A science fiction story with many twists and turns.
Living on a college campus felt so different from where he had grown up. On campus, Dart saw people walking to class and smiling, and were smiling just because. It felt like everyone was smiling about something. Smiles were not something he had seen often in the projects. Outside of all the partying on campus, everyone seemed pretty focused on their future. Although he was excited to begin a new life, Dart felt torn between his past life in the projects and the unfamiliar world of college. He was determined and yet had no idea what career path he would take following graduation. The one thing Dart knew was that he wanted to take full advantage of all that college had to offer him.
After taking a few semesters of classes, Dart had become fascinated with a number of topics, including science, human evolution, history, religion and even his own personal pursuit of God and spirituality. One afternoon, while reading in the school library, Dart heard an unknown female voice speak. She pulled out a chair and sat across from him.
"I see you are reading Agents of the Apocalypse. It's funny how the authors of these books are always seeking the face of the devil, but fail to look in the mirror. I mean, if you study the Bible, it seems to me that the devil is the same as what psychologists call the alter ego. And, if you are a true man of God, shouldn't seeking his face be your main priority and focus?"
Dart looked up to see two beautiful large almond shaped eyes staring inquisitively at him. The girl wore her eyeliner in an Egyptian style making her eyes appear even longer. She had full lips and a nose that fit her face perfectly. Dart couldn't stop staring at her, he could not help but to notice her light brown skin tone and the coy way her curly hair surrounded her head, making her exotic features even more pronounced.
"Wow, that was deep," responded Dart, reaching out his hand. "My name is Dart."
"I'm Jade. So, what was your reason for reading this book?"
"I'm writing a paper on religion and was trying to gather as much information as I could from multiple sources. I was just kind of skimming through this one."
"So forty pages in and you are just skimming?" asked Jade, skeptically.
Stammering with his words, Dart said, "I mean it does have an interesting storyline with the author's view on politics and its power and how it can be used to manipulate the minds of the people."
"Yeah, it was an interesting concept and that's the reason why I finished the book." Jade and Dart sat at a table in the corner of the library and spoke for hours, deeply immersed in conversations about their political, spiritual and scientific views. After two hours, Jade glanced down at her watch and slowly stood up.
"It was great to have this intellectual conversation, I really don't get the chance to speak like this often; I have class really early tomorrow and should be getting back to my dorm."
"Ok, later Jade," said Dart, sad to see her go.
Dart was completely fascinated by this girl; he had to get to know her better. As Dart imagined taking her out for a first date, to a movie and dinner, he felt the familiar overwhelm of shyness and anxiety. Could a girl like Jade ever really like him? In a moment of bravery, Dart shouted "Jade! Wait!"
"Goodnight Dart" Jade said, with a smile.
For the next few weeks, Dart could not get the image of Jade out of his mind - her black make up, long almond shaped eyes, her perfect features. He was also by self-doubt, wondering why a girl like Jade would ever talk to him, let alone go out on a date with him.
Dart tried to distract himself and get Jade out of his head by studying-history, religion, even math - anything that would take him away from thinking about her. Suddenly, his dorm room burst open, Dart's roommate Jerome stormed in.
"Dart, what are you doing studying on a Saturday night? You know Alpha Phi Beta is having a party tonight."
"Jerome you know that's not really my scene. I'm going to wind up sitting on the couch with no one to talk to, just waiting for the party to end."
"Come on Dart. Maybe that girl you're always talking about, Jade, will be there."
Every cell in Dart's body wanted to stay in his dorm room that night, with his nose buried in a book and yet, he wondered if Jerome might be right. What if Jade was there? It couldn't hurt to try.
"All right but I'm just going to make sure you don't hurt anyone or yourself."
As Dart and Jerome entered the loud party, they made their way into the kitchen for drinks. "What do you want to drink?" asked Jerome.
"I don't care," replied Dart, nervously drumming his fingers on the counter and peering around for any sign of Jade. Coming here had been a mistake. Jerome enthusiastically poured them each a vodka tonic and wandered back into the house to mingle. Dart trailed behind Jerome, muttering a few hellos to students he recognized from some of his classes. As he continued to casually greet his peers, Dart kept glancing over to the front door - hoping to see Jade.
After an hour, there was still no sign of Jade, and Dart began to lose hope. As Dart prepared to tell Jerome he was leaving, Dart overheard an interesting conversation between a couple of students. "I don't believe in God. I haven't seen any real miracles and I believe everything can be explained scientifically." Dart was intrigued by what he heard and wondered what they were talking about. Dart wondered if he should go over and join the conversation or go back to the comfort of his dorm room. In a moment of uncharacteristic bravery, Dart walked over to the students and interrupted them, saying "I don't believe in atheist, I believe in different perceptions. Whether you call it God, the matrix, the collective unconscious, or simply energy it's all the same he is the all. To quote the greatest scientific mind of our time, Albert Einstein, "Anyone who becomes sincerely involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that there is a spirit manifests in the laws of the universe, a spirit vastly superior to that of man." Coming from behind, he heard a female voice enter the conversation. "All matter originates and exist only by virtue of a force we must assume behind this force is the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter. Max Planck." A tipsy Dart recognized the voice and looked over to see that it was Jade speaking. He felt his heart pound loudly from his chest and he grinned. "Jade!"
"Yes that is my name Dart. I overheard the topic and I'm not surprised to see you in the conversation."
"I'm so happy to run into you at this party."
"You are? Why is that?" inquired Jade, a little smile forming on her face.
Dart covered his ears to escape the loud music and yelled, "We had such a great conversation the last time we spoke, and because you're really pretty."
Jade's roommate Megan and her friend Sara burst out laughing and walked away. Dart began to blush, embarrassed at their laughter, and worried that Jade too thought his words were silly.
Jade looked around to see her two friends now gone and feeling relieved to finally be alone with Dart, and said, "Oh I am? Thank you."
"I really want to get to know you better."
With a raised eyebrow and smile, Jade too began to blush. "You do?" she asked.
"I really don't know why I didn't ask for your number last time. I'm really not good at that kind of thing."
"You're not, huh?"
Jade paused, not yet responding, allowing five awkward, silent seconds to pass."Well are you going to ask me?"
"Yea, well why don't you take my number down and send me a text. Then I will have your number?
"Okay, I like that." While Dart gave his number to Jade, Jerome stumbled over. "Aye Dart, you still in the kitchen? At least you met somebody. Who is this?"
"Ah, Jerome, this is Jade, Jade this is my roommate Jerome.
Jerome, in a slurred voice, gave Jade a hug, muttering, "Jade! So this is Jade. I have heard so much about you."
Jade sarcastically, and a little embarrassed, responded "Oh you have?"
Dart quickly changed the subject before Jerome had a chance to respond. "I think he has had a lot to drink, and I should take him back to our dorm room.
"Nah, I don't want to end your night with the lovely Jade. I'm just going to lay down right here and I'll be okay." Jerome then laid down on the floor.
"I'm sorry Jade, I think I'm going to have to end our night here," spoke Dart, as he pointed to Jerome, who was beginning to snore."Because that is not okay."
"Our night does not have to end here. I can help you make sure he gets into bed," said Jade eagerly.
"That would be nice," responded Dart, as he lifted his friend from the kitchen floor. Once back at the dorm, Dart shoved open the door, Jerome stumbling onto the floor. Together, Jade and Dart lifted Jerome onto the bed, covering him up with his blue comforter.
"He is heavy," whispered Dart, letting out a sigh and sitting down on his bed.
Jade peered around his dorm room, eying his posters, decorations and piles of books....