[center [size10 [i This story is designed to have a simple premise, but allow for more complex characters. For one reason or another, they've been hurt by the ones they loved most. There are so many things they have yet to confess. However, when they met each other, for once, there was just a little less pain.]]]
[center [size10 [i The structure is, thankfully, just as simple as the premise. They met while in college. They were nervous at first, possibly even fearful, but curious too. Who was this other person that smiled so sweetly, yet looked so empty?]]]
[center [i I will be using [http://rp.eliteskills.com/vc.php?c=411121 Vidiya] as my OC. You can have an OC or a cannon character you perosnally enjoy so long as they are female. This is a hella gay love story. Like... soooo gay. About as gay as I am. Maybe gayer because I'm only, like, 90% gay according to my fiance.]]
[center [i I'm not too picky on how [b much] you post. You can give me a few lines, for all I care. I just want the story to be [b interesting], which means we'll probably stop once in a while to just talk and plot. Also, do your best with your grammar and spelling please. I'm not super picky, and I know English isn't everyone's first language, so just do your best.]]
[center [i I work and have a child I like more than you, so I get if you can only post once a week. Let's shoot for that.]]
[center [i PM me if you want the spot. Pretty basic.]]
Dana shrinks a little bit at the response. Yeah, of course! This was normal! Like Vidiya said, she wasn't dying or anything. So yeah, it was weird to ask, then! Dana mentally berates herself for even suggesting a hug. Another reminder just because [i she] liked hugging didn't mean everyone else did! And from how hands off Vidiya has been from their interactions, Dana probably should've gotten the hint! She was so embarrassed. Again...
Although, as Vidiya continued to detail her problems that stemmed from her family not accepting that she was gay, she couldn't really put two and two together. Her mom got [i boyfriend] from [i tutor]? But at the same time, apparently saying she had a tutor created a whole other host of problems for the poor girl. She had a really complicated family life, it would seem. Well, she certainly could-
[b “Wait a second. You want [i me],”] She points at herself. [b “to [i actually meet] your mother?”] When she mentioned earlier that she needed Dana to pretend to be her tutor, she didn't realize it would be an actual meet ant greet. Holy moly! From what Vidiya had described, she sort of imagined her mother as an impossible woman and quite scary. So, in turn, it felt like a daunting thought to meet the woman herself... But she would have Vidiya there so its not like she'd be meeting up with her by herself. And heck, Dana was an [i actual] tutor! So it wasn't like she'd actually be lying! But this wasn't about Dana or her fears, it was really about [i Vidiya], which is why she would do it. Why she [i had] to do it. Vidiya was so strong and sincere and honest. Not only did it take a lot of courage to come out to her, but it took a lot of courage to ask for her help with this. So she wouldn't let her down.
[b “I brought my good notes if you want to show your mom. They're in my binder properly this time.”] She offers with a soft smile, confirming that she would do it. Dana hoped they weren't going to be late.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/xWVvNoo.jpg]]
[center [size10 [i Of course Dana wouldn't have suspected! Vidiya went out of her way not to "appear" gay according to her mother. Mostly, that just meant not dating in general. It was easier than she really expected at first. It took her a while to realize that she was the same as most others. She just liked women. It wasn't a huge deal, right? Still, she felt a hot blush crawling up her cheeks when it was brought up. It wasn't the same statement, but it was similar to some of what she had heard before.
[b "Vidiya is gay? No! She's too pretty! She just needs a husband! It will be fine."]
Gross. Still, at least the bandaid was off. Vidiya emotionally prepared herself for the worse. Whether or not it was what she might receive, she had to be ready. It hurt a bit less that way...
Much to her surprise, however, Dana seemed to be... okay with it? Vidiya's eyes went wide, and her brain started to shut down. At most, she figured she'd get a lukewarm acceptance, and then Dana might quickly excuse herself. No... Dana was being nice! Even offered a hug. This made Vidiya close up quickly, unsure how to manage this warm response.
