After a long boring summer with nothing much happening, I came back to university for another year of pain and hard work. My first week of classes started, with an introductory session to each cass and by the end of the week I knew what my favourite class would be: screenwriting.
When I turned up for the first lesson it was business as usual. I did as I usually do. I glanced around the room at my fellow classmates, looking for anyone familiar, anyone to pair up with, someone to sit next to. I noticed a group of guys I barely knew from the year before and after a short think and a nod in their direction I decided to sit alone. It wasn’t awkward, we were acquaintances, not friends.
As I sat down my brain changed modes. This time instead of glancing around the room for friends, I was glancing around the room for hot girls. I can’t help it, I’m a guy. After a brief scan my brain reported back that there were two reasonable girls in the room but nothing of note, so I sat back in my chair waiting for the lecture to start.
A few moments later my new lecturer entered the room, a small chubby man named Martin. He waved to the class and beamed “hellooooo my wonderful new students” and a few lone students grumbled back in apathy. He just kept on smiling, walked to the front of the class and said “you guys need to lighten up…do some drugs or something.” At the mention of drugs the class seemed to spruce up somewhat and Martin beamed back “that got you all in the mood didn’t it!” He laughed before moving on “anyway, welcome to screenwriting 101, where you will learn everything about…” when suddenly the door slammed shut cutting his voice out. Everyones head span towards the noise instinctively; just in time to see a petite brunette girl jumping at the sound. I looked at the girl and a voice popped up from the recesses of my brain. It said “BINGO!”
The girl stuttered out an apology, before running off to a chair next to a good looking boy who was waving to her. A pang of jealousy shot through me momentarily before Martin’s speech distracted me back to reality.
Part way through the speech a picture of the girl popped into my head and to verify to myself that she was actually real I turned my head to look at her. Getting a closer look I noticed she was hotter than I first thought. My mind screamed “B-B-BINGGOOOOOOOOO!” and a twinge of excitement was in my stomach as it usually is.
Over the next few weeks my obsession grew larger as I learned more about her from fragments of overheard conversations and simply just from looking at her. Her name was Julia, she kept a Tamagotchi called Rizla, she had a bonsai tree at home which she clipped once a month, she liked big butts and she wasn’t going to lie about it. Everything I heard built up an image of her. The image was of my perfect girl. Of course I didn’t even know her, so it was silly to like her at all, but after a while my mind filled in the blanks. I knew she liked Japanese food, I knew she was an atheist and I knew she was single. I never heard her say these things but I just knew.
Then, one particular day I came in to class, everything changed. As Martin sat at the front, his legs dangling over the side of a desk he spoke to us. He said “today class, we are going to learn about creating characters.”
A few faces looked nervous and sensing this he continued “but don’t worry, it’s easy. In fact I’ve got an exercise all set out for you guys. I want you to go out to the cafeteria or library or something and I want you to look at a person, any person, then I want you to write about them. I want you to write about what they look like, I want you to write about who they are, I want you to write about where they come from. I want you to write everything…but come back in 30 minutes because we need to finish off the lesson.”
Everyone shuffled out of their seats, the sound of chairs scraping off the floor filling the room. I just sat where I was, opened up my pad and began to write. “Her name is Julia…”
After about 10 minutes of furious writing I looked up to find I was the only person left in except for Martin, sitting at his desk at the front, writing into his own pad. As I glanced over he looked up and made eye contact. Smiling he asked “how’s it going?”
“Alright.” I said back, not wanting to get into a conversation.
Obviously not taking the hint he asked me “so who are you writing about? Me? There’s no-one else around for you to look at.”
I shook my head and laughed “sorry, I’m afraid not, I’m just making this character up in my own head.”
“Way to go, that’s the best way to do it. Keep up the good work man!” he said.
I thanked him kindly before continuing to write, stopping briefly every few moments to think. In no time at all students were filing back into the room and sitting down as Martin greeted them.
Once everyone was in the class he started up the lesson again: “right class, I hope everyone didn’t find the exercise too hard and if you did, don’t worry.” A sigh of relief came from a few students as Martin continued “now I think it’s time we heard one just so I know we’ve all been doing it correctly.”
I gulped. Praying I wouldn’t have to do it, revealing my obsession.
“Any volunteers?” Martin asked. I looked around the room hopefully, attempting to raise someone’s hand with my mind.
Martin, unfazed, said “are you sure no-one wants to volunteer? If no-one volunteers I’ll have to pick someone.”
I closed my eyes and in my head I prayed even more. “Please God, if you exist, please don’t let her find out, please.”
A sweet voice came into my ear saying “I’ll do it.” Opening my eyes I could see Julia, her hand extended.
“Thank you. Come and stand at the front so we can all hear you.”
