How many times did I see her every day? Maybe ten times. I saw her a lot. We were in the same classes together. So I saw her in the morning. I met her to walk to the lecture hall together. Every Wednesday, we walked past the Christian society. They gave people free doughnuts, coffee and tea. She always took a doughnut and a cup of tea. They tried to talk to her about God, and she said, ‘Sorry, but God doesn’t love me. If God loved me, I wouldn’t be late today.’
The first time she did this, I laughed. But when she did it every Wednesday, I felt embarrassed. She said the same thing to the same people. I could see that they didn’t want to give her doughnuts, but they had to. And maybe they thought that, one day, she wouldn’t be late, and they could talk to her about God.
Actually, we were never late. We met at almost the same time every day. When I was late, she walked without me.
So I saw her in the morning, when we walked to lectures. I saw her at lunchtime, too. She always went and sat in one place and ate her lunch. She had her own lunchbox every day. I wasn’t like her. I never made my own lunch. I just bought lunch in one of the shops and ate with my friends. Once or twice I tried to invite her to eat with us, but she said no.
‘I don’t know your friends,’ she said.
‘Well, that’s why I’m inviting you,’ I said.
‘No, thank you,’ she said.
And that was that. I stopped inviting her. I knew that if she didn’t want to meet them now, she would never want to meet them.
In the afternoon, we had more lectures together. Then, on some days, we walked back home. She lived near me, of course. But many days, I went to study in the library after lectures. OK, well not that often. But sometimes, when I wanted to be a good student, I did. Other days, I went with my friends into town and we bought clothes.
When else did I see her? I actually saw her a lot on the weekends. When I was hungover, I went for walks in a park near my house. I saw her there, too. She didn’t walk much. She just sat on one side of the park. She waited until people came in with their dogs. Then she went and played with the dogs. I think some people didn’t like this. They just wanted to walk their dogs, but she played with the dogs for a very long time. I felt a bit embarrassed for her.