I can see you.
You’re hanging out with your friends, not too far from me. I don’t mean to watch, but I can’t help it. It’s not even your face or your eyes that I see first.
It’s your laugh, I hear that first.
I can hear it over the noise of the university’s common room chatter, full of laugher and bubbling conversations. Nothing else stands out. Not like you do. Loud and bright, a laugh that carries and soothes. I don’t mean to look. But I do. And it’s too late now. I can’t look away.
You’ve noticed me glance over and I shy away, turning back to my friend, as if pretending nothing’s happened. But it has. And your friends know it to, because they’re looking over as well.
It’s awkward now and I want to disappear. I try to ignore you, but every so often, I feel your gaze lingering in my direction. I wonder what you see.
Do you see girl who keeps blushing every time you look at her?
Do you see a shy girl, with a wide smile and happy laugh?
Do you see a girl who’s wearing her Gryffindor scarf indoors, and think that’s strange or cute?
Do you see me in colour or in grey?
Or do you see nothing at all?
I’m just a girl sitting here, chatting away with her friend, amongst a whole clutter of prettier, more sophisticated looking women, with their hair perfectly styled and clothes matching.
I’m the girl who still loves all her childhood books and prefers to watch films, instead of meeting people at parties.
I’m the girl who doesn’t like alcohol and prefers the theatre to clubs.
I’m the girl who likes to read and write, who likes to listen and laugh, who likes to play music and draw.
I’m the girl who prefers the artsy side of life, rather than the scientific or mathematical.
You don’t look away though. You keep looking, not in a weird or creepy way. Just glancing over, hoping to catch my gaze. But you don’t, not again.
And when you leave, I look up and find you walking past, you smile. I manage a shy, half smile and look away.
And then I know what you see.
You see a girl who is too afraid to look at her own reflection.