Lester didn’t know that his entire life would result from his third day back on campus. It was spring semester, his second semester at UH, and he found himself conversing with a group of young men he met through a Christian organization called Christians on Campus. He hadn’t fully engaged with them, finding them to young in their walks with Christ. Still, it was better to have them than other options for groups to hang with at the university.
For now, he was spending the first school days observing the women on campus. He had only found two women he admired up to this point- the first one being the Cougar Doll dancer. The second girl was a particularly thick, light-skin woman with a head full of curly hair. Thus far, he had spoken to neither of them.
He took his time observing their mannerisms. He wanted a woman that fit the image of a model Christian woman – one like his mother. Although this effectively limited who he approached, it made those he wanted to approach that much more difficult to converse with. When it came down to it, he was still fearful. There was an underlying fear of rejection. He had come to expect it. He spent most of his approach on calming himself down and telling himself that the conversation would go much smoother than he thought. He lacked confidence. He hadn’t approached anyone.
Demicko told him to be more confident but Lester wasn’t the high school jock that women just flocked to. He was the quiet one. You’d have to stop to notice him sitting there in the corner, writing his life away. Demicko also grew up in a house with two women (a sister and mother). He was used to the feminine ways, and thus was more social with women. Lester had only one woman, and the conversation between a parent and a peer are vastly different.
Demicko was simply more social. He made it a point to make friends. He met a few good people via social networks, and told Lester about it. During the beginning of January, Lester tried to use the internet to find cool women to talk to as well.
He wanted to understand women just as much as Demicko. He chatted with girls who seemed friendly. Some girls responded; most ignored. Lester felt like a creep, searching through all these pages for a pretty face and a good personality. He decided meeting girls in person would be better, and deleted most of the contacts he had obtained through this method. It seemed pointless and impersonal. It wasn’t a path he wanted to venture down very far.
Now he was speaking to a group of guys from Christians on Campus about misadventures during the winter break. Lester couldn’t tell them about the recent divorce his mother was served by his stepfather even after he sent her to jail. Despite having their old home again, life had become much harder for his mother. She vented to him more often and having to watch her upset with her life made him upset with his own. He was as powerless to help her as he was to find a woman. They wouldn’t want to hear about that kind of winter break.
He stepped out of his thoughts to return back to the exciting news of one guy taking a trip out to California to minister. They stood there under the shadow of the Philip Guthrie Hoffman Hall building, occasionally looking into the distance upon the many faces – some gorgeous – hurrying to their classes. Their shoes tapped atop the pebble path as they continued towards the library or out by the street. It was almost as if they all decided to mimic the beauty of the artwork standing tall in the middle of the grass between the buildings. Pretty people for a pretty campus – a sight to behold.
Lester’s eyes caught ahold of a feminine physique walking to his left. Her curly, light brown hair seemed familiar. He examined her waistline as his view crept up to her red jacket labeled ‘Cougar Doll’. He glanced at her face and confirmed that it was the dancer he had noticed last semester. She was like the leaf of a cherry blossom tree passing in the wind. The shortened distance and shining sun made her beauty seem angelic. The sunlight glistened on her bright, yellow face, and reflected admirably from her eyes as she paced onward with a smile.
Out of nowhere a powerful urge to stop her arose in him. He hadn’t had this surge in years. It was the type of feeling that said she could be ‘the one’. It was so strange to feel it again. She was walking alone, but why? Most pretty girls seemed to never walk alone. They always had a group of friends. Maybe she was going to go see them. She was walking towards the University Center. Maybe she had to buy books. He retracted his detailed observation and noticed the blue jeans, the white tennis shoes, and the walk that made them so hard to stop staring at.
Lester wanted to go after her, but he didn’t want to leave in the middle of the conversation. There were enough whores on this campus. He couldn’t be another one. As she kept walking away, the urge grew stronger.
He thought to excuse himself. Everyone had to have noticed her. She was gorgeous beyond comprehension. There’s no way she didn’t draw everyone’s attention. He looked at each of their faces. Not a single head turned to gaze upon the voluptuous vixen escaping from shouting distance. It appalled him. How could they not see? Maybe his flesh was screaming.
He let her walk a little further. He didn’t want God thinking he cared more about women than his fellow brothers in Christ. She was fast approaching the library. He knew this because he instinctively followed her with his eyes through the garments of the men standing between them.
Lester thought to excuse himself again, but she was too far. Part of him said leave now, while the other part of him said it wasn’t that important. She was a woman, and there were plenty of women around. He never took his eyes off of her. He hadn’t had such a strong sense of attraction. He returned to the conversation only to find that he had missed it and someone else was talking. He looked one last time to see that she was gone. Lester felt terrible.
He thought to run after her. He had already chased women into clubs and much worse, strip clubs, but this chase felt like it had a different purpose. He didn’t feel the same desires he felt when he felt his first grind or rubbed his first butt cheek. He saw a future in her. A future he had been wanting for more than a decade, going back to the little girl from elementary that he hid his face from. There was no cousin to ruin this approach, just his own thoughts. She was so gorgeous. He had to leave.
He excused himself and marched after her. He battled with thoughts. He wanted to run, but knew he couldn’t without looking desperate. He sped walked, but he didn’t want to look like an Olympian.
The memory of her was fleeting. She was behind the library by now, probably up the steps to the UC. There were too many directions she could have taken there. Lester didn’t want to look like a fool running down the walkway to find that she wasn’t where he predicted. He kept his normal pace as to not arouse suspicion. This is not a movie. People will not cheer for you chasing down a woman. You will be a labeled a creep.
Lester power-walked around the library straight to the UC, hoping she was buying books at the book store, and was stuck in line. He went into the book store and looked around. He looked to the left where the school books were. He walked down one aisle, looking in both directions before proceeding to the next row. He didn’t see her.
He went to the cafeteria. Many students were in line for fast food and sitting at tables together but not one of them was her. She was probably leaving the UC by now. Lester returned to the bench where he first saw her dancing for the pep rally last semester. He watched the concrete below remembering his first time seeing her.
He left the UC with her on his mind. When he went to class later that evening, he thought of her walking through the Hoffman Hall. He remembered the reflection of the sun from her hair, her skin tone, her shoes, her jeans, and her jacket. He kept replaying the scene over and over in his mind.