First impressions

When I went to class on Wednesday I was exited and a little anxious. I was hoping I wouldn’t be the worst student there and make an ass of myself right in the first class. I was careful to arrive early enough not just to get a chance to talk to Megan but also to make a good impression on Ms. Schwarz, our teacher. Megan and I joked around until she decided it was time to introduce me to some of my classmates. There was Matt from Australia who had moved to Germany for his girlfriend that he had met during her work and travel year over there. She had actually wanted to stay in Australia with him but he insisted on living in Germany for at least a year with her to see what her life had been like before him. He seemed like a very sweet and fun guy to be around. There were two sisters from Spain that moved here to find a job because of the economic crisis in their country. They were both tall and slender with dark brown hair and full lips. And then there was Kevin from Canada who was there to study just like me. They welcomed me with open arms and it really helped that they were all about the same age. Matt was probably a little bit older than the rest, but other than that it seemed like an awesome group. The class took place in a room that was smaller than the one I had my test in, there was a big square table in the center and 6 chairs around it as well a flip chart and a white board. Miss Schwartz was sitting at the head of our table with her laptop open and hooked up to the projector, showing the first slide of today’s power point. They all took their seats and I sat next to Matt. The seat to his right remained empty. „Does anyone know if Alexander will be joining us today?“ Everyone shook their head or shrugged their shoulders. „Fine, we will begin then.“ She switched to German effortlessly and I had trouble adjusting at first but it didn’t take longer than a couple of minutes for me to find my way into the conversation. Ms. Schwartz had just asked us what we had done last night and just as it was my turn the door was opened forcefully and the guy that I had seen downstairs entered. He looked at me for about a second and then greeted the two guys as well as the Spanish girls and sat down next to Matt. He didn’t even apologize to Ms. Schwartz. „Glad you could join us today.“ „Well I am here now, aren’t I?“ he replied in German with an accent as thick as syrup. I couldn’t help but notice how the two Spanish girls beamed at him and how Ms Schwartz didn’t even seem to be phased by his behavior. „All right let’s continue. I will now show you a small film, please pay close attention everyone.“ I used the time to study the new guy. His face was waxen like those figurines at Madame Tussaud’s that almost looked real but you still wouldn’t want to be locked in a room with them at night. He had grey eyes with dark circles under them, a large nose and hollow cheeks. His hair was the color of dried earth on a really warm day and it was so long that he kept having to sweep it out of his eyes. I didn’t know what it was but I was fascinated with him. The way the girls were looking at him and the beautiful girl that was probably already waiting for him downstairs was completely smitten with him and the guys seemed to think of him as their idol. I had probably been staring at him for to long because all of a sudden he turned his gaze to me. He looked at me like he already knew me, like he had known me all my life. I felt the need to close my eyes, because I was afraid he could look directly into my soul. When I opened them again I saw his left hand sliding over the table right in front of Matt and offering it to me. His eyes fixed directly on mine, when I stuck out my hand. „Hi I am Sasha, nice to meet you.“ His hand was cold and a little wet but he held my grip like he never wanted to let go of me. I didn’t know what to do or where to look as he didn’t seem to want to let go of my eyes either. „Uhm, yeah, I am Emma. Nice to meet you too.“ I was well aware we were in the middle of the classroom and we were supposed to pay attention. I tried to pull away and look at the screen, but he kept on holding my hand. „I haven’t seen you here before, yes? Are you new?“ His eyes were sparkling now. „Yeah I am, but look, we should pay attention now.“ „Ok, if you say so. We have plenty of time to talk later, yes.“ This wasn’t a question, this was a statement, and his cocky smile just proved that he always got what he wanted.
I couldn’t concentrate on the rest of the lesson. Every time I tried to fixate on Ms Schwartz or the screen my eyes automatically wandered over to Sasha, which I learned later was short for Alexander, and each and every time he was looking at me. It was like he was undressing my soul with his eyes and with every gaze and every layer that fell to the floor i got a little more insecure.
I made sure to leave the room before him and I was grateful for Ms Schwartz holding him back at the end of our class. I rushed out of the room to seek refuge with Meg. I was talking to her when he brushed past me laying his hand on my hip. „Bye Emma, looking forward to seeing you on Friday.“ I could feel my cheeks flush with color and I could feel Megan looking at us. „You better be careful with that one.“ She said in a warning, yet amused tone. As if I didn’t know that myself.
When I got downstairs I could see the red haired girl waiting for him again. He said something to her and she looked upset. As usual he took the keys out of her hands and got into the car but just as she was about to get into the passenger seat he started the engine and drove off, leaving her standing there like a lost star in the daylight.

***

I had no idea what happened in that classroom today and why it bothered me so much but I couldn’t calm down even though I had been at home for about half an hour already. I knew that Joey was going to call me any minute and I didn’t know what I was going to tell him about my class. I was walking up and down my room, feeling restless just as my computer started ringing. „Hey you German Fräulein, how is everyhting?“ „ Hey baby, I am good.“ I started calming down at the sight of his face and the sound of his familiar voice. „How was your course today?“ „It was great, we are a really small group, so I am sure I will learn quite a lot.“ „Yeah, how many are you?“ „Well there is those 2 girls from Spain, and a Canadian guy who also goes to University and this Australian guy that came here to be with his girlfriend. That’s it. They are all really nice and young, so I am happy I have such a fun group.“ „That’s awesome, I am really happy for you baby.“ „Thank you. And our teacher is great too. She is so German, you wouldn’t believe. She even wears sandals, and it’s still winter.“ We talked a while about my class and I even taught him some German words that I had learned today and then I told him I had some studying to do and we would be talking again tomorrow. I didn’t know why I left out Sasha. I could have probably mentioned him, Joey wouldn’t know how uncomfortable he made me and it wouldn’t really make a difference to him, but for some reason I didn’t want him to know that he existed.

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