Jenna never got asked out on dates. Her sisters were much more popular than her and nicer too. So when she saw the new guy in class by her locker she just assumed he was waiting for someone else. He was a transfer student from New York and he had a cool guy vibe. His black hair was cut in the nicest flattop she’d ever seen and his skin was so smooth, acne must have chosen to bypass him completely. His eyes were a warm teak and his arms were muscular with protruding veins. She was an arm and wide shoulder kind of girl and he had both in abundance. His white t-shirt set off his chestnut skin tone and his jeans were molded to pretty nice thighs. Basically he was gorgeous and cool and definitely not in her league. At that moment he looked up from his phone and smiled in her direction. She looked behind her but there was no one else behind her.
“Hi Bastien. Um, what are you doing over here?”
“What do you mean?”
“Your locker’s two floors down. Near the gym, remember?”
He chuckled and smiled again, making Jenna’s heart race because it was such a happy smile. He’d been leaning on the locker next to hers and he straightened to his full height and reached into his backpack, which had been dangling from his shoulder. He held out something to her. She looked down and saw that it was a book. The title was The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother.
“What is this?”
“Really, Jenna. It’s a book.”
“I know it’s a book, I mean why are you giving it to me?”
“I remember how yesterday in class you said you weren’t a fan of biographies, so I thought I’d share my favorite memoir with you.”
“Your favorite memoir? The price tag is still on it, Bastien. Have you actually read a book?”
“I’m not giving you my copy. It’s a hardcover that James signed. No way I’m lending that to anyone. I just grabbed this paperback from BMV for you.”
“You bought me a book?”
Bastien just nodded at her and Jenna didn’t know what to say. She looked up at his eyes and wasn’t sure what to do. Guys didn’t buy her books to read, just because. If a guy in her class talked to her he needed help with homework. Or getting an in with one of her sisters. This was unexpected. She cocked her head and thought about asking him why, but instead her mouth formed a completely different sentence.
“I hate when people mess up my copy too. And no one but me touches anything I’ve gotten signed. If I’m reading this then you need to read my favorite author.”
“Okay and we can meet up on Friday night and talk about our favorite parts.”
“I’m sure you’ve got a hot date Friday night so how about next Monday after class.”
Bastien moved closer to her and shook his head. “Friday night, you and me at Snakes and Lattes, our books and some great coffee.”
“But nothing. Come on I’ll treat you to their Maple Bacon Cupcake and any drink you want.”
She couldn’t help but smile because it was no secret that bacon was her favorite food. For a second she worried about his reasons but then she decided to just say yes.
“Okay I’ll meet you Friday. But I don’t have the book I want to give you with me. Will you have enough time to read it if I give it to you tomorrow?”
“Yes! I’ll meet you here tomorrow between fifth and sixth period. What book is it by the way?”
“Nope you’re going to find out tomorrow. I don’t want you to complain or whine or read a synopsis beforehand.”
“Okay I’ll accept that. So tomorrow, don’t forget the book and Friday at Snakes and Lattes for say seven?”
“Yeah music practice is done at five thirty so I’ll have enough time to get there.”
Bastien smiled and then hugged her. He felt warm and smelled like sunshine and mint. As she pulled away, he leaned slightly to her right and kissed her on the cheek. Jenna didn’t know what to do and just looked at him with her mouth slightly open.
“Don’t forget tomorrow, Jenna! See ya later.”