The first day of school can always be nerve wracking.
| Norah slammed her hand down on top of her alarm clock. The brightness of the sun hit her eyes, forcing her to squint, before noticing the pounding headache that settled right behind her eyes. She peeked at her alarm clock, 8:30 A.M., before she let out an annoyed groan as threw her powder blue comforter off of her. She could feel every ache in her body as she sat up right, her feet were still throbbing, from the heels the night before, as she walked over to her neatly organized closet and stared at the different articles of clothing staring back at her.
"Well hello Cinderella.. What time did you get in last night? I was expecting you to be here around 11:30 or so." Autumn asked peculiarly, sitting up in her own dorm bed and stretching her arms out.
"It was a little late. I'm not exactly sure.." Norah lied as she picked out her outfit. Autumn didn't waste a second to jump out of her bed and rush over to Norah. "You were out with Matt huh??" She asked, a playful smile on her face. Norah's cheeks grew a slight shade of pink as she thought about how they danced together and how he carried her home. When she remembered their kiss, she could feel her entire face go deep pink.
"We may have hung around each other a little bit longer after you went to Shelly's party.." Norah responded as she quickly turned around and grabbed her cream colored sweater. She finally decided on her dark slim flared jeans, a deep green tank top, with her small wedges. As Norah got dressed, Autumn stood there with her jaw dropped. When Norah turned around, she let out a huge laugh despite the throbbing ache in her head.
"What?" Norah asked in between laughs.
"Nothing, I just didn't expect that. He usually just has a beer or two at the parties and then he bounces out." Autumn said as she pulled out a light floral sundress and her white wicker wedges.
Norah sat at the vanity and pulled her long brown locks into a high ponytail. "Really? We walked and chatted for a little bit. He really is a sweet guy. Not bad of a kisser either." The moment that last sentence exited her lips she immediately regretted it. Autumn was in the middle of laying her dress out on her bed when she stopped dead and stood straight up. "You kissed Matt?" She asked in an unusually cool tone that had Norah believing she had crossed some line that she was unaware of.
"I mean it was just like a goodnight kiss.. Plus he kissed me, I just kissed back.." Norah responded carefully before swiping on a little mascara and a dusty rose pink matte lipstick. She watched Autumn through the mirror noticing she was acting kind of strangely, which was confusing Norah because Autumn had been so happy for them. Did they have a fling Norah wondered.
When Autumn started cursing angrily about dropping a glass pot plant, Norah stood up and walked over to her. "Autumn what the fuck is wrong with you right now?" Norah demanded with such intensity that it shocked Autumn.
"I have to get ready for class. You should get going or you'll be late for your first class." Autumn responded in a flat tone. Norah glanced at the clock and noticed it was 9:20. Cursing herself, Norah grabbed her silver backpack and headed out the door to class. She decided she would deal with whatever that was later.
Matthew checked his watch as he sat on the side of the class. Even though he was a TA, he still had to take down the notes for anyone that was absent. It was about 9:25 and students had been trickling in for about 15 or so minutes. He chuckled to himself as he thought that even on the first day of school, the kids all look like sleep deprived zombies, even the posh and put together girls. "Ah college.." He whispered to himself. As he was getting his laptop all set up with the lessons plans for the day, Mr. Samuels walked over and set a cup of coffee on Matt's desk.
"You know that's my job right?" Matt asked before chuckling and taking a sip of the warm liquid. He could feel the warm tingly feeling of the coffee coursing through his body and welcomed every second. He could barely sleep without thinking of Norah.
"The first one is on me kid. Next time you're up." Mr. Samuels retorted back before taking a drink and glancing over the classroom. "Well, it's getting to be that time.."
As the professor was walking over to close the door, you could hear the rapid clicks of someone's heels as they ran down the hallway. "Please don't close the door I'm coming!" A woman's voice called.
Mr. Samuels chuckled and held the door open for a few seconds longer as the clicking stopped right at the door. "Breathe my darling girl, it's quite alright you made it on time. Come on in, welcome to College algebra 2!" Matthew looked up just in time to lock eyes with Norah. Her breath visibly caught in her throat for a second before she regained her normal breathing. His eyes watched her as she walked in and picked an open seat, only a row of desks separating them.
"Welcome students to your first day of College algebra 2. I'm your professor, Mr. Samuels, and this handy gentleman to my right is Matthew Reed. I'm sure you already know him though." The class let out a small collective chuckle as he grabbed some papers out from under his podium and handed them to Matthew.
"Don't worry, this is just the syllabus for the semester, we don't have homework... Yet." Mr. Samuels joked as he set up his presentation for the day.
Norah kept trying to concentrate on the assignment in front of her, but all she could manage to do was direct her eyes over at Matthew, who she kept catching him doing the same thing. She raised her hand for help, which Matthew was usually the one that would answer the questions on the assignment. When he walked over to her desk, she could smell his subtle cologne again and for a moment it disoriented her.
"What can I help you with?" He asked as he bent down next to her, the proximity causing both of their hearts to jump.
"This one problem is just worded so odd that I can't make heads or tails of it."
Successful in her attempt to make it look like he was helping her, she wrote a small note on her paper.
Meet for coffee at barking dog café after school. 3:30.
She then asked him a question about the problem so his answer to her question would seem like it was for the problem. "Yeah that could work. I don't see anything wrong with how that works out. See, you got it!" He said softly as he flashed her an usual sly smile and winked.
