The second time he met her is the first time Mark noticed that her eyes were the same color, an almost silvery grey with specks of emerald green, and he immediately began to wonder if it was possible to fall in love in the wrong order. Not that there’s ever a wrong way to do anything when you’re in love, he reminded himself, as he looked back at the class roster and continued with attendance.
“Allison…Jherek?…” he called out to the classroom, his voice trailing away as he tried to pretend that he hadn’t already seen noticed her, that he hadn’t already known that she would be here.
“Alli’s fine,” he heard a familiar voice say. He turned his head to find her sitting in the back of the lecture hall, looking not much younger than the day that they first met. Or, the day that he might her, to be precise. She had her hand raised, with a look of sheer disinterest scrawled across her face. He looked into her grey eyes for the very first time, hoping to find some small moment of recognition within her, but of course, there was nothing; she hadn’t met him yet. He’d already lived a life time with her — he still did, for that matter, though he knew it wouldn’t be for that much longer — and yet she’d never seen him before.
“Right,” he said, finally breaking from his stare. But the awkward tension in the room had already elevated past the point of typical first day jitters. ” He looked back to the roster sheet. “Alli it is. Glad you could join us, Alli. Welcome to Intro to Quantum Physiology. Is, um, is Adam…King here? Adam King?”
* * *
The first time that she met him he was younger than he was, a thought which at first struck Alli as obvious though she knew that wasn’t exactly what she meant by it.
“…Mark?” she asked tentatively as she watched him from the doorway. He was tying off a trash bag, bulging over with bottles and cans. A sickness filled her stomach and her head began to spin.
“Sorry, party’s over,” he said casually without turning around to see who he was talking to. He groaned softly as he hoisted the heavy bag over his shoulder. She watched him carry it across the room, trying hard not to let the strain show on his face, and finally deposited it with a heave next to a similar pile of tied-off trash bags. There was a loud crashing sound as the bottles hit the floor, almost certainly smashing apart as they collided with one another against the linoleum. Mark looked up at her and smiled, finally acknowledging her presence in the room, as he absently started to dismantle a folding table. He returned his attention to the table as he forced a rusted pair of legs to fold back underneath it. With a swift kick, he was finally able to tuck the legs beneath the tabletop. Before he could finish with the other set of legs, he took a brief pause from his work and then he looked back in her direction.
“Do you have two different colored eyes?” he asked curiously. “Sorry, if that was rude, I just noticed –”