SS: Butterfly Effect

((…. Dedicated to Marcia Lynn Paul @MarciaLynnPaul1 Because this was her idea.))

Butterfly Effect

The tingles of my body leave me feeling a touch nauseous. My stomach churns as I step closer to them. Their eyes lock with mine and it feels as if the world has disappeared. The weight of the world disappears for the moment and nothing else really matters.

Then they turn aside, probably not even seeing me even if I see them. the nerves return seven fold. The nausea hasn’t gone away. It was only me. My face flushes with heat as embarrassment creeps its way in.

It’s not like we’re that close. They spent a few hours we me after class yesterday. We left as friends. And I just couldn’t… I couldn’t stop thinking about them. How nice it was to sit together.

We didn’t leave the cafeteria. We sat in the crappy plastic chairs the college offers. And just talked. Talked about class at first. That’s why they sat down. Then as if they didn’t want to leave, we switch to further topics. So many things came up.

It’s nice. They’re a friend. It’s not that I mind the friendship.

In this loud crowded cafeteria there’s no way I’d be noticed special. They have a ton of friends. I’ll just sit down at my usual table. Open my notebook to the homework I didn’t get to before pulling out my meal.

I have an hour.

An hour is plenty of time to get this stuff done.


My heart race triple with the voice I know. They were just with me yesterday. I gulp down the ball of nervous in my throat and slowly look up at them. It’s like they radiate calm and cool.

Their eyes glance to the side while placing a hand on the back of the crappy chairs. “Can I sit? Or are you working?” They turn back to me nervous smile this time. I glance to see where they were looking. Three people turn back to their table pretending they weren’t looking this way. Huh?

“Sure. I have an hour before class. This homework won’t take long.” I tap the page and take another bite of food.

My heart rate spikes further as the chair is pulled out scrapping the floor of the cafeteria. How do I even hear this over all the din? The tables near us aren’t empty. People are milling about. The line for food is long.

I watch as they pull their backpack off and on to the ground. Then out comes a notebook to work. We’re students. That’s what we talked about yesterday.

“I never thought I’d have any luck.” They chuckle glancing about the table.

“To pass tests, you need knowledge not luck. Luck won’t get you through college.”

“Always the literalist.” They chuckle again. The laugh has that lump form again. I just… I thought about that laugh. How perfect it is. And I just… “So we have an hour.”

“I have an hour. You have an unknown amount of time.”

They reach out stilling my hand. That stops me from working on my homework. I am slow to follow the hand up to the face. They’re outfit screams fall. Which isn’t surprising since it’s fall. The smile plastered there isn’t… It’s… What is this? “I only have an hour with you.”

A giggle erupts whether I like it or not. I can feel the heat on my cheeks and the speed up of my heart. This isn’t… What is this? This is crazy. I… We’re friends. Right? I exhale trying to just relax a little. “We can meet up after classes. For dinner or something.”

Their eyes brighten. It’s like the world has just started shining brighter. I stare caught by their power. I’m lost in them. The weightless feeling return as their mouth drifts into a grin. The teeth aligned so perfectly in their mouth. It’s like the sun has joined me at the table. And I just want to bask. “I would love to meet up for dinner after classes end. Are you done at three like me?”

“Four. I take a break in the middle to wind down.” I can’t believe I’m… I look at the homework. This isn’t getting done. I have to do this though.

“Alright. I’ll be in here then. Sound good?” They look to that other table with that huge grin. I glance to see a few thumbs up before they duck away. What am I missing?

“Sure.” I go back to my homework. It’s not hard. It just takes some time. That’s it.

They start humming softly while I work. I glance to see them writing something. It looks like school work. Can’t say for certain. Part of me wants to know. But, there’s little time left.

I clear through my meal and shove everything back into my bag. “I have class to get to.”

“I know.” Their smile is all for me. “See you at four?”

I nod shifting. It’s weird to have this. To want this. “This is my usual table.” It was random.

“I know.”

I chuckle. “See you at four.” Smiling, I head off for my class. Let’s see if I can focus at all today. My mind is definitely going to be keying in on those new details from just now.

Four. I’ll be seeing them again at four. The grin appears whether I want it to or not. I’m looking forward to sitting on those crappy plastic chairs. I never thought I’d think that way.

Do you think the person is playing the MC or do you think they are genuine?

This was to show off the butterfly effect. How having romantic attraction feels.

[About Cat Hartliebe] [Fiction Short Stories] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books]

One thought on “SS: Butterfly Effect”

  1. If I ever write my autobiography, a scene like this will show up.

    I was the MC. The interest was Cyro’s father. There were several visits in the cafeteria before things starting turning into this. There wasn’t anything negative about. He wasn’t a good person for me or for himself.
    And we did say in the beginning we wouldn’t start anything.
    Then we started something. It was stupid start to finish.


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