Moving from class to class I see him in the distance weaving around the rushing bodies going in the opposite direction. He's not going to get away from me this time. I have his routine down like the palm of my hand, which I've had the misfortune of getting to know much too intimately lately. After our first aid class he goes back to his dorm room for the break. He takes the same route every time. Down the west hallway toward the double doors on the side of the Hawking Building, through the lane of birch trees and across Ring Road toward the main residence buildings. He may stop on the way to get a bagel at the cafeteria before continuing on his way up to his room. He launches up the stairs two sometimes three at a time. What an athlete. He gets his stair climbing ability from working out at the gym. He's integrated a well proportioned quad exercise set into his workout using the stair climbing equipment at the dingy little gym on campus. At the top of the stairs he rounds the corner and heads down the hall to room 204. Standing on the stairs and spying around the same corner I watch as he slips through the door and disappears from my sight. I'm left to slide down the wall, balancing on the step . . .
I can see the particles of air straining to hold back from swooping into the space he occupied. Knowing full well that their meagre existence means nothing in the face of his presence. Holding his image in mind for as long as I can I'm drawn into a vortex of swirling images of his naked body. Spinning closer and closer, faster and faster, they begin crashing into me. Damn fantasies aren't suppose to hurt! My fantasy has turned to horror film and I scream out for them to get away from me . . .
It's at this point, after the scream, that I realize the pain is not coming from him but from my own body careening down the stairs I just climbed. Tumbling uncontrollably I land at the bottom of the stairs looking up at a collective of other students who are not sure if they want to laugh or ask me if I'm okay. Despite my brush with death I'm not more than a little bruised and seeing that I'm able to get up they decide to laugh. Halfway out the door I see him coming down the stairs being met by a mob of friends who had the fortune of seeing me in my staircase scene. My ego wounded, I contemplate obsessing about someone that lives on the first floor of the dorm but realized I was hopelessly in love and another couldn't take his place. As the glass door swings shut I glance back to witness the group laughing loudly as one of them re-enacts the scene of my fall. Horribly embarrassed I retreat to my own dorm and cry myself to sleep in the middle of the afternoon. This is becoming a habit!