Camille and I have been walking around in the streets of Manhattan for half an hour when I suddenly see a face I recognise. We are walking across the street from an open McDonalds, and there in front of the fast-food restaurant, I recognise the blonde hair. At first I try to convince myself that the person just looks familiar. Reminds me of someone from back home. I know a lot of blonde guys. Perhaps he looks like someone I once made out with at a bar. That has happened before, but I never say hi to them again (I rarely remember their names either). But when this guy turns around, I instantly know where I have seen him before.
“Matt!” I call out, before I get a chance to stop myself. I am not sure why I shout his name across the street, but seeing a familiar face in New York City is not something that has happened before - so I acted without a second thought.
Camille who was telling me something about what café she wanted to work in, suddenly stops talking and looks at me quickly. The blonde haired and blue eyed waiter turns his eyes away from the phone in his hand. He looks around, confused, until his eyes meet mine and he lights up in a genuine smile. He is standing on the other side of the road with a group of male friends, but looks to both sides and then decides to cross the road quickly. There are not a lot of cars at this time in the morning, but some have started to appear - since certain people have to get to work at six.
“Do you know that guy?” Camille hisses under her breath.
“Yeah. Sort of,” I whisper.
Soon a grey t-shirt dressed Matt is approaching us. His arms are tattooed, something I did not notice in the restaurant. He must have been wearing long sleeves. His hair is messy and his cheeks have a slight redness to them.
“Haven’t I seen you before?” He asks playfully as he gets closer. I am relieved that he is incredibly welcoming.
“Yes actually you have,” I grin.
Camille looks confused, first gazing at Matt and then back at me.
Matt then turns his attention to Camille, “I am so sorry - how rude of me not to introduce myself. I'm Matt.” He holds out a hand in a polite gesture. Camille shakes it uncertainly and glances at me.
“Waiter Matt,” I fast add. “He was Harry and I’s waiter - and pretty much saved my life last night,” I laugh as I remember the episode with my bag. Matt chuckles, but Camille just nods. I forgot that I haven’t told her about the bag incident.
“So I never got your name?” Matt asks and looks directly at me.
“Oh no, of course. Stark. Amelia Stark.”
Matt nods, “Amelia Stark. Pretty.”
Camille forced a smile. She looks tense and does not seem too pleased about waiter Matt. I think he seems like a great guy and this far I do not have any real New Yorker friends, so I decide not to run away just yet.
“So where have you been? It’s like six in the morning.” I wonder.
“Out.” Matt casually replies.
“On a thursday?” Camille asks disapprovingly.
Matt smiles at her, “Yeah. I do not have any classes today, so I just decided to head out for drinks with my friends.”
Camille looks behind him and notices the group of guys standing outside of the McDonalds. They are walking, and throwing glances towards us every now and then. When one them catches Camille staring, he lifts his hand and waves at her. She does not know how to react and therefore just looks away. I can hear the guys laugh, and then a second later they a on their way over the streets - heading directly towards us. I try to ignore them.
“So where do you go?” I ask. “Since you have classes during summer break?” A part of me hopes that he will say Columbia, but then again I can not picture him on campus. I am not sure what makes me feel that way.
“NYU,” he then says, "I am just taking some extra summer courses."
“Oh, wow. That’s cool.” I say, but all I can think of is Dan Humphrey. Being a Gossip Girl fan has its downsides, and I am sure that after living here for a while, none of it will remind me of Gossip Girl nor Dan Humphrey. “So what are you studying?” I ask.
“I go to Tisch.” He replies.
“Art student?” I ask, sounding a bit too impressed. It catches my interest.
He smiles, but does not get to say anything, before his friends approach us. One of them places a hand firmly on Matt’s shoulder.
“Hello ladies,” the brown haired guy with his hand on waiter Matt’s shoulder says, but barely looks at me. Camille will soon be occupied. She smiles sweetly at him.
“Girls,” Matt says and catches our attention, “This is Thomas.” He introduces the guy by his side, who slowly moves his hand away from Matt’s shoulder. “Nice to meet you,” Thomas says.
“You too,” Camille replies.
“And these guys are-“ Matt turn around. “Lucas, Amadeus and Julian.”
I do not remember who is Lucas and who is Julian, but they are both dark haired. Amadeus on the other hand has dyed red hair. I quickly jump the conclusions that he must be an art student as well.
I feel incredibly stereotypical just thinking so.
“So you all go to NYU?” I ask curiously.
“Everyone but Julian,” Matt answers my question, and looks at Julian. I can now tell him and Lucas apart. Julian is a bit taller than Lucas. Has brown wavy hair and hazel coloured eyes. He looks healthy and has perfect skin, expect from a small scar above his right eyebrow. He smiles at me, “I go to Yale.”
“Oh,” I breathe. “So what do you study?”
“Business,” he replies.
I nod. He must be smart.
Camille who has been talking to Thomas, for some reason grabs my arms and speaks, “You know what guys, we should really get going. But it was nice seeing you.”
Matt fast looks at me and I give him an apologetic look - though I am sure Camille has her reasons.
“Can I at least get your number?” He asks and I suddenly feel stuck between yes and no. I want to see him again, because he might be my first New Yorker friend, but everyone has warned me that New Yorkers go on dates after knowing each other for minutes. I think about it for a short while. Even if he asked me out, what could be so bad about it? He seemed like a laid back guy and I would like to know more about art school.
I smile, “Sure.”
Camille looks disapprovingly at me and it takes a lot in me to ignore her gaze.