime to start the day this early, especially during the last year of your college career. At least, that’s what Therese thought as she stared back at herself in the mirror, puffy bags under her eyes, hair unkempt, and her shaggy bob sticking up at odd ends. Well, I don’t think I can tame this thing today, looks like a shower is in order.

As Therese pops in the shower, she starts her playlist of the day, “Purple Hat” by Sofi Tukker begins playing through her speakers throughout her studio, she starts prepping and running through her schedule for the day. The bulk of her day will be spent in her Engineering classes and her lab, with one class she decided to take for fun to break up the heavy technical days of her senior capstone class, photography 101. This class was in the middle of her day, starting at 1p, and she was most excited for this class. Therese owned an old camera that belonged to her foster mom, and her stress relief came in the form of snapping photos. Might as well take an official class to learn how to use this thing…

Therese threw on her favorite pair of black skinny jeans, black v-neck shirt, and black converse, she didn’t bother with too much makeup, but made sure her hair looked good, in loose messy curls and long bangs framing her green eyes, her new haircut the best she’s had by far. I’m going to have to make sure Genevieve keeps this cut going for a while. She completed her look with her favorite over-ear headphones, much too big for her small frame, but was something she never left the house with. Picking back up on her playlist, she headed out the door to walk towards campus.

As she heads out the door, she stops by her favorite coffee shop and grabs her iced coffee and banana nut loaf, and heads to the center of campus where all of the engineering buildings are located. The morning breezes by, the first day of each class with a look through the syllabus and promises of new professors to take attendance and tough study schedules. She wasn’t worried about any of her classes, she got in to the competitive program on a full ride scholarship, and was top of her class. She was fresh from an internship at one of the country’s top engineering firms, and was pretty sure she’d have a full time offer when graduation rolled around in spring.

She didn’t have time for lunch before her Photography class, so she stopped through the student center to grab a protein bar and a drink on her way to the opposite side of campus. Shit, this line is so long, I’m gonna be late. I hate being late! As she slowly works her way up to the cash register, she feels two arms wrap around her, “T! I THOUGHT THAT WAS YOU! I followed you all the way from the library!”

“Danny!” She finally gets to squeak out through two large arms, still tightly wrapped around her neck. “Let me go I need to pay for my food!”

“T, a protein bar is no lunch my dude. And, THAT’S how you greet me after not seeing my gorgeous face for two months? Rude!”

“Danny, you know I’m beyond happy to see you, I’m just late for my first photography class!”

“Oh my god that’s today?? Let’s go! I’ll walk with you? Is it in the art building? Who’s your professor? I hope you have Gerhard. Here, let me get these for you.” Danny grabs Therese’s food from her hands, and pays before she can even protest. Laughing, Therese responds, “Yea, it is Gerhard in the art building, I forget you’re an art history major sometimes.” Danny ushers Therese out the doors into a crowd of students, all rushing to their next class.  

“Ok wait, we don’t nearly have enough time for us to properly catch up. I need to hear about the internship, I need to hear about your class schedule, your professors so far, planning our first rager, and when we’re going to have lunch every day.” Danny rambled as they sped towards the opposite side of campus.

“We will definitely make time for all of that, I swear. And I’ll catch you up on the internship this summer, it was a really fun time. I’m mostly excited for this Photography class though, I really need something to break up the days and not be so technically focused. How are your classes so far?” Therese replied, glancing down at her watch.  Shit, I’m gonna be late to my first Photography class!

“Therese, I’m an art history major, we don’t start our days until after lunch, remember? I’m on my way to my first class in 30 minutes.”

“Ugh, I hate you. I’m gonna be late, Danny! This class started 2 minutes ago!”  

“So what? It’s college… What’s gonna happen to you, detention?” Danny quipped with a smirk. As they walked to the entrance of one of the art buildings, Danny pointed to the door on the right, signaling the room for Therese’s next class. “I’ll text you, have a fun class Therese!”

