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FRIDAY 3:20 pm

Kevin Pearson sat impatiently at his desk.  He sighed quietly to himself.  The professor's words melted into his ears as an unintelligible mumble.  The calculus final was next week.  Kevin already knew he would ace the test.  He probably could have handled a more challenging course, but he tended to underestimate himself.  At the moment, he was staring at the clock on the wall, trying to calculate down to the second how much time before the end of his sophomore year at college.  Next week was finals week.  He was glad that he would be going home soon.

Kevin took a brief glance behind his shoulder.  This was something he had a habit of doing.  From his desk at the front of the classroom, he looked back to a desk in the back.  There she was, taking notes intently as she listened to the droning professor.

The most beautiful girl he had ever seen.  Tessa.

A tan-skinned Italian girl.  Petite yet athletic.  Tomboyish yet feminine.  She wore her black hair in a pony tail.

He had spent the better part of the Calculus class this semester thinking about her, and he would occasionally look in her direction, taking care not to stare too long.  And now the semester was over, and he had never even talked to her.  Kevin was extremely shy.  He wondered why he always fell for girls that were way out of his league.  Tessa seemed to be the opposite of him in every way - he was a nerd, she was popular.  He was shy, she was confident.  Perhaps his desire for her was driven by some subconscious envy.  She was everything he wished he was.  Just then, Kevin was snapped back into reality as the other students began to exit the classroom.  The class was over.

3:40 pm

Kevin entered his dorm room, and plopped his backpack on the futon.

"Hey Kev," said his roommate, Jake.
"Hey Jake."
"You done?"
"Yeah, I just got outta Calculus.  You?"
"I still got IB tonight."
"Hey listen, man, you know Alexa, right?"
"Yeah," replied Kevin.
"Well, she said her roommate was freaking out about the Calc final and wanted to know if you could, like, tutor her."
Kevin hesitated for a moment, then replied, "uh... sure, I guess."
"Awesome, lemme tell her."
Jake grabbed his cell phone and texted Alexa.

Tutoring a girl?  Just the thought made his stomach flutter.  He turned to mush around girls.  Especially girls he didn't know.  Just calm down, he thought.  You're not going on a date with the girl, you're just helping her with math.  Should be a breeze.

A minute later, Jake's phone beeped.  Jake checked the message.

"... alright.  She wants to know if you're free now."
"Yeah.  She's one floor up.  Room 312."
"Uh, I guess."

Kevin grabbed his books and exited the room.

3:45 pm

Kevin looked at the placard on the wall beside the door.


He knocked.  A tall girl with brown hair, freckles and glasses opened the door.
"Oh, hi Kevin!  Come on in," said Alexa.

Kevin entered the room.  He had never been in Alexa's room before.  She had been in his; she hung out with Jake often.  Kevin sat on the futon.

"Where's your roommate?" asked Kevin, noticing that he and Alexa were the only ones in the room.
"Oh, she'll be right back.  She left her Calc book in the study lounge."

Kevin had never met Alexa's roommate.  He wondered what kind of girl she was.  He looked at the desk opposite Alexa's side.  He saw some kind of sports trophy on the desk.  The desk was messy with papers and books.  He saw a coffee mug on the desk used as a pen holder.  The mug had a picture of a soccer ball on it.

Just then, Kevin heard a girl's voice.

"Hey, Alexa."

He turned and looked at the doorway, as Alexa's roommate entered the room.

"Oh, Kevin, here she is.  This is Tessa," said Alexa.

"Tessa Salerno," she said as she smiled.
"Kevin Pearson", he replied.

Standing right in front of him was the girl of his dreams, wearing a tight black T-shirt, shorts and black and white Adidas sandals.  Her arms were wrapped around a thick Calculus textbook she held against her bosom.

"Thanks so much for coming, Kevin.  I need so much help."
She smiled and sat down on the futon next to Kevin.
"Uh, sure. No p-problem."

Kevin couldn't believe it.  Here he was with her.  The girl he had admired all semester.  Now she was sitting right next to him.

For the next hour, he tried to stay composed as he helped Tessa with Calculus problems.  Surprisingly, he was able to remain confident.  While he was explaining something to her, and she looked to where he was pointing in her textbook, he examined her beautiful face.  She wasn't wearing make-up.  She didn't need it.  She had natural beauty and self-confidence.  Kevin studied her pursed lips as she pensively bounced the eraser of a pencil off them.

4:48 pm

"Well, thank you, Kevin, you've helped me a lot!"
"Sure, no problem."

Kevin stood in the doorway, ready to return to his room.  He was about to exit when Tessa stopped him.

"Wait, Kevin... Do you think you could... maybe come back tomorrow?  I think I still need help."
"Uh, sure."
"Same time, maybe?"
"Okay.  See you then."
"Alright.  Bye!"
"And thanks again!"

As he walked down the hall towards the stairwell, he couldn't help but smile.
She invited him back.

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