20 | encounter

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N E V A E H

It wasn't that book.

I sigh again as I remember what happened yesterday in Aiden's home office. I bury my face in my hands.

The sound of Maya and Ash chatting in front of me echoes in my ears as we sit inside the library. They sound so happy that we all have good marks for our last quiz -- thanks to Aiden.

But now, every time I think about him, all I can feel is a huge embarrassment.

I'd snatched the wrong book because I was too embarrassed and wanted to get that over with as quickly as possible. I should have known that I was that heavy, it had made Aiden uncomfortable.

I'm not super thin like those models who walk on the runway, and maybe it's about time that I'm on diet? I mean, I'm positive that Aiden almost dropped me.

God, I feel like I weigh as much as a hippopotamus.

"Nevaeh?" Ash's voice snaps me out of my thoughts, and I quickly look up at her.

I wasn't paying any attention to their conversation.

"Are you okay?" Ash asks.

Maya studies my expression. "Yeah. Your face is so red."

Damn. I'm thinking too much about what happened with Aiden, and it shows. I shouldn't be thinking too much about that.

"You seem to be bothered," Maya says. "Is everything okay?"

"Yeah, everything's good," I say. They must be wondering why I can't focus on our group assignment. "I was just thinking about this good book that can help us get our project done faster, but I haven't got the chance to read it."

Now that I think about it, a brilliant idea pops into my head. Since I already know the title and author of the book, I should search for it in this library. They might have it.

"I'm just gonna ask that librarian over there whether they have it here or not."

Ash and Maya nod as I walk over to the librarian. After I tell her the details about the book, she looks through the data on the computer.

"I'm sorry," she says. "That book has been borrowed by another student."

"That's okay." I walk off to stroll around the library, feeling slightly disappointed.

I travel my eyes around the shelves, walking slowly in one of the alleys. The shelves around me are so tall and filled with books. Again, the sight takes my breath away.

This is one of the reasons why I love this campus. It has one of the most beautiful libraries I've ever stepped my feet into, and I'll never get tired of it.

I halt as a book title catches my attention. Unfortunately, it's placed quite high inside the shelf that I have to tiptoe and stretch my hand to reach it.

This is why I wish I could be taller. If I weren't this short, I wouldn't have a problem reaching a particular book.

I wouldn't have embarrassed myself in front of Aiden.

The tip of my finger grazes the book cover, but it's still not enough to pull it out.

Come on, Nevaeh. You're almost there.

I feel silly that I have to muster all the strength in me to pull the book out, but when I finally manage to do it, I feel very satisfied.

Unfortunately, the book slips from my hand. Before it reaches the ground, someone expertly catches it.

The guy who just caught the book looks up to see me, and my eyes widen.

I've seen those grey eyes before, and I recognize his face and the familiar light brown hair.

"Here." He chuckles lightly, and I slowly take the book from him.

"Thanks."

I feel his eyes on me when I read the description on the back cover of the book. Sadly, this book isn't what I'm looking for either. A sigh leaves my lips. I slightly shake my head in disappointment.

"Not what you're looking for?" he questions, and since it's difficult for me to reach the upper shelf to put the book back, he helps me return it.

While he's placing the book, I can't help but stare at his gorgeous side view. Indeed, this guy is handsome. The glasses he's wearing only add to his charm.

I didn't know that I was into men who wear glasses, until now.

Wait, what the hell am I thinking about?

Then I realize that I haven't answered his question. "It's apparently not what I want to read. I'm looking for something similar to what I just learned in my class."

"What are you studying?" he asks, scanning the other books on the same shelf.

"Value proposition in business. And it's quite detailed. With the diagrams and all." I don't know why I'm telling him this.

To my surprise, a small smile touches the corner of his lips. His eyes soften as he shifts his gaze to me. "Is this the book you're looking for?" He has another book in his hand, the one he's been carrying with him.

My jaw almost drops as I see the cover. It's the same book I found in Aiden's library and the one I asked the librarian to look for just now.

He's the one who borrowed it.

"Oh, God, I can't believe that you have it."

What a coincidence. Maybe I've read too many romance novels, but this makes me think of something.

Fate.

Destiny.

Could it be?

All of a sudden, Sienna's voice echoes in my mind, 'You're still reading Nicholas Sparks? You should read Wattpad too. You know, it can broaden your knowledge. How many times do I have to tell you?'

Come on, Sienna. Not now.

"I've read the book," he says. "And I can summarize the important points to you, if you don't mind."

I stare at him, speechless. He's asking me if I have the time to sit with him to discuss the book, and I can't be more grateful.

He's willing to teach me. I really appreciate it.

"Of course, I wouldn't mind." I smile.

A boyish grin creeps on his lips, and he offers his hand for a handshake. "I'm Kai, by the way." Before I can introduce myself, he adds, "It's nice to meet you, Nevaeh."

It's even more surprising that he knows my name. How does he know my name?

He's the famous smart guy in this university, while I'm just a new student trying to blend in.

Shyly, I accept his handshake, feeling an unfamiliar sensation as our skin touches.

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