It was probably the fact that she smiled at Julian – that was what made him find her so irresistible. Any kind looks people gave him were purely for the sake of politeness, and Julian had long since given up expecting even that. But the girl in the yellow dress had smiled at him, so he knew she was special.
Despite passing each other in the student lounge – fairly frequently, by Julian’s count – he discovered that he and the girl in the yellow dress shared no classes. That was fine. There were plenty of other opportunities to see her. And the more he did, the better he could get to know her, and then he could sign up for the classes she would be taking next semester. Then she could get to know him, too.
The internet was really helpful in learning more about her. She posted frequently on all the major social media, so he learned who her friends were and where she liked to hang out and what she did there. Her accounts were private, which Julian respected, but he knew when he eventually explained creating fake profiles to insert himself into her digital friend circle, the girl in the yellow dress would probably laugh, flashing Julian that perfect smile that expressed a connection so much deeper than friendship.
Rain would keep a lesser suitor away, but Julian was dedicated, so he followed her to her dorm through the downpour, twenty steps behind. A hand the size of a catcher’s mitt touched his shoulder. It belonged to a student built like a rodeo bull.
“You following her?” he asked Julian.
“Excuse me? Who are you?” Julian sputtered.
“I’m Clay. I take care of her,” the big man replied. “You need to leave her alone.”
“She and I have a connection you can’t begin to understand,” Julian spat.
“Understand this,” Clay said, and he slapped his palms on either side of Julian’s head, pressing inward. After a few seconds of pressure and unrepeatable noises, gore oozed through Clay’s fingers and Julian slumped to the ground.
“I take care of her,” Clay said, and he watched the girl in the yellow dress walk into her dormitory.