[#c20095 "No hugs,"] Vidiya said sharply. She scooted back a little. [#c20095 "It's unnecessary. I told you I'm gay, not dying."] She cleared her throat and took a deep breath. [#c20095 "I have to tell you this though because I think my mother misunderstood something I said a couple of weeks ago. I told her I had a tutor, and she assumed that meant I had a boyfriend."] Vidiya grimaced. [#c20095 "She also said that if I couldn't handle classes, I should drop out, but since I told her my tutor is a good one, she wanted to meet them. In this case, um, you."] Vidiya gestured weakly to Dana. [#c20095 "At least she'll get off my back about my grades... and I'll figure out the 'boyfriend' thing later."]
There was more? It seemed Vidiya had a pretty complicated life, but at the same time it seemed she knew how to handle it. She supposed that's what tended to happen, especially if you didn't just readily accept every single thing your family had to say. In Dana's case, that's why her and her dad argued or avoided certain topics at the dinner table.
Dana couldn't help but blink when Vidiya told her she was gay. She was? Dana blinks again. She didn't [i look] or [i act] gay. [b “I never would have thought...”] She sort of blurts. Well, this was... complicated. Dana had never had someone come out to her before, and, well, she's really never had any experience with anything regarding that either. No gay friends or anything she hasn't learned from the odd news article every now and again. It was [i definitely] not anything her father ever spoke about or even broached as a subject. Dana didn't know how to act or react for a second, but at the same time felt warm and honoured that Vidiya felt like she could share this with her. Maybe she should just tell her that?
She blushes at the thought, shoulders going rigid, and she looks off to the side. It would be forward of Dana, but she didn't really know the best course of action; she wished she would have had the foresight to have Googled it. [b “I'm sorry, that must be so difficult and frustrating. I can't say I fully understand the full depths of it, but I want you to know that I feel happy for you and honoured that you would share this with me.”] Her face was burning and it almost looked like she had been holding her breath the entire time. She still couldn't meet the other girl's eyes. [b “D-do you want a hug? Is that weird to ask?”]
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/xWVvNoo.jpg]]
[center [size10 [i Ah. She indeed was not alone. It was easy to forget that others led lives just as complex as her's. She felt a bit defensive, but the genuine response was also soothing. Vidiya gave a little nod in acknowledgement to the shared story. Her conflicting feelings were strong, but at least she felt a little less crazy, and this girl really did seem to understand. Vidiya straightened back up, looking a bit more resolved.
[#c20095 "I have something else to admit if you really do want to help me,"] she explained. [#c20095 "I will always appreciate it, but if you wish to back out after hearing this, I will understand."] Vidiya silenced a buzz on her phone. It was probably a text from her mother anyway, and she didn't need that right now. The movement was so smooth, it was an afterthought to their conversation as she continued to talk.
[#c20095 "When you met me at the gathering and asked me if I was a member of the community, I kind of lied. I'm not a part of the organization, but I am... gay. I came out to my parents shortly before I started college, and they're thinking it's something that might change if they keep introducing me to other men."]
Vidiya halted in her explanation. There were other things she had to say, but she was gauging this reaction first. Aside from her family, Dana was the first person Vidiya had ever come out to. If this would be a problem, she had to know immediately.]]]
Alarm bells went off the second Dana's hand touched Vidiya's arm. Not because of the other girl's reaction, but because it had been sort of inappropriate for her to do in the first place. So she doesn't really feel insecure when Vidiya politely moves her arm. [b “Sorry...”] She mumbles. For her touching her and for startling her.
It seemed Vidiya was pretty good at brushing things off as she went in to explaining the issue she currently had. An overbearing mother who wants to know her daughter is okay, and Vidiya wants to make it clear she's not engaged... That certainly was all sorts of layers of complicated for sure, but she wouldn't call it crazy. She could relate to that on some level; sometimes it seemed like her own father was more interested in knowing if she was dating someone rather than if she was personally or academically doing well.
Now that some of Vidiya's struggles were out in the open, their first interaction and some of what she said sort of clicked more in to place. [i "Pretty girls don't lay down their burdens at another's feet..."] She had distinctly remembered Vidiya saying after she confided that her mother wanted her to be a doctor instead of a nurse. How curt she could be, her aloof nature; a lot of it made more sense now. She was putting herself in a vulnerable position by asking this of Dana, so she knew that she had to be delicate about it. So honesty and sharing was probably her best bet.
