MidReal Story

Whispers of Unexpected Love

Scenario: Write a cute friends to lovers college romance with a 1st year nursing student named Aria (introverted, friendly, long black hair with bangs, 5'0) and a 1st year architecture student Adrian (extroverted, playful, short brown hair, 5'8)
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Write a cute friends to lovers college romance with a 1st year nursing student named Aria (introverted, friendly, long black hair with bangs, 5'0) and a 1st year architecture student Adrian (extroverted, playful, short brown hair, 5'8)
I was a shy girl.
I had always been shy, and I had always been a girl.
But when I started college, I was sure that would change.
I would make friends, and I would be outgoing, and I would be the kind of person who could walk into a room and light it up with my smile.
I would be the kind of person who could walk up to a stranger and start a conversation without feeling like I was going to throw up.
I would be the kind of person who could go to parties and have fun instead of standing in the corner with my drink, pretending to text someone on my phone.
I would be the kind of person who could look at a guy like Adrian Clarke and not feel like my heart was going to beat out of my chest.
Adrian was everything I wasn’t.
He was outgoing and friendly, and he had a smile that could light up a room.
He was the kind of person who could walk up to a stranger and start a conversation without feeling like he was going to throw up.
I had known that about him from the first time I met him.
And I had known, even then, that I was going to have a problem with it.
Because even as I set out on my mission to reinvent myself, I knew that there was no way in hell I would ever be able to reinvent myself into someone who was worthy of a boy like him.
I wasn’t the kind of person who could be friends with a boy like Adrian.
And I sure as hell wasn’t the kind of person who could be more than friends with him.
When Ethan told me he was bringing his friend over to our dorm room, I was expecting someone boring and normal.
Someone like me.
Someone who would end up just being a blip on my radar.
When Adrian walked through the door, though, I knew he wasn’t going to be just a blip.
He was going to be a problem.
He was attractive, and he knew it, and it showed in the way he carried himself.
He had short brown hair, and when he smiled, he had a dimple, and even though he wasn’t very tall—only around 5'8—he had a way of making himself seem bigger than he was.
He filled up space in a way that made you feel like you couldn’t ignore him.
And you didn’t want to ignore him.
You wanted to talk to him, and be friends with him, and get to know him.
Or at least I did.
He was the kind of person who drew you in right away.
He made you want to get close to him without even trying.
I wanted to get close to him, but I didn’t know how.
I didn’t know how to do that with anyone, so I didn’t know how to do it with him.
I didn’t know how to make friends with anyone, so I didn’t know how to make friends with him.
I didn’t know how to talk to anyone, so I didn’t know how to talk to him.
I was hoping college would change all that for me.
I was hoping it would make me be someone different than I was in high school.
I was hoping it would give me the chance to do things and be things that weren’t possible for me before.
And now here was Adrian: this boy who was everything I wanted for myself but would never be able to have.
This boy who made me feel like a small, insignificant part of his grand, important world.
This boy who made me feel like my dream of being someone other than myself would never come true.
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Even now, when I looked back on my high school experience, all I could see were the things that were wrong with it instead of the things that were right.
All I could see were the things I wished were different instead of the things I maybe could have changed.
I wished I had been braver when I was younger.
I wished I had been more outgoing and confident and willing to take risks instead of worrying about embarrassing myself or looking stupid or saying the wrong thing at the wrong time.
I wished I had been more adventurous and spontaneous instead of spending all my time at home or in the library or holed up in my room, reading books or watching movies or listening to music by myself because I didn’t think anyone cared about what I had to say or thought about me enough to want to be around me long enough for me to say it or think it out loud.
All of those things were true and real and necessary and important and valid and valuable.
But what was also true and real and necessary and important and valid and valuable was the fact that those things kept me from taking chances and being visible and making friends and being happy with who I was or where I was at any given time in my life—and no matter how hard I tried to change them or fix them or make them go away, they always stayed the same or got worse instead of better because they were things that were so deep inside me that they couldn’t be changed or fixed or made to go away no matter how hard I tried to do it or wished they would do it on their own.
And because of that, there were always going to be things about my life that made me feel sad or regretful or angry or disappointed or frustrated or overwhelmed—even if those things were things I couldn’t change even if they were things about me and only me that would always be the same no matter how much I wanted them to be different than they were.
