I have always loved drawing-- everything from trees and flowers to imaginative figures from my imagination. It was the one thing I felt I was good at, what made me happy to live for. I also had a habit of drawing people around me, and at my small but busy college campus, I had plenty of opportunity to do so.
My art kept me as a bit of an outsider, however. I loved to draw the people around me, but never bothered to really interact with them. I would rather listen to some music and sketch than participate in conversations about everyday life. Besides, I had a terrible muttering problem, and no one could understand me anyways.
Actually, sketching was exactly what I had been doing when I felt like I was the one being watched. I looked up from my paper and cautiously looked around. It was a new feeling, and very odd. I locked eyes with a guy a little ways away, sitting under some trees with his friends. He seemed to be ignoring their conversation to stare in my direction. I tried to discreetly look around, and see if there was anyone else in the nook where the fountain I lounged on resided. As I thought, there was no one there but me.
I glanced back, and saw him smile before turning back to his friends to join once more in the talk. I couldn't resist returning my smile unseen and felt my face heat up. I was a little confused, to be sure, but went back to my sketchbook, turning to a new page to draw this strange guy.
He wasn't bad looking by any means. His face was soft, but had a strong structure to it, with what looked like hazel almond eyes and a cupid's bow for lips. If I recalled correctly, I had a class with him, but for the life of me couldn't remember his name. I once again became engrossed in my drawing. I was so focused on getting the shading right on his hair that I didn't notice the soft crunch of gravel until I heard his voice.
"Hey," he said just before his shadow fell over me. Startled, I let out a squeak before almost falling back in the fountain. He quickly grabbed my arm and steadied me while fighting a smile. "Didn't mean to scare you," he apologized, and I smiled at him while pulling my sketchbook against my chest.
"Can I help you with something?" I asked, looking up at him briefly before turning my eyes over his shoulder, finding eye contact difficult. His eyes were indeed hazel, and had rather lovely dashes of green. It was difficult to get out of my art mode mindset and focus on communicating like a normal person.
"I noticed you over here looking like you were up to something, so I thought I would bust you," he said with a serious face. I stared at him blankly before he started to laugh again. "I'm kidding," he laughed and took a seat on the fountain beside me. "Is that your sketchbook?" he asked, motioning towards the sketchbook in my arms. I suddenly felt rather embarrassed about drawing this near stranger without his permission, but I still nodded at him.
"Can I see?" he asked, still looking kind. For some reason, I found myself relinquishing my sketchbook with a warm face. It was open to the drawing I had been working on of him. I watched his face for his reaction, and was surprised to see a look of wonder pass over him.
"You can draw this good from that far?" he asked, and I looked at him, momentarily stunned. He didn't start asking why I drew him, or call me a creep, as had happened before. Instead, he was giving me a compliment. "I guess so," I responded with a laugh. He looked at it for a long moment before meeting my eyes again.
"Can I have this?" he asked, face completely serious. No one had asked for my drawings before, so I was thrown through a loop. "Sure?" I said, and carefully ripped it from the sketchpad before handing him the sheet.
"Here you are," I said, but he didn't move to take it. "Aren't you going to sign it?" he asked, and I blushed. I quickly scribbled down my name and handed it back. "Aw, no phone number?" he joked with a smile, winking at me. I laughed, but looked up at him with an unsure glance.
"I think I forgot your name..." I admitted, and he smiled. "Don't worry about it. I'm Jamie," he replied. "I'm Sophia," I said and he grinned at me with a nearly wicked smile. He looked back at the picture then up to me.
"I guess I'll see you around, Sophia," he said before walking away. I watched him reconnected with his friends, hiding the picture behind him while they laughed about something. Quietly, I packed up my things and left my quiet nook, absconding to my dorm while I felt eyes watch me.
What an odd encounter.