[b “No, no, please don't worry, Vidiya. Its not a problem.”] Dana instinctively went to put her hand on the girl's shoulder but managed to catch herself, instead brushing a loose strand of her own hair behind her ear to hide the motion. [b “My, umm...] She clears her throat, embarrassed she was sharing this so soon. [b “Dad, can be a bit of a helicopter parent, as well. I actually had to fight him to [i let] me study here instead of a private Jewish University.”] Not to mention having [i 'goyim'] as friends, dating, or even going out were always being points of contention her whole life. She should've been a lawyer the amount she had to argue with the man and use evidence and facts to do things that everyone her age were doing. Like she was constantly on trial.
[b “I'll help you, so please don't feel worried or embarrassed about your situation. It takes all kinds, right?”] Dana smiles sincerely. [b “But I really [i will] be looking at your math homework. Think of it as my payment.”] Her smile beams.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/xWVvNoo.jpg]]
[center [size10 [i Dana! Yes, the math girl. She was nice enough, if a bit forward. Well, in her defense, Vidiya had sort of slammed into her initially. Well... Time to see if it had set a bad precedent.
When Dana touched her, she jumped. However, for once, she didn't step away. She merely brushed Dana's hand gently aside. [#c20095 "I need you to pretend to be my tutor for just tonight. My mother is a bit overbearing, and I want her to think I'm okay without thinking I'm engaged."] Vidiya seemed to wither as she explained. That pride died, and shame took grip. [#c20095 "This is crazy. I'm sorry, I just realized how it sounded. I shouldn't have burdened you with this. It's just... Do you know what it's like to have parents who control your life?"]]]]
Well, that was certainly one way to wipe the smile off of Dana's face in a hurry. Initially happy and excited to see Vidiya again, but at the revelation that the other girl didn't remember her name made Dana become immediately embarrassed by how she reacted. Vidiya taking a step back also didn't exactly help and made her remember the embarrassment she had felt when they first met at the barbecue. She had opened her mouth to answer Vidiya and give her name again, but only sounds came out at first, not words. Dana felt like a sputtering idiot, the moment feeling like an eternity, but it was probably only a few seconds before she found her voice again. She swallows and finally manages: [b “Dana Spector.”] It was a bit weak, but that feeling was quickly fading as she regained some of her composure... She'd take the victory that Vidiya remembered her face, at least.
Dana was still a little stupefied when Vidiya asked her to come with her, but quickly snapped out of it as she followed along closely beside her. [b “A personal problem?”] Dana inquires, a little bit confused by this new development... It seemed Vidiya was a fairly complicated person; so far they were two for two with Dana not being able to get a proper read on the nursing student. She was cold which made her slightly stand-offish, but there was also some kind of inviting warmth about her that didn't make Dana immediately retract away.
So, Dana reaches out to touch Vidiya's arm to slow her down. She was confused and wanted to know what she was getting herself in to. [b “What kind of personal problem? Are you in some sort of trouble? Distress?”] Her eyes were wide, almost like a startled doe and sparkled with the same amount of innocence. What could it be that the ice princess needed help with? And could poor little Dana Spector really be of any assistance?
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/xWVvNoo.jpg]]
[center [size10 [i [b "Vidiya!"] What?! Vidiya whirled to face the sprightly young woman. That face... she remembered it. She remembered it in shocking detail in fact. She also remembered the messy binder... and she did math problems for fun. What was this girl's name again? Vidiya had been so wrapped up in her own brain the last two weeks that she had forgotten her name completely! The surprise on her face was just as obvious, if more worried than happy. Vidya took that signature step backward and gave a little nod.
[#c20095 "Sorry, what is your name again?"] She cleared her throat, looking sheepish. [#c20095 "Sorry. I know you were at the last gathering, but names are hard for me."] That was normally a lie. She was actually pretty good with names, but circumstances were making her feel otherwise at the moment. How could she forget one name? Especially one attached to energy and a smile like [b that].
[#c20095 "I should also confess that I need help with more than math. It's a personal problem, but would be, ah, follow me please?"] The near by cafe. Just the place she needed to be anyway! Nevermind that it was past "lunch", but her mother always felt food was the best way to share friendship. It was a sweet notion at least, even if Vidiya was never a big eater to begin with. Especially when she was eating with her mother, who was more than happy to check your table manners as loudly as possible.]]]
