It was the first house meeting of the school year. The people in the house arranged themselves in a circle and went around introducing themselves. Artie examined the people around the room, half of which were new arrivals. There were some interesting new faces. Then, Artie’s gaze landed on one face, and his heart skipped a beat.

“Is that Lissa?” he thought. “It can’t be. She didn’t want to transfer here.”

Fortunately, it wasn’t. But unfortunately, it still sparked a trip down memory lane, and the pain started surging back. Artie wanted to rush out the house meeting, he wanted to punch the wall, and he wanted to cry. It was hard to even sit still.

Two years ago, almost exact to the day, it was Artie’s first full day at UWC. In the evening, all the students, new and old, gathered on the soccer field. Artie found a spot and sat down. The new arrivals were especially excited and introduced themselves to each other. Artie joined in as well. He met a boy named Joey (who became his best friend) and a girl named Lissa.

Artie couldn’t make out Lissa completely, but he had a weird feeling that he had seen her before. After the welcoming event ended late in the night, Lissa, Joey, and Artie talked more and went back to the dormitory together. Artie headed back to his room, but he could no longer sleep, because he had realized that Lissa was the girl of his dreams. Literally.

Half a year ago, before being admitted, Artie had a series of dreams. Weirdly enough, he kept going back to what felt like the same place through multiple dreams. When he was invited to the interview and he went to the UWC campus, he realized that he had dreamed in advance his future UWC interactions. There was a scene of him taking a test in the theater, of a group activity in the library, and a discussion in a classroom.

And Lissa was in these dreams.

The following weeks, Artie fell into a craze. Lissa’s figure, her tinkle of a voice, and the shadow of her movements planted themselves in Artie’s mind. He could hardly sleep or eat well. It didn’t help that Lissa was in the same house, half of the same classes, and the same advisory group as Artie. He tried to forget, but could not. He tried to convince himself of her flaws and get over it, but could not.

In the end, he found a solution. He would ask her out.

He wrote a letter, folded an envelope from an A4 paper, put the letter in, put the whole thing in a bag, went to Lissa’s room, asked to talk to her, and handed her the envelope.

“I’ll wait here outside for you,” he said.


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