Talk about television shows with a bunch of nerds.

For a while, nobody speaks. You nestle comfortably in your chair and give each in turn a pointed look.

Fatty’s sweating, but maintaining the eye contact. His Adam’s apple is working on a double and he’ll probably find his voice soon. Maybe even this semester.

Two others have their noses stuck in their paper appendages, one pretending to read, the other scribbling madly away– and without taking a look you could safely bet the proceedings from your next online sale that, whatever it is, includes overlong legs and miniscule skirt. And probably fangs too.

The hat guy is still staring in the air and you have to stifle the urge to check for vital signs.

It’s the skinny guy who speaks. "Give it a break. man. We’re what we are, no need to rub it. Like we need any more attitude." He stops briefly, glances at fatso. Must’ve read some Morse code from that Adam’s apple because he soon continues "Hang ‘round if you choose, free country and all. I’m Alex"

The big guy finally finds his tongue. "You watch Battlestar? Six’s hot." Hooting and cat-calls ensue, but subdued, somehow – well, nerdy. Guy behind Warhammer declares he prefers Starbuck, eyes still firmly on the magazine; the artiste is all for Sharon – go figure.

"Who do you like?" asks the big guy at the same time Alex ventures "What’s your name?"

You collect your stuff. "I’ll be seeing you ‘round" you say, and answer Alex just before you leave. "I’m Phippa". As you’re walking away you hear the guy in the hat speak for the first time, voice a mixture of shock and awe. "Dude! I’ve been spoken to buy a GIRL!"

The End

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