It was inevitable that the conversation was going to end, it [i had] to at some point; Dana still had to finish writing up the guide and she was sure Vidiya had important things to do as well. But it ended more abruptly than she had expected, Vidiya's phone buzzing and the girl taking the call. It must've been important because the second she brought the receiver to her ear, Dana could here very fast-paced talking which resulted in Vidiya excusing herself.
Something in her wanted to protest for one reason or another, and later on when she thought some more on it, Dana mentally kicked herself for not writing her number down on a spare piece of paper and catching up to Vidiya to give it to her. Despite the anxiety she had felt during the conversation, she had appreciated the companionship and how cool Vidiya was; it was quite possible the two of them could have formed a friendship afterwards. Dana would've liked to get to know her better, but instead, she seemed glued to the picnic table, and instead watched Vidiya disappear in to the hubbub of the university campus. That was too bad, but instead of dwelling on it, she resolved to finish her burger and carry on with the day.
Over the course of the next two weeks, Dana had gotten pretty busy. A lot more school work was cropping up, and after helping her one classmate, more wanted her help. As a result, she started taking more detailed albeit simplified notes during Calc III and her Chaos and Fractals classes. She ended up becoming the designated note taker for those classes and the school paid her some, and she even signed up as a tutor to help other students. Surprisingly enough, as a tutor, she was doing a lot of introductory math, where the student just required the one math credit. Despite it being easy for her, she understood that math wasn't always everyone's cup of tea; English had been the bane of her existence in the past, so she figured it was much like that. She also had been visited by her father, which was always nice and they chatted about their family and school.
[+blue “How are you fairing?”] He had asked her, sipping at a cup of coffee. They were in a small cafe close to her campus.
[b “Well, just busy. I don't know if I told you, but I took two extra courses this semester; they're online but still a lot of work.”]
[+blue “That is what I like to hear, and Bubbe will be happy to hear it as well.”] He beams and she beamed back. They had the same smile. But a small cloud forms over their conversation as her father grows a little grave. He sets his mug down, twisting it slightly so the handle was facing exactly to the right. He clears his throat, like this was hard to ask. [+blue “Are you seeing anyone?”]
[b “No, dad,”] She comically rolls her eyes at his noticeable relief. [b “I've been much too busy for that.”]
He picks up his cup again, takes a sip, and then nods. [+blue “That is probably for the best.”] After that, they went clothes shopping and for a walk in a park before Dana had to head back to campus to meet up with another student.
A few days had passed since then and it was much like any other day, where Dana sat in her dorm working away on an assignment that was due in a few days. She liked to stay more ahead than she currently was, but she felt a little stretched thin at the moment. She would manage though; she always did, and she enjoyed helping others when she could.
It was just near the end of this statistical analysis assignment that her phone buzzed. She looked at the time first, as she hadn't expected to be contacted at this time, but then picked up her phone. It was from a student asking to meet with her for help in their Advanced Algebra course. Normally students would set up a time to meet up, but there were a few times when, in a panic to finish an assignment or study for a test, she would be asked if they could meet up right away. Dana didn't sense much urgency in the text, but still elected to help out. She shoots back a text telling them she'd love to help and she'd be right there; the other dorm building was pretty close to hers anyhow. So, Dana quickly gathers her things, backpack, and her binder of Algebra notes, quickly putting them through the rings so they would be more organized and not haphazardly arranged, before leaving her room.
On the way, Dana was mostly looking at her phone, at the time, and texted the student that she was close by and which direction she was coming. When she got closer, she lifted her head up to look, and standing outside the dorm by herself was Vidiya. She almost gasped. What an astronomically improbable result! Dana couldn't really hide her delight, smiling, and nearly skipped the rest of the way to the other girl. [b “Vidiya! I hadn't expected to ever see you again!”] She bubbles with a little bit of laughter. [b “I'm more than happy to help you out with Advanced Algebra! Where did you want to go? The library is probably pretty empty right now. Or we could go to the campus coffee shop; they have a really good oat-bran blueberry muffin we could share.”] Uh! It was just so weirdly good to see Vidiya again, she could almost hug her.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/xWVvNoo.jpg]]
[center [size10 [i Yet another genuine and flattering comment. Well, supposed Vidiya could simply give up speech altogether at this point. And she was a curious girl, too. One who liked math and ran around with a messy binder... Why did those two details baffle her? Possibly because, at least to Vidiya, math involved finding some order among the chaos, but contrary to that, chaos is where it nestled in this stranger's life. Well... It mattered very little at this point. Her phone rang. She answered Dana's conversation with a simple [#c20095 "Hmm."] as she checked the number. Her mother's number was on the screen. She answered the call... and immediately received an admonishment in Urdu.]]]
