He walked into the room and I did not notice him. I was immersed in my book. Obviously! What do you expect me to do before a Wireless Networks exam? Do you think it’s easy? Oh well, go try doing it yourself and I bet 100 bucks that you will fall asleep within the first 30 minutes into it. 30 minutes because I let you be smarter than I am, in my supposition. He walked into the room sifted for ‘some’ book (I don’t know which. I was studying. Remember?) got it stamped from our librarian and walked out. I know that because suddenly the silence had come back into the room. So I scratched my head and pushed my grey cells harder to ‘perform under pressure’ and finally when I thought I had had enough I walked back to my dorm. And I prayed. I needed it. They did not hand out marks you know, we had to kill for them. Kill ourselves, I mean. That night I dreamt that my WN book was chasing me. I ran as fast as I could, in my dream at night and to my exam room next morning. I still did not notice him when I ran to my exam room. I was too busy to notice.

I did my best in that paper and when it was finally over I breathed a sigh of relief. Walking back to the canteen with my friends that I had disowned during my preparatory phase (I preferred to study alone) I told myself  “it’s over… one down 2 more to go…” I was never so nervous before, during or after my exams, but this time it was a matter of life and death. My life and my death. He walked by again and this time I saw him. Basically I saw his back. He was lean and tall, wore a white shirt and his jeans hung low, I smiled and muttered to myself, “Guys!”

“Is that all you know about him…”

“I can’t go snooping on him you know, I have to study too…”

“Come on, how can you resist not knowing who he is? He is mysterious and chiseled…”

“Big deal, you never cared until the entire semester, why bother now?”

“Why not…?”

My girlfriends were talking about some guy, some other guy, some new guy, some chiseled guy and I always filtered out this kind of conversation. I was a master at ‘filtering’ out information that sounded redundant to me. Talk about being an engineer! Initially, they tried to involve me but my apparent disinterest in analysis of the opposite sex put them off so they did not bother. They asked me once, “Are you …you know??’ The look on my face was answer enough and from there on they had these discussions restricted to themselves but mostly when I was around. The mere purpose of having me around was that each one of them could force me to take her side. Sometimes I really enjoyed pulling their leg so happily played along.

He walked into the canteen and finally (phew!) I noticed him. It was just a glance at a guy that had walked into the canteen. He was not a Greek god but he was ‘the’ guy my friends were talking about. His white shirt was unbuttoned just enough to let loose a girl’s imagination. The sleeve was folded up just above his elbow and his watch sat smart on his wrist. His arms were strong and yes, I agree with my friends (for once), he was chiseled. His blue jeans hid his athletic legs and his mane was short enough to be smart and long enough to make him look sexy. Don’t know how he managed it. Now, I asked myself, why hadn’t I noticed him? I shuffled around my memory and then I recalled, Oh I know him and I’ve noticed him but not too often. He was in my Networking class. And yes, I have to admit at this point, I had noticed him on and off over the semester but never found the courage to talk to him. (Ok, ok I wanted to talk to him once or twice but I did not.)

He was a silent guy. Never spoke much except when talked to. I heard his voice just once. It was deep and (yes) sexy. He looked like he was a deep thinker. He thought more, spoke less and had all the girls intrigued. To an appropriate extent, even me. I once noticed the way he stood at a table putting all his balance on one hand. His watch touched the desk and the veins in his arms showed themselves a little. The sleeve of his shirt, still folded, hung below his elbow now. His legs crossed each other and his eye darted on the paper he was looking at. I looked (shamelessly) and then when he turned around I looked away. That was the first time I noticed him and after that I ‘filtered’ him out. Bringing myself back from that time I noticed my friends were still talking about him. I needed sleep so I went off to the dorm. He passed by me on the way and I did notice he smelled good. Actually, he always did. (I already knew that!)

My next paper was ‘Internetworking’ I loved the subject so I did not have to ‘scratch my head’ for it. I was in the library again studying for the penultimate paper when he came in. This time I was even more immersed in the book than before so I did not notice again, until he sat at the far end of my table. I looked up, skipped a heartbeat and looked down into my book. The shirt was dark blue today. My favourite colour. (I’m sure he did not know that but how I wished he did.) I looked at him from the corner of my eye, looked at his arms, his chest and then I stopped myself. (At this point I have to admit, I think a man’s sex appeal lies in his toned chest!) Forcibly I brought myself back to earth in the presence of my book (and him!) Suddenly he spoke to me. He asked for my pencil I handed it to him and looked at his fingers. I absorbed the way his fingers held the pencil and I made a mental note: he had clean nails (an almost impossibility for a guy.) He wrote something (like I cared) but his fingers and his hand held my gaze. I made another mental note: he had a strong hand just the kind a woman would want in hers. He returned my pencil; I gave him a smile and went back to my book. There is nothing more to add here because after that he was gobbling his book, I was devouring mine. That was all. After I was done I went off to my dorm. That night I dreamt that I was chasing my Internetworking book. (Pity, I didn’t dream about him.)

That paper went off well too, and finally we came to our last paper: Networking. It was our final day in college.  So again I went to my books, lapped up my second most favourite subject, gave the paper and finally told myself, “It’s all over.” We had the usual end of semester party and I was free to notice him to my heart’s content. Somehow, he was not just eye-candy; he had a mysterious appeal to him. He had an impenetrable silence that was attractive and the look in his eye that told you he was studying you, even if he wasn’t. He walked into the party that night with his friends. I looked at him and he smiled. I smiled back. I wondered why he hadn’t brought a date but that was it. After that he stopped visiting my thoughts until now. Now that I am packing to return to college I wonder if I’ll notice him more often…