Her eyes had widen when she noticed me, like I was someone she hadn't expected. Someone she'd observed, but never quite believed was real.
I was running through what had happened only a few hours ago. My neighbor's curious stare and uncomfortable stance outside her house played on a loop through my mind. The thing was, as cool as it was to live beside someone my age, I couldn't get over how attractive she was. Whereas Ashley was all dark features--violet eyes, black, silky hair, and tanned skin--, this stranger was all different shades of light. Teal eyes, sun-kissed skin that made me think of those Floridian commercials, a halo of honey blond hair, and a petite stature hidden in the contours of her baggy shirt.
I groaned and sank lower into my pillow. I finally caved into unpacking an hour ago and now some clothes hung from haphazard hangers in the large closet, while shoes and books were strewn on the wooden floor. Empty boxes were pressed against the wall by the naked window and old scraps of newspapers that protected my game console were scattered by my bed. The blue walls were already dotted with various posters I'd brought with me of female models and memorabilia from my years living in Toronto.
This room was huge. Like, double the size of my old bedroom. I cast a weary glance around the square area and felt a jolt of surprise at how little I'd brought with me. My desk was set up by the door, under yet another window (I had three!), and on it sat my laptop, a couple of books, and Ashley's parting gift: A crystal football small enough to fit on my palm. Our inside joke was that I looked like a football player, but acted like I had oil slicked on both of my hands. Needless to say, I wasn't a big sports guy. I just liked to run and work out, but any team sports were out for me.
I sat up and walked over to the desk, the window reflecting a six-foot tall teen with still-wet brown hair and a splash of freckles on his nose. His blue eyes squinted as I took him in. Something moved beyond the reflection and I strained my eyes to try and catch a glimpse of something beyond my room, beyond my boredom.
I was about to just forget what I thought I'd seen and settle into the desk chair so I could surf the net, when an idea hit me. I rushed to the light switch and flicked it off, immediately cloaking the room in darkness. I walked carefully around boxes, shoes, and wayward objects unidentifiable in the dark, until I was in front of the window again. The view at night struck me as somewhat melancholic, yet beautiful. During the day, the sun blazed down on the sand and water, casting glares and too much light into my room. But at night the beauty of the ocean behind my house was evident, the waves soft ribbons caught in a navy blue sea.
And that's when I saw her.
She was reading on a lawn chair by the water, a portable mosquito repellent lamp beside her. Even though I was at a fairly far distance from where she sat, I knew it was her. I debated going down there to greet her, introduce myself to the beautiful stranger--but just as I took a tentative step towards the door, my IM dinged.
I paused and had a small internal struggle about what I should do, but when my IM chimed once more, I sat down at my desk, deciding that Ashley was more important than any mysterious girl could ever be.