[center [size10 [i Vidiya attempted to respond. She couldn't seem to get a word in edge-wise though. Instead, she covered the receiver and turned to Dana. [#c20095 "Please excuse me,"] she mumbled. Then she returned her attention to the call. Absently, she picked up her plate and mostly finished burger and took it to a nearby trash bin. After discarding of the remainder of her lunch, she headed off as her mother went from scolding to bemoaning how much she missed her daughter and how she wanted to see her again soon! Vidiya knew this game.]]]
[center [size10 [i [#c20095 "Mom, I'm busy with classes right now,"] she quickly reasoned, pointedly choosing to respond in English. This wasn't a complete lie either. [#c20095 "I'm afraid a visit from you will distract me from my studies."] Right in the grades. Her mother couldn't resist such a plea for concentration, right? Wrong. The woman was an unstoppable force. [b "Oh hush! If school is so hard, perhaps your father and I should discuss if we should even pay for you to finish your degree. After all, you'll never really use it after you're married, so why should you stress yourself out!"] Shit. Money. Of course her mother would bring that up. Vidiya took a deep breath as she headed back to her dorm.]]]
[center [size10 [i Then the idea struck. [#c20095 "Let me ask my tutor,"] Vidiya stated. [#c20095 "I am really only struggling with one class. Ah, they're working very hard to help me, so it would be disrespectful to ignore my studies with them. I can't imagine what they might think if I abandon my studies at this point..."] Vidiya tried to make it sound like an afterthought in her tone, but she was certain her mother picked up on her anxiety too. Either way... It was reason enough for now. She heard her mother huff out a breath. [b "Oh! Well your father and I would have hired one for you. Fine... Will I be able to meet them when I come to visit you next?"]]]]
[center [size10 [i Vidiya finally appeared to relax again. By this point, she had reached the front of her building. [#c20095 "Okay,"] she conceded. [#c20095 "You'll like them. They're nice."] Vidiya could only assume her mother was parsing the language she used. [b "Nice you say? Oh..."] Something in that tone... Vidiya felt her stomach drop. She realized her mistake. She didn't specify if it was a man or woman. This realization didn't hit until her mother was already giggling like a school girl over the phone, though. [b "No, your mother understands. Who am I to get in the way of your studies? You work so hard! I'm very proud."] And so on. For now, Vidiya appeared safe, even if it was a misconception. This safety lasted two weeks... Then she received the next call.]]]
[center [size10 [i [b "Oooooh! I miss my baby so much. You know, your brother and father miss you too! Please let me come and visit you."] Another day. Another disaster. Vidiya tried handling it a little more calmly this time. [#c20095 "I told you already, Ammu... I'm busy studying. In fact, I'm seeing my tutor today."] The next statement uttered by her mother caused her to drop the pen she was holding at her desk. [b "Bring them because I'm already checking into the hotel. Surprise!"]]]]
[center [size10 [i No. No no no. Vidiya tried to protest, but her mother guilted her into the "lunch date" easily at that point. Her father had also come, excited that his little girl was "blooming" so well at school. This meant Vidiya had about three hours to find a "tutor" to come with her. She started searching immediately, going to the college's community forum to start hunting out practically any tutor. She looked at her current homework. Specifically, she was working on Advanced Algebra. She was never the best at math to begin with, but she had been getting by with good grades so far. Still, she obtained the number of a random "tutor" and immediately texted the student to meet her at the front of her dorm building if she was available.]]]
It was barely a flicker, but Dana saw what appeared to be a small smile on Vidiya's face, which, for some unidentifiable reason warmed her and made her smile some as well. Maybe Vidiya only had a chilly exterior and was more friendly than she would let on. Dana could see that, as it seemed now that the two had broken the ice, Vidiya was more willing to share and open up some about herself. However, she did note that once Vidiya had perhaps shared more than she had meant, Dana had enough tact not to comment directly or ask questions. Instead, she said. [b “Well, I think it takes a special kind of person to be a nurse. Its an admirable vocation.”]
