Eye Candy

God, I feel stupid doing this. I'm not even sure I should be doing this. I mean, what's the point? It's not like you're ever going to be seeing it. But maybe that is the point.

You're not going to be seeing this, so there's nothing for me to hold back. This is the only way I'm ever going to say all the things you should hear. And you're not even going to hear it. God, how pathetic is that?

Where to begin…. Well, at the beginning seems logical enough. Did you know that I literally stopped in my tracks the first time I saw you? I wish I was joking, but I'm not. It was the second day of my freshman year of university. It was around 1:00, and the only reason I remember this is because I was with Natalie, and I had just come out from a mind-numbing Optimization class. Hell, I even remember what you were wearing. And I remember thinking that you were beautiful. And it didn't matter that I had a boyfriend, whom I loved (and if I'm really honest with myself, still love). That little fact didn't stop me from stopping in the middle of the corridor for no good reason, pretending to listen to Natalie drone on as I tried desperately to stare at you through the corner of my eyes.

I don't think you noticed me, that first day. And even now, I still don't have the courage to ask you if you did. But I still wonder. I'll always wonder.

I remember the first time you smiled at me. I remember holding in the urge to turn around to make sure there wasn't someone else behind me. I had been having a particularly hellish day. Andrew and I had gotten into another one of our now notorious arguments the night before, and I had been seriously contemplating the status of our relationship. Needless to say, I felt (and probably looked) like crap. But then you smiled at me, and it was like I was floating or something. I don't remember if I smiled back or not. I probably didn't, because sometimes I get too petrified to do anything but stare dumbly and pretend I don't notice when the object of my obsession is flirting with me. But you were flirting, I know that now. Or, at least I think you were. Either way, I had butterflies in my stomach and a goofy grin on my face. I know the latter because Natalie pointed it out to me when I met up with her before our Pilates workout. I think I told her to shut up, but even I know she was saying the truth.

That was around the time that I first started to keep my eyes open for you whenever I had a class in the H-Wing. It wasn't hard; you were usually always in the same spot, always around the same time. I won't even count the number of Financial Accounting I lectures I skipped because I knew you would be sitting on the second bench in front of the H-Wing cafeteria, where I just happened to be sipping a latte, making sure I looked oh-so cute and intellectual. It's embarrassing, really. Needless to say I failed that midterm and eventually dropped out of the class. God, I can't believe I just admitted that.

I asked my cousin Renee about you. She wasn't really impressed, but I didn't care. She knew everyone, and I wasn't above asking about you like some hopeful little school girl who had a major crush. I don't really think it was a crush back then—I mean, there was Andrew to think about, and I really did love him. You were my "eye candy"; safe to look at, but too sweet to ever really touch. I told Janet and Sharese this once, and from then on you were known simply as "Lauren's Eye-Candy". Anyways, Renee let me know that she didn't know your name, but you were in your third year, and that you were an Accounting major. And yes, I do see the irony in you being an Accounting major while I had failed my Accounting class because of you. But like I said, that little tidbit is not one of my finer moments, and I'd rather not harp on it, if you don't mind.

Eventually, as it so often does, time flew by and in the blink of an eye Christmas break was coming up. We still hadn't talked by then, although there was a time in November when we had gotten very close to. It was on Remembrance Day, and we were stuck together in the elevator for almost 10 minutes. Unfortunately, it was very crowded; it wasn't like we weren't strangers finding themselves alone and having long heart-to-heart talks, discovering our true love for each other like they do in the movies. Still, I was right in front of you, and I remember wondering if I leaned back a little farther, would your hands come around my waist and hold me closer to you? I must have blushed at the thought because Amanda asked me if I was feeling okay. She said my face was all red and that I looked all flustered. I wanted to smack her because I could have sworn I heard you snicker.

But anyways, back to Christmas break. My parents were out of town, and I lad promised my sister that I would fly down to see her in San Francisco. Andrew wasn't exactly thrilled because he had wanted to spend time with me; we hardly ever got to see each other anymore since I started university. His school was a few hours away, and it was hard on us. Even though he had already been in university when we had first started going out, I think it was easier on him back then. Back then, he was secure in the fact that I was a high school junior who was totally in love with the fact that I had an older boyfriend in university. It's funny how things all of a sudden changed with time. So yeah, he was mad at me, and I, in turn, was mad at him.

The plane ride was pretty long. It normally would have only taken five hours, but I, being as financially wiped out by my student loans as I was, had a whole bunch of stopovers in a whole bunch of cities with sucky airports since it made my ticket a hell of a lot cheaper. So, to pass the time, I made up little mini-fantasies about us. Don't laugh- I really did. I can't help it; I'm a writer, and I always have little stories floating in my mind. So yeah, I concocted a little story about us. In my mind, you were some big-time Mafia Kingpin who stole me away from my cop-husband Andrew. I still didn't know your name, so I made one up; you were Zain Chandler, and your deviously irresistible ways made me fall in love with you even though you killed my husband, who had been close to putting you in jail at the time. A little extreme, I know, but I've always been an extreme type of girl.

I thought about you a lot while I was gone. Probably more than I should have. And I wondered if you ever thought about me. Sometimes, I was almost sure that you did. And other times…well, other times I realized how ridiculous I was being spending so much of my energy occupied with thoughts of a stranger.

I broke up with Andrew a week after I got back. And no, before you ask, it wasn't because of you. I'm not that stupid. Andrew and I broke up because….well, the reason's not all that important, now. Just know that he did something when I was gone that really hurt me, and I've never quite been able to look at him the same way again.

