Sometimes the lawn is a space to chill, other days... heatwave, toplessness and whatever you and your friends can get away with!
Pam made sure that her latest post had fully uploaded to Instagram before quickly switching back to her personal account. Posting while in line for an iced coffee on her secret account was risky - it was hard work to not accidentally reveal she ran Ordinary Doodles - but she particularly liked this doodle. It showed the fun students were having on this unexpectedly sunny day; how quickly people had formed friendships even though it was still early in the semester. She hadn't expected her little project to become more confident with her digital art to become so popular around campus, but the anonymity was certainly fun and made it easier to keep uploading her doodles.
As she scrolled through the feed on her personal account, she sensed movement in her periphery and stepped forward, assuming the line was moving up.
"Oof, sorry," Pam mumbled as she found herself bumping directly into the person in front.
"No worries," the guy in front of Pam shrugged a shoulder and shuffled forward, using his feet to move the grey Nike gym bag between his legs along with him.
Lifting her head slightly to look around her, Pam realised she was beside the sugar counter and must have mistaken the movements of the people there for the line moving up. She exhaled a sharp sigh and returned to scrolling through her iPhone, managing not to bump into anyone else as she moved forward through the line. Halfway through checking her daily TimeHop, it was Pam's turn to order her coffee. She briefly put her phone to the side to order her Grande Iced Latte - four pumps vanilla, please - before returning to it as she moved to the other end of the counter to wait for her order and finish scrolling through the remaining photos on the app.
Once more, Pam found herself stepping into someone. "Ugh, sorry."
"No worries," the guy shrugged as he shuffled over once more, "again."
It was only a few minutes later when the guy collected his coffee that he glanced over at the person who had bumped him twice. Seeing her intently staring at her phone, he rolled his eyes and scoffed. She was cute, but clearly one of those girls who was constantly glued to her phone.
A week later, Pam found herself sighing deeply as she looked around for somewhere to sit. Her plate was hot, her soda was cold, her backpack was heavy. She saw a free seat at a low coffee table for two, the other occupied by a guy reading a book, and headed over. The only other free seat she could see was opposite a guy from one of her classes that she just didn't have the energy for, so for once sitting with a stranger was the best option.
"Mind if I sit here?" Pam asked. "It's packed in here."
"Sure, go ahead," the guy said, not looking away from his book. He moved his gym bag toward him with his foot so his new tablemate had some legroom.
"Thanks," Pam said, quickly putting down her plate and soda before shaking her hands as she sat down and dumped her bag next to the chair. She thought she recognised the grey gym bag the guy had just moved.
They carried on in silence - not surprising for two strangers. Pam thought she'd heard his voice somewhere before and got a strange sense of déjà vu as she pulled out her phone. Ignoring her messages, she quickly went into her notes app and typed out her current muse, figuring it would also help make a good caption for later.
On a campus with so many strangers, it is inevitable we cross paths more than once without realising. Do you ever feel strange when you think about this one connection you have to these strangers around you, living a life as complex as yours? Do you ever get that feeling - hey, I've met this person somewhere before?
Pam pulled out her iPad Pro and Apple Pencil from the beige Herschel backpack she'd dumped beside her chair. She didn't want to directly draw this stranger from her angle - if he followed her account, he'd probably know who it was (although he hadn't really looked at her at all so far) and blow her anonymity. She wasn't going to draw his face since she couldn't see it, but he had a pretty distinctive frame and scruffy hair that would make it simple enough for him to guess it was him. People often loved identifying themselves in the comments section of her posts. Pam looked around for a different point of view as she ate her bolognese and decided to draw from the perspective of the table behind. She could make up what she looked like from the back - it was the person opposite her that really mattered for this drawing.
Keeping her iPad beside her on the table, Pam returned to her phone while she quickly ate. She looked up at the guy opposite her again, observing the messy mop of hair she could see over his book, and his tall frame folded into the faded yellow armchair, before opening her message from Isabel and typing out a reply.