So, with that, she swiftly transitions to what Vidiya had asked of her, talking more naturally, because, well, it was [i math]. [b “I'm in an undergraduate program getting a degree in Computational Mathematics.”] With a minor in Actuarial Sciences, but it felt a little braggy to add that in there... And math was kind of a weird thing to try and act cool about. Dana loved math, but she knew that wasn't the most common sentiment in the world. [b “If you ever need extra eyes on some math problems, I'm your girl; I even do math for fun sometimes...”] And she trails off a bit there. Yeah, definitely not as cool when you say it out loud, that was for sure. Also kind of a lousy attempt at trying to make a friend out of Vidiya. 'Hey, lets do math together sometime!' That was just silly. [b “But like, the [i cool] kind of math.”] Dana adds before she even realized, and wasn't exactly the back-pedal she would've expected.
Chuckling to herself nervously, she scratches under her eye to buy imaginary time. It was strange; Vidiya seemed like a nice girl, and nicer by the minute, but there was a strange anxiety Dana felt as she continued talking to her, almost like she had to be impressive. Instead she elects to take another, bigger, bite of her burger. Probably to buy some more imaginary time. She wasn't the most apt conversationalist in the world, but it was never [i this] bad; she just couldn't seem to find the right words.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/xWVvNoo.jpg]]
[center [size10 [i Oh boy. She was joking too. Vidiya had a sense of humor, but she wasn't so good with being upstaged. She shrugged, but her lips twitched into a small smile nevertheless. There was a little heat on her face. No one had really called her name "pretty". It might be "exotic" or "unique", but just pretty was actually refreshing to hear! This girl was impulsively kind, something Vidiya envied a little. It felt tricky to navigate these feelings of envy and flattered. She never really understood how to handle either feeling alone, let alone together.]]]
[center [size10 [i [#c20095 "Oh. I'm in a nursing program,"] she responded, a bit worried as to what she could safely share. [#c20095 "It's not so impressive. My mother would have preferred I became a doctor, but I'd rather... nevermind."] No! Shut up! Suddenly she couldn't seem to keep her mouth shut! Even after all of the safety of those carefully erected walls kept her anxiety in check. [#c20095 "Pretty girls don't lay down their burdens at another's feet..."] She spoke those words so quietly, and her face carefully smoothed back into her ice queen composure.]]]
[center [size10 [i Perhaps a change of subject. [#c20095 "What about you?"] Vidiya had to admit that the few scattered notes she had witnessed were full of complicated math equations. Were they equations? To Vidiya, it looked like a mess of letters and numbers. Then again, Vidiya mostly learned enough math to properly do her desired job, and the rest fell to the wayside.]]]
She had a very cavalier attitude which Dana wasn't used to, but she smiles some anyways. She takes the cue to sit down at the picnic table, and with her off-hand, Dana moves her bag so she's sitting right next to the girl, putting the paper plate that contained her burger delicately in front of her. It looked like her new eating buddy was enjoying a vegetarian burger, and she began to wonder if that was a dietary restriction she provided herself or because she was Indian... Or maybe she just preferred veggie burgers and Dana was thinking too hard about it; Dana's favourite lasagne was vegetarian!
Dana takes a small bite of her burger as the girl comments about her binder being disorganized. She wasn't wrong and mentally agrees with her as she chews before she can respond back. She probably should've thought that panicking to put her notes back in to her binder was going to end poorly. [b “You're right. I suppose that's what the rings in them are for, right?”] She quietly laughed at her own remark, and continued to beam when the girl finally introduced herself. [b “Vidiya Misra.”] She repeats like she was learning a new word, which wasn't half wrong. [b “That's such a pretty name.”] It was earnest the way she said it, like she meant the words when she spoke them. And she most certainly did mean them. Despite her sometimes unobservant tendencies, Dana could still sense this was a slightly awkward scenario—which might just be on her side—but she could also tell from the interactions that Vidiya was a patient person, you know, or else they wouldn't be having this conversation. What a saint!