Actually, it was because of the breakup that you first talked to me, and even that was a fluke. I had been on a chocolate binge, trying to fill up the hole in my heart with frightening amounts of Hershey's Cookies 'n Cream chocolate bars. You were at the vending machine and I was in the line behind you. I guess your money got jammed or something because you looked back and asked me if I had any change. I think you faltered once when you first saw me standing there, but then again it could have all been in my imagination. As I reached into the front pocket of my jeans to see if I had any extra change, I remember thinking how surreal that moment was. Just last night Zain Chandler had been making sweet love to me in my dreams, and here you were in the flesh, and your first words to me were "Damn, you got a dollar I can borrow?" It was just plain weird. I almost told you right there about the dream I had the night before, just to see what you would say. But then I remembered that normal girls just didn't do stuff like that, so I held out my hand and told you that you could keep the change instead.

Okay, yeah, so by that time I was crushing on you like mad. And I didn't care that it was shallow. I'm not going to lie; I liked you because you were hot. At first, anyways. I think I started falling for the version of you in my mind, and my feelings just sort of spilled over to the real you. It wasn't anything serious though, and neither one of us ever really pushed for it.

Dave came into the picture soon after that. I'm not going to sugarcoat it; he was my rebound. I had just come off a two and a half year relationship, and as my friend Tonia so eloquently put it, I was "suffering from an extreme case of booty-call-isis". He was just at the right place at the right time. And I have no illusions that I was anything more than a distraction to him than he was to me.

Dave was the guy you saw me with, that night at the pub. I know you noticed, even if I was a little tipsy at the time. You looked really good that night, you know? Even as I kissed Dave, I was imaging your lips on my neck, your hands running up my bare back. I just thought you should know, in case you were curious.

It's funny how sometimes time goes by so fast, you wonder if it was all a dream. Before I knew it, it was summer, and my first year of university was over. Well, almost over. I still had to take that summer Accounting course that I had dropped in the fall. Surprisingly, without having you as a distraction, I actually did very well.

I broke up with Dave that summer. Neither one of us were all that heartbroken over it, so that was cool. He had gotten back together with his ex-girlfriend, and I was actually pretty happy for him. He was a really nice guy.

That was the summer I really got to know you. I'll never forget the shock I felt when I started my summer job, only to realize that it was you who would be training me. Thank God you didn't pretend to not recognize me; I would have been mortified if you had.

I finally learned your name, and even though it wasn't as sexy as Zain Chandler, I thought it fit you really well.

I bet you didn't know I was thinking about asking you to come for a drive with me the night of our second staff party. I was, though. Well, at least I was before you introduced me to Allison. Talk about a blow to the ego. Although, I have to (grudgingly) admit that you two did look pretty cute together. Too cute. Sickingly cute. No, forget it, you two didn't look cute at all.

Hey, I never said I was the most mature person in the world.

Our time together felt really strained after that, to me anyways. Worst was when I had closings with you. Do you remember those nights, when it was just the two of us? God, that was hard. I think up 'til then I had convinced myself that my feelings for you were vapid. Superficial, but with no real substance. But the more I got to know you, the real you, the more real you became. You weren't just my eye candy anymore; you were Sean, and I was falling, hard.

I quit my job once school started up again. I never really saw you anymore. Pseudo-stalking you like I had the year before didn't seem as alluring as it once had, now that we had spent the summer together. Honestly, I was actually avoiding you most of the time. Things felt less complicated that way. And, it's not like you made an effort to keep in touch with me. Yes, that is my bitterness seeping through.

I heard through a friend I had made from work when you broke up with Allison. So no, I wasn't completely shocked when you showed up at my dorm room that night. I mean, I was a little shocked- we hadn't spoken in months- but a part of me had expected it. I never did get around to asking how you knew where to find me. I have this delicious theory that you asked around after the first night you saw me. But I'll never ask you this, and you'll never tell me. Maybe it's better that way. Then again, maybe it's not, and I'm just too jaded and naïve to realize it.

In case you were too drunk that night to remember everything, it was good. Let's just say you put Zain Chandler to shame. You were perfect. We were perfect.

You were gone by the time I woke up the next morning. I still don't know I feel about that. No, that's a lie; I know exactly how I feel about it. But I'd rather not get into it, thank you very much.

We didn't talk to each other, after that night. I didn't really know what to say. I didn't regret it, if that's what you're wondering. It wasn't just some pity fuck either. For me, anyways. Lord only knows what it was for you. It's not like you talked to me about it.

But I'm not stupid; I know that the two blank calls that showed up on my voice mail a few weeks ago were from you. I wonder what you wanted to say. I wonder if I would have liked hearing it or not. But I guess I'll never know.

You graduated yesterday. I'm sorry I missed it. I'm sorry I missed you.

I read somewhere once that the worst way to miss someone is to be standing right beside them but knowing you can never have them. But I've got to tell you, standing beside you and knowing I could have you is almost just as bad. Because all of a sudden I look back and you're not there anymore. You're just another person in my long line of missed opportunities, and knowing that for the rest of my life you'll just be another case of what if hurts really, really bad.

I don't love you, but I think I could have. And I think you really could have loved me too. But now you're gone. So I'm telling you all this. And you'll never hear it. God, it's pathetic, really.

A/N: So, what did you guys think? A bit different from my usual stuff, but I was happy with it. And in case you were wondering, no this isn't autobiographical. I did draw some of it from personal experiences, but not enough to make this a true story. Anyways, read and review and tell me what you think!