I watched as she rose to her feet and slowly walked to the front of the class. My eyes were glazed on the back of her head and my mouth went dry in anticipation of her performance.
As she made it to the front she span on her heel and clearing her voice she looked down at her pad and her voice flowed through the air.
“He is a young man in his early twenties with short dark hair. His hair is soft and fuzzy like a fur-ball on the top of his head. A small scrunched up nose sits between his two beautiful green eyes and many a time my eyes sting as I’m so busy staring at him.”
At this a few girls at the back of the class giggled and her cheeks went red slightly.
“He likes bright colors. He doesn’t like to shave, but that’s fine with me because I like the ragged look. He’s caring and gentle and once nursed a cat back to health after it was run over. He’s strong as an ox and willing to fight for the things he cares about, but he’s not physically violent, he only resorts to that when he really needs to.”
Pausing she looked over to Martin and he beamed “this is great, anymore?”
Blushing she said “I really like him.”
Martin looked back and said “I think that was pretty obvious from what you wrote. Does your character have a name?”
Glancing towards the class for a split second she spoke quietly, her face red “his name is Dan.”
My brain played it back a split second later “his name is Dan.” Holy shit! I’m Dan. Looking up I made eye contact with her and she looked away quickly. Moving back to her seat the class erupted in chatter. I just continued to look to the front in a minor daze.
Martin hushed the class down and spoke “well, after that revelation I think it’s only fair that Dan reads his own character out.” Martin looked at me and winked.
Adrenaline pumped suddenly through my body and before I knew it I was at the front of the class, my body shaking and my heart racing.
“Well….” I started “erm….well.”
The silence in the room cut through me as my audience stared at me, awaiting my character. I cleared my throat and started “SHE IS A TEENAGE GIRL.”
Martin jumped up “woah man, relax.”
I whispered to him “sorry, just a bit nervous.”
Clearing my throat again I restarted.
“She is a petite teenage girl with a cute face and an even cuter ass.” The class laughed out loud and with the confidence boost I continued “I’m slightly obsessed with her and have been since I first saw her because she’s the most beautiful girl I know of.”
The same group of girls from earlier sang “awwwwwww.” Looking down at Julia I spoke.
“Her hair is as dark as a ravens apart from a single stripe of blue. It falls down to her shoulders and moves slowly in the wind as she walks.”
Julia looked back up and a smile broke over her face.
“She likes Japanese food, cult movies and turning her duvet into a little tent while pretending she is camping. Sometimes she spends all day in old clothes reading books and drinking hot chocolate and other times she goes out and takes photos of churches.”
She smiled and nodded and it was then that I knew life was about to get better. I finished off my description and turned to Martin.
“Well?” I asked Martin.
“Well” said Martin grinning “we still need a name for your character.”
Turning to Julia I spoke to her as she smiled. The class held it’s breathe as I said aloud “her name is Julia”
As the sentence left my lips and entered her ear, her mouth contorted and the smile vanished from her lips. Tears welled up in her eyes and she jumped from her seat, running out of the door, slamming it behind her.
The class breathed out and her friend stood up grabbing her bag before leaving the room. As he left he turned to me and said to me “you’re such a prick, how could you tell her in front of the whole class that you fancied her best friend when you knew she liked you.”
I battled with confusion and unhappiness as he walked from the room and Martin turned to me “that was cold man.”
The next day walking into the cafeteria I noticed across the room a bunch of girls eating lunch and my eyes zoned in on one in particular, it was my dream girl again, back to her usual smiling self. As I walked to the sandwiches I struggled with a thought in my head. Should I go over and talk to her, maybe patch things up and live a long happy life with her? Or should I pretend she didn’t exist and continue with my lonely unhappy life?
Deciding the latter wasn’t particularly appealing I detoured and walked towards her table. As I reached the edge of the table conversation stopped dead and everyone turned to look at me. I turned to my girl and said softly “erm, could I just speak to you a second Julia?” Tears welled up in her eyes again and a rough voice to the side of me shouted in my ear “what do you want to talk to ME for?”
Turning my head, I finally realised my mistake. Sitting in front of me – with the exact same haircut and dress sense as the girl I’d dreamt of for weeks – was another, plumper girl. Unable to contain myself I laughed out loud and barked “wait a second, YOU are Julia! Oh I’m so sorry.”
The table looked back confused and taking a deep breathe I explained the whole story. I thought the girl of my dreams was called Julia after overhearing one of her conversations, but that was just her friends name.
I turned to the girl I really wanted and noticed she was now smiling. “So what is your name?” I asked. She replied, winking “I don’t usually tell til the second date.”
“Oh alright” I said “I guess we’d better have our first date now then” and I whisked her off to another table for a ham sandwich and can of coke.