That said, a small beat manifested between the two, and it might be because the two of them were also eating, but Dana felt like she had to fill the silence with something. But she was also genuinely curious about Vidiya. [b “What program are you in?”] It was a safe enough question, and it might help Dana figure out how to navigate this situation a little bit better. She had to remind herself that Vidiya might be aloof, but that didn't mean she was made of glass, especially considering their first interaction with each other.
[center [pic https://i.imgur.com/xWVvNoo.jpg]]
[center [size10 [i Vidiya took a seat as Dana joined the fray of students getting food. She readjusted the build of her burger before taking a small bite. Her chew was slow and quiet, and her posture was straight. It gave her a moment to think. Collect her thoughts. Dana must be in a different major, for she hadn't met the student before. It appeared they were the same age. Were they the same year? That would be nice, to have someone in her age group for once. She often found herself more comfortable speaking with older students shooting for a Master's degree, or professors who were able to keep up with her onslaught of questions.]]]
[center [size10 [i Little did she know that it was often her attitude that caused other students to shy away from her. When Dana rejoined her, she waved a dismissive hand. Her mouth was full, and it was impolite to speak with a mouth full of food. She also shifted her seat a little to allow Dana to sit next to her bag. When the food was finally swallowed, and her mouth was free, she stated quite bluntly, [#c20095 "If your binder was more organized, then you wouldn't have to worry about it falling apart."] It appeared Dana wasn't the only blunt person, but unlike Dana, Vidiya's statement was calculated. A nicer way to say it might have been, "Oh! do you want help organizing your bad since I'm the one who bumped into you?" Maybe that could have been taken a bit easier, but Vidiya was not a "spoon full of sugar" type.]]]
[center [size10 [i [#c20095 "I'm Vidiya Misra,"] she said, finally deigning an introduction as necessary. Then she seemed to fall silent, concentrating on her food. It was easier than trying to come up with conversation on the spot. She seemed to lose her words. Perhaps it was because Dana had caught her by surprise so easily earlier. How frustrating! Vidiya would need to speak to her mother about how to handle this situation. After all, in most cases, her mother had never steered her wrong before!]]]
Oh... Oh no! Was asking that something she wasn't supposed to do? Dana was aware that sometimes she stepped over boundaries she didn't realize were in place, but it was never this flagrant. It was never literally the [i first thing] she asked someone. So again, she felt that sickening wave of embarrassment and the heat creep up on to her face. Her hand retracts when it isn't taken and she tries to play it off some by tucking a loose strand of hair behind her ear.
Social faux pas aside, Dana had expected the other girl to leave immediately after, but instead she stood there, regarding her with a cool gaze. Was... Was Dana supposed leave? Did she apologize? She kind of felt like apologizing but also like maybe not calling anymore attention to it might be mutually beneficial. Her mouth condenses in to a thin line as her cheeks continue to blaze. It might have only took a second for the other girl to respond, but it felt like an eternity to Dana. And when she spoke, it was very matter-of-fact and a touch icy, although the message was... Nice, she supposed? She'd look after her things while she braved the line for a burger at the LGBTQIA+ barbecue.
Dana lets out a breath that she hadn't realized she was holding, but manages a nod to the girl, unloading her things at the designated table, and tightly making a B-line to queue up for the food. She doesn't look back once.
While in the line, Dana can properly mentally chastise herself for her behaviour. That was a silly mistake to make on her part and she should know better. It was fortunate enough that the girl [i wasn't] part of the LGBTQIA+ Community or else that might've been an even more embarrassing moment she had to live with... It wasn't like her foot getting lodged in her mouth was something new, anyhow. Going to a public high school had her asking or saying some silly things, but she had made friends quick enough where they understood or could defuse the situation. She still remembered 'she's a Jew' being their favourite and most efficient tactical retreat. She didn't really feel like that would work in this case.
When it was finally her turn to get the burger, it was quick, albeit there was a brief moment where she had to explain she couldn't have cheese on it. With that sorted, she breezed by the condiments table and back to the girl who was guarding her stuff. For a second, she stood there awkwardly staring at her. This was a tough situation to navigate for her, but finally... Dana looks away, her cheeks darkening some again. [b “Do you mind if I sit with you?”]
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