Heading to my PM theory seminar... BORED already just thinking about it tbh. I'll get food on break but lets do something this eve? Devon has band practise tonight :/
Haha I mean not much more exciting here, Diners is packed so sat with some random lanky dude who literally hasn't even looked at me. No diff to dinner with Roy I guess lol. Movie later at mine? Angela is out so have the room free :)
Finishing her food, Pam popped open her soda and brought her knees up onto her seat and to the side slightly so she could rest her iPad on the side of her legs. She took a long sip of her soda, using the time to observe the guy opposite her, and put it down on the table. Flipping open the pastel green iPad cover, she tapped in her passcode using her middle finger before navigating to her Illustrator app with the pencil.
Pam got as lost in her drawing as her tablemate was in his book. As much as digital art wasn't her thing, she still got captivated in the world appearing on her screen.
Pam didn't notice the guy putting his book down, or the fact that he observed her for a full five minutes with a small smile on his face. She didn't hear him snort or shake his head when he thought about how obsessed she was with her devices. Were all girls like this nowadays? He'd realised the second he looked up that this was the same girl from the coffee shop last week - the half-clipped back curls were distinctive.
Finally, he cleared his throat and smirked. "Are you always this invested in maxing out on screen time?"
"What?" Pam finally looked up. She felt her heart skip a beat. That little smirk was... cute.
"You bumped into me the other week. Twice."
"Oh, that was you?" Pam shut her iPad cover. She didn't want him accidentally seeing the drawing. "Sorry about that."
"I don't think I've seen you look up for this long before. Does it feel weird?"
Pam could tell from the grin on his face that the guy was joking. "You should have seen me when I first sat down."
"Ah. Damn. Too bad my book was getting good," He shrugged and leaned forward as Pam let out a small giggle. "Good thing I didn't accidentally bump into you."
"Yeah, sorry about that... but I was actually being productive today," Pam tapped her iPad. "I'm an art student. A clumsy one, but I promise I was working on something today."
"Can I see?"
"Uh..." Pam's heart raced for a few seconds, slowing when she remembered she had plenty more on her iPad that wasn't to do with her secret doodles. "Yeah, okay." She held her iPad close as she navigated to a project she was actually working on for one of her classes, then swiped the top right corner down slightly to put her iPad in Airplane Mode. If she was showing anything from her iPad it was her way of making sure no notifications came through for her secret account. "Here, this is my current project," she held the iPad out and bit her lip. Digital art was her weakest point; much as her confidence was growing, she really would have preferred the first piece someone new saw to be a watercolor or a sketch.
His eyebrows raised up and he let out a quiet, impressed "wow" as he held the iPad and looked at her drawing. He liked the simplistic style she used - everything was outlined in almost-rough strokes, with clear yet cohesive color contrasts. It looked like a modern take on classic imagery - a girl leaning on a panel of her terrace in a mid-length dress but all with the colors of the modern day. "This is really cool. You're very talented."
"Oh, thanks, it's-" Pam bit her lip as he handed her back the iPad. "We were told to reimagine a drawing we've done before."
"So you've done a drawing-drawing of this?"
"Yeah," Pam smiled. "And a watercolor painting."
"I'd love to see that."
Pam blinked up at the guy. People rarely actually wanted to see her art. "Umm... I mean, I have-"
"Jim!" a guy appeared at the guy's side, giving him a gentle slap on the shoulder. Pam looked between them and noted that her companion's name was Jim. "Ready to go?"
"Oh, yeah," Jim started packing his book into his gym bag. "Grab me a water?"
"Sure, wait for you outside," the guy headed in the direction of the vending machine.
"Sorry, I have practice," Jim apologised as he stood up, grabbing his phone from the table.
Pam desperately wanted to tell him that she had pictures of her drawing and watercolor on her phone to show him, but the strange, consuming need to impress Jim frazzled her slightly. "Oh, umm, yeah - okay, sure. I - have fun."
"I will," Jim grinned as he picked up his gym bag. "You have Facebook or Instagram or something?"
"Umm, I - yeah, I do."
"Great, ‘kay, find me - Jim Halpert," he said as he turned to leave and catch up with his friend. "I wanna see that drawing!"