When I first met Frances I didn't think she was that cute. Back when I gave a fuck about school I'd meet my Indian friends from chemistry up on the third floor of the library, the token Asian, and she would be there studying, sometimes with a friend or two, sometimes alone.

She was a small girl, a Filipina, and I wouldn't find out until after I started talking to her that she loved to play basketball, and had been on the high school varsity team, which is kind of weird because she clocks in at maybe 5', if she's lucky. And like I said I didn't think she was that cute at first, she seemed kind of tomboyish, she had a distinct gait that was a little masculine.

This is how we met: Rajiv had decided to take her chemistry book and TI-83 when she'd left her table to check her facebook or whatever she was doing on the internet.

"So you've got to give her stuff back to her," they told me.

"What the fuck are you kidding me?"

"Either that or when she comes over here asking if we've seen her stuff we'll tell her you took it."

"But I didn't take it."

"It's three against one you fuckin moron, you think she's going to believe you?"

She was startled when I approached her. "Hey, uh, they took your stuff and they're making me give it back to you."

"What? Oh man!" and she turns around with an exasperated smile. I can't help but think she talks and sounds a little like a guy.

The next day I've got a new friend request on Facebook. It's a girl, some kind of Asian, and some kind of hot. You know what I'm talking about: raven black hair, a caramel tan, a smile that kills, small breasts deliciously cupped in a push-up bra. The name doesn't seem too familiar though, "Frances," I don't remember meeting a Frances anywhere.

"It's the girl from the library," Rajiv tells me. "You took her stuff and gave it back to her."

"How come she looks hot in her picture but not in real life?" I say.

But the crush hadn't hit yet. So for the next couple weeks, whenever I see her in the library, I ask her what we called "million-dollar questions," this is how I generally get to know people I meet, and more importantly, let them get to know me.

"Would you make out with another girl for a million dollars?"

The look on this girl's face is priceless, and this is probably when the seed of &hearts is planted in my fragile heart. I would find out, after a few more encounters in which I more or less harassed her with too-personal questions (she would never answer any of these), that her face and body language are adorably expressive.

It doesn't take much to win my heart for the day. Say something in a certain way, indulge in a particular nervous habit, be interested in some sort of hobby, and make sure I notice it, and I will probably spend the rest of the day over-analyzing that behavior's implications about your character. I'd probably write a fucking story about you like I'm doing now.

Before long I'm looking forward to seeing Frances in the library whenever I go there to study. I spend the next couple weeks intentionally annoying her - other than the obscene questions, I asked her stuff like, "Does it suck to not be able to reach stuff on the counter when your parents take it away from you," and I swore at her a lot for no reason other than to be a bully.

I'd never seen her dress up much. She wore hoodies, sweats, jeans, t-shirts, her hair was always tied back into a disproportionately long ponytail or a bun - after stealing a couple secret glances I thought I'd never laid eyes on a more attractive girl. Her posture, the way her voice sounded as a whisper, the nervous smile she put on whenever we joked with her in greeting, these are the things you notice when you crush from afar, and these are the things I fell in love with.

One day I'm leaving the library with Rajiv and company and I see her on the internet again -

"Shouldn't you be studying?"

"Shouldn't you be minding your own business?"

"Whatever, shorty. Get back to the books."


On my way into the elevator Frances had apparently gestured something - probably the bird - behind my back. They are laughing about it, and when I ask her what I missed, she's got this angry smile on her face, like she can't decide if she wants to kill me or not. And the elevator door closes between us and before I get to the second floor I decide I'm in love.

The next time I see her she does something that makes me want to hug her; she sees me and she puts a hand up to her face as a blinder against me, an imaginary wall that she cannot see or hear through.

I could not be more pleased.

I sit down with Rajiv, but I've got absolutely no intention of studying. I take out a sheet of notebook paper, write a little note on it, "u r a slut," fold it into a paper airplane, and I throw it at this girl, and never in a million years would I expect for this paper airplane to do what it did. It makes a perfect line straight onto her table, stops in front of her. She jumps up, looks at me, the astonishment turns into a glare, I am in heaven. But she doesn't open it to read the note, she throws it back.

"Open it!" We're in the library but Rajiv and I have never respected the sanctity of that particular domain.

The fucking bitch doesn't read the goddamn note, she keeps ignoring me and I love it. (When I think of Frances I think of a song that goes something like, the more you ignore me, the closer I get, you're wasting your time.)

If it weren't for the ultimate outcome of the whole situation, I would consider my next stroke of genius a mistake, but luckily things didn't turn out horribly. When most guys want a girl's number, they usually try to acquire it through her. This is so they don't seem like a creepy stalker. When I wanted this girl's number, I fucking looked it up on her Facebook.

I send her a text - "open the goddamn note"

She never reads it. All I get that Monday night is a glare, which I'm more than cool with. I could look into those angry half-lidded eyes all day.

But on a quiet Friday night at home, I get a text. "Im drunk at a lame party... what R you up 2?"

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