And as hard as it was for me to admit then—or even now—I wished that hadn’t been true.
Because if it hadn’t been true, maybe Adrian would have noticed me in high school instead of being set up with me in college by Lily Martinez—and maybe he would have liked me back instead of not even knowing he did now.
Adrian was one of my best friends in the world, but he wasn’t supposed to be that way at all.
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College sets in
Adrian Clarke was like a Greek God sent down from heaven to smile on the world and make everything around him seem happier and easier and better than it ever would be otherwise.
Adrian Clarke made the sun shine brighter and the flowers bloom bigger and the grass grow greener—and if you were lucky enough to be the object of his attention like Lily Martinez was, then you must have been the luckiest person in the world by far.
But if you were someone like me instead—a short and mousy-looking introvert who wasn’t nearly as smart or pretty or interesting as everyone else seemed to be—then you couldn’t help but feel a little bit envious of all the good luck she had been given instead of you.
Or at least I did.
I met Adrian when we were assigned to the same study group together during our freshman year—and over time we had moved from being classmates to being friends instead.
We spent a lot of time together over the past two years getting to know each other better and studying together in the library or our dorm rooms—and I had come to know him as well as any friend could know another.
I knew Adrian loved architecture more than anything else in his life—and I knew he hated to lose more than anyone else in the world.
I knew he had been born and raised in Boston by a single mother who had worked two jobs just to keep food on the table for her family—and he had studied hard just so he wouldn’t let her down.
I knew he was one of the most popular people on campus with more friends than he could ever hope to count—and he was often asked out on dates by girls who were prettier or smarter or more athletic than me.
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He’s such a goofball and somehow we banter a lot when we converse with each other during our study group sessions. We just somehow clicked easily.
I had been excited when I found out I would be studying alongside him again this year.
I had also been a little bit apprehensive, too.
I didn’t want him to think I was stupid when I said something dumb or laughed at him for being himself—and even worse, I didn’t want him to think that I was hitting on him because I thought he was cute, either.
I didn’t want him to think I was like all the other girls who threw themselves at his feet just because he had a killer smile that could light up the room even in the middle of a blackout—or because he had the kind of body that belonged in a Calvin Klein advertisement instead.
I didn’t want him to think I was shallow or vain or self-obsessed like everyone else seemed to be.
At the same time, I didn’t want him to think I was an idiot, either.
I didn’t want him to think I was a brown-noser who would say anything just to get him to like me—and I didn’t want him to think that he could walk all over me just because he thought he was smarter or better or more important than I was, either.
I didn’t want him to think that I was just another pretty face with nothing between my ears but air.
I wanted him to think of me as someone who could hold her own in an argument, someone who could stand up for herself when she needed to, even if it meant stepping on a few toes along the way.
But at the same time, I didn’t want him to think that I was an attention-seeking drama queen, either.
I didn’t want him to think that I was someone who would do anything just so he would notice me—or that I would lie, cheat, and steal just so I could win his approval.
I didn’t want him to think that I was someone he could take advantage of, either.
So when we met up together for our group project, I couldn’t help but smile at the thought of being able to work with him again.
I couldn’t help but feel a little bit afraid, too.
And as we sat down at the table together, I couldn’t help but feel a little bit of both at the same time.
At first, I was worried that he would try and take control of the project and order the rest of us around instead.
I was afraid that he would leave me behind like everyone else always did—and that he would make it seem like my ideas were stupid or dumb when they really weren’t.
But then, as we started working together, I found out that I had nothing to worry about at all.
Adrian listened when I said something smart or funny—and he laughed when he agreed with what I said.
He encouraged me when I needed it most and pushed me to do even better when I thought it wasn’t possible.
He made it seem like I belonged there beside him instead of somewhere else—and he made it seem like I was important enough to stay there, too.
In fact, Adrian wasn’t like anyone else on campus at all.
He wasn’t just another pretty face who could get by on his looks alone.
He wasn’t just another jock who could charm the pants off anyone he met.
He wasn’t just another airhead who could fake her way through life without even trying.
He wasn’t afraid of a challenge or scared of hard work.
He wasn’t afraid of getting his hands dirty or breaking a sweat, either.
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