There were only a few minutes left in class, and I was still trying to reason out what had happened as I packed up my still-blank notes and headed out of the room in the middle of the crowd of other students. My vision still seemed to have that same fuzziness around the edges, and I felt as though someone had turned all of the lights up just a little stronger than usual.
I caught a flash of red hair next to me and turned to see Chris, my best friend, come popping out of the crowd. “Hey Davis!” he greeted me, nearly bouncing off the ground with excitement. Chris always gave off the impression that he’d just downed a half dozen energy drinks. “Did you see who’s just over there?”
I looked up in the direction my friend was pointing, and my mouth dropped open. On the other side of the hallway, leaning against the wall and looking bored, stood an angel.
As I watched, my mouth still agape, the woman shrugged and sent her blonde hair falling in new waves down her back. The motion exposed her low-cut top and made the tops of her breasts jiggle slightly, irresistibly pulling my eye. Her jeans hugged every curve of her long, slim legs, sending my imagination into overdrive.
I knew her name, of course. Most of the school did. That was Vanessa Miller, the collective crush of every single hot-blooded male. She had posed for our school’s Hustler issue a year ago – copies of that magazine, dog-eared and treasured, could be found in most dorm rooms. But unlike most models, she was also a good person in other respects. She volunteered regularly and organized charity drives twice a year for the local homeless. She was, well, perfect.
Chris poked me again. “You should go talk to her!” he insisted.
Normally, I would have totally ignored this. I wasn’t anything special! What could I even talk to an angel like this about? But that tingling feeling was still inside my head, and before I even knew what I was doing, my feet were carrying me across the hallway and over to stand next to her.
“Hey, Vanessa,” I said, my voice somehow not squeaking or cracking from nervousness. “Waiting for class?”
The woman looked up at me, and I felt like her eyes shot right through me. For one split second, I felt as though I was about to melt into a puddle of shame and soak down into the floor right there. But then, to my complete and utter amazement, she smiled.
“Yeah, my biology class is about to start in a few minutes,” she replied, nodding towards the door across the hall. “Usually, the previous class is done by now, but it’s running late today.”
“Biology! I actually know a biology joke – wanna hear it?” I didn’t know any biology jokes. What was I saying?
But the girl next to me was smiling and nodding, and those big eyes of hers were on me. And my mouth was somehow still running. “What do you get if you inject human DNA into a sheep?” I asked.
I paused for a second, letting the suspense build, and then delivered the punchline. “Kicked out of the research facility!” I finished with a grin.
Vanessa’s face froze. I immediately shot into panic mode. What had I just done? I’d totally blown it! That joke was so offensive, so out of line, that I’d be lucky if she didn’t report me to the college and get me kicked out. She had been actually talking to me, but it had all gone wrong. I got ready to make a run for it.
But then, incredibly, the girl burst into peals of laughter. Not polite, quiet little giggles; no, this was real and genuine. It lasted several seconds as I grinned wildly back, not sure quite what was happening. She finally subsided and reached up to wipe at one eye. “Oh my god, that’s so terrible,” she said, her voice still filled with mirth. “I’ve never heard that before.”
I kept the grin plastered across my face and waited, not sure what to do. Vanessa took another breath and let it out, and then looked at me again. Her eyes looked suddenly thoughtful. “Do you have any more jokes as bad as that?” she asked.
I tried not to nod too rapidly. “Much worse ones,” my mouth promised, as my brain looked on helplessly.
The beautiful girl fondled around in her pocket and pulled out a pen. “Let me see your hand,” she commanded.
I held out the limb to her, and she carefully traced some numbers onto it with the pen. “That’s my cell,” she told me, letting go of my fingers. Her touch had been soft and warm, soaking into me. “You should give me a call this afternoon. Maybe we could go grab coffee or something and you could tell me some other jokes?”
“Definitely,” I promised, and I watched the girl walk into her classroom. I didn’t risk moving for several seconds, fearful that my legs wouldn’t support me.
A moment later, as Chris came bounding over to me to see what had happened, I experienced another strange feeling. The brightness that had seemed to suffuse the world abruptly faded, and the fuzziness at the edge of my vision snapped back to hard edges. I slipped on the wall a little before I caught myself. What had just happened?