After her classes ended, Norah decided to go walk around the town again. It was almost the beginning of September and a slight chill had settled over the small but comfortable town. As she was walking, she passed a dance studio. Norah stopped, staring at the sign and debating whether or not she wanted to go in and relive the past.
"Can I help you?" A kind voice interrupted Norah's thoughts and she glanced down at the young woman.
"Oh I'm sorry! I was just deciding whether or not to do it. I don't think I will.. Thank you." Norah quickly mumbled as she hurried to walk away.
"Why not?" The woman called, stopping Norah and causing her to look at the woman. She had a smile on her face and she looked quizzically at Norah. Norah walked back up to her and she stepped in when the woman offered her inside the studio. "I'm Laurie." She introduced herself, extending a hand to Norah. "I'm Norah." she replied softly as she returned the handshake.
"So, Norah, why are you hesitant?" Laurie asked as she sat on a lush chair, offering Norah the one adjacent her.
I used to dance. All different styles, like you name the style, I've probably done it. I just don't know if I wanna put dancing in my life because I left dancing because of a personal reason and decided to never dance again. But last night.. I danced and I had a great time again.. So I don't know if I wanna invite it back in incase that was just a fluke." Norah stopped for air, not realizing how much she had pent up behind that answer.
Laurie pursed her lips as she took in everything Norah said. She leaned forward to pour Norah and herself a cup of green tea, picking her own cup up to sip slowly as she thought about what to say to this confused girl.
"Here's my advice. Try a few classes, just to see how you feel. I would even give you free one-on-one lessons. If you don't have the magic of the night back, then no harm no foul. Kinda like a win-win situations, ya know?"
Norah thought carefully about her offer as she sipped the sweet warm liquid. "That sounds like a great plan to me!" Norah exclaimed with a slight undertone of nervousness.
Laurie set her cup down and clapped her hands together. "Great! I have a 3:45 slot open. Do you have a particular style you want to do?"
"Not really.. I just have my dance heels."
"No problem! We'll do some jazz or contemporary!"
"Great! See ya then!" Norah exclaimed as she rushed out the door to go buy new dance clothes. A couple seconds later, she poked her head back in the door, "Thank you for the tea, it was delicious!" She popped back out, leaving Laurie laughing.
Norah finished tying her sneaker before standing up and looking in the mirror. She changed into a blue dance bra with black feathered tights. She threw her beige dance cover on before grabbing her dance bag and headed to the coffee shop to meet Matthew. Her heart was keeping time with the fast paced song she had playing in her headphones. In her own element, she started doing little danced steps from previously choreographed dances she memorized, and hadn't even noticed Matthew sitting outside the café waiting on her.
Matthew arrived to the agreed upon café about 30 minutes early. He was nervous, he didn't think he'd see Norah this soon, or even in his class. He ordered a black coffee, grabbed an newspaper, and proceeded to sit down at one of the tables outside. He wasn't too invested in the paper in front of him so when he heard a few claps and a whistle, he looked up to see what was causing the commotion to see Norah dancing to the song in her headphones. He folded the paper and watched as well, taking in her small fluid movements, an occasional spin, but he truly loved the bright smile on her face.
As the song faded in her headphones she noticed that she was near the coffee shop, so she paused her music and removed her headphones. While she was looking down to her bag to put her phone in, she heard a familiar voice boom behind her.
"Nice moves flash dance." Matthew chuckled behind her.
"Ahh! Matthew!" Norah screamed and swatted at him while he laughed and put up his fake defense. "And that was the name of the movie, not the dancer." She spat jokingly and stopped swatting him.
When Norah received her cappuccino, they returned to the table he had for them outside. She took a slow drink from the hot liquid in her cup and set it down to turn towards Matthew. "So you're my teacher's TA.. Why didn't you tell me that last night?" She asked quizzically.
"It never came up, I thought we'd talk about something other than that last night, but I see how that would should have been talked about..." He responded before taking a drink of his cooled off coffee. He pulled a cigarette out for them and he leaned over to light Norah's before his own.
Norah took a drag off her cigarette, looking up to the sky before exhaling and looking back at Matthew. "Yeah.. All through that class I wanted to kiss you. This is gonna be difficult, but we have to remember that the kiss last night was a once and only time right now. I don't want you to get in trouble because of me Matthew, I'm serious."
"You let me worry about any of that. I was serious too last night when I said I can't forget you. I can't forget your beautiful gray eyes or your beautiful face. And I, for damn sure, cannot get our kiss out of my head. I am having to restrain myself from taking you in my arms and kiss you right now." Matthew whispered to where only Norah could hear him.
Norah felt her cheeks grow warm as her face turned a deep shade of pink again, she looked up at Matthew and almost gave in to her own urge to crawl in his lap and kiss him like she never kissed before. His ocean blue eyes were piercing and serious, a small black curl falling down his forehead over his left eye and Norah was completely intoxicated by him, just as he was fascinated with her.
"I have a dance class in a few minutes, so I should probably go, but I want to finish this conversation.." Norah trailed off as she picked up her drink, then leaned down and gave Matthew a kiss on the cheek. "Soon." She finished as a whisper in his ear, her lips barely brushing against his ear. Matthew had visible goose bumps as he swallowed hard and nodded his head at her.
She stood up, flashed him a mischievous smile and headed off to the studio, leaving Matthew breathless and intrigued all in one.