Therese was actually thankful to run into Danny, she had no idea where her class was, having never ventured to this side of campus before. She had only been taking science and engineering classes before, and all of those were on the other side of campus. Therese was planning a quick and quiet entrance, she was only a few minutes late to class, but to her it felt like twenty. As she slowly pulled on the door, the old wood creaked so loud she was sure her dead ancestors in Eastern Europe were stirred. Every head in the room turned towards Therese, and the professor at the front of the room stopped talking. Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck. Of course that had to happen to me. There was no way to stop it, so she opened the door completely, stepped in, and the door began its slow return back to close. What do I do? Close it faster? Let it close and walk to my desk? Ughhhhhhh

“You can just close it faster, and take your seat at the last open station closest to you. You must be… Teresa?” Her professor asked as Therese turned to close the door, the squeaking much quieter on the quick close than it was a few moments ago. “Oh, um, sorry, I was lost,” was all Therese was able to mumble out of her beet red face. Great, I didn’t even correct my name. You idiot, now you’ll never be able to correct her without making her feel bad. Now you’re Teresa. Way to go Belivet, way to go. Therese took her seat where her professor indicated, the last open seat in the last row. The room was small, old, covered in framed photographs all over the wall. I’ll have to pay attention to those later. Better focus on the lecture first.

“As I was saying, the syllabus will be emailed to you after class today, and you’ll get a chance to review it on your own time. Today’s class I’d like to see where you’re all at. If you have your own camera, feel free to use it, or you can use any of the cameras available in the cabinet in the back of the room. Either way, you’ll fill out the submission form the same for your first assignment. Find a partner for the day, you’ll help each other through this first assignment. You have 30 minutes to go outside, take as many photos of anything you’d like, and come back to your station. You’ll then have an hour to upload, edit, and submit for my review. This will help me get to know you all a little better as Photographers, and see where our work really needs to begin.” Wow, this seems really cool. Maybe the person next to me will be my partner?

As Therese turns to her right to ask her desk mate to be her partner for the day, Therese finds her already turned and smiling at her, “Hi, would you like to be my partner today?” To Therese, it feels like time has completely frozen. The most magnificent woman is sitting next to her, smiling at her. Her blue eyes so transparent they’re almost gray, and yet somehow so bright a shade of blue it rivals that of the sky, Therese can’t believe these eyes exist on a living human. Therese can’t help but take in every feature, her prominent cheekbones, her full, red lips, her sharp jaw-line, strong and yet incredibly feminine. Her blonde hair is tied up in a messy bun, and her black-rimmed square glasses are propped up on her head. She’s leaning on the desk, but Therese can tell she has a thin and toned body, judging by her tight jeans and white button up cleanly tucked in.

I’ve never seen a more beautiful woman in my life. Stop staring at her. Answer her. But I can’t stop staring at her eyes. Her laugh lines. Her lips. Holy shit this woman cannot be real. How is she in this class?

“Hello? Teresa?” The woman in front of her asks as she waves her hand in front of Therese’s face.

“HI! Sorry! Yes, I’d love to be your partner.” Therese responds, a slight blush creeping up her face. Oh fuck, are you blushing? What the fuck Belivet?

“Great, my name is Carol,” the ethereal woman replies as she sticks her hand out for an introductory hand shake. As the two women’s hands meet, Carol’s smile widens and Therese’s heart flips as her stomach drops. Holding onto Carol’s hand, Therese admits, “Actually, my name is Therese, like ‘ter-ezz.’”

“Therese. Not Teresa? That’s lovely,” Carol’s voice is like honey, oozing a sweetness Therese didn’t know she was craving, it’s the most sensual voice she’s ever heard in her lifetime. Looking down, Therese notices neither one of them has let go of their handshake. Carol’s skin is so soft, their hands fitting perfectly together. Therese can feel Carol looking at her intently. I wonder what she’s thinking.

Therese finally breaks away, “It’s nice to meet you Carol. Shall we get started? I brought my own camera, it’s super old and not digital, so I’m gonna check out one from the cabinet, do you need one?”

“No, I have one, thank you though. I’ll come with you to the cabinet though, since it’s on our way out.”

Therese quickly grabs a camera, making sure it has enough battery and a memory card for her day. She turns around to see Carol mouthing something to Professor Gerhard in the front, both of them trying to conceal laughter. Hmm, I wonder if they know each other or something.

“Got it. So, where do you wanna go take pictures? I don’t really know this side of campus,” Therese asks Carol.

“I think I know the place. Have you heard of the secret garden?” Carol asks, a coy smile forming on her face as she pushes the door open to leave the classroom. The loud squeak is back, but Therese can’t even hear it this time, all she can hear is Carol.