Last time I did a 'storytime' post I got some pretty awesome feedback, and because, I mean - who doesn't like awesome feedback?, I'm bringing it back.
Freshman year on a huge campus in the northeast. As can be expected, the university's frat row is crawling with students, or rather predators, prey and the perpetually drunk girl down the hall, who on this one night blends in with her fellow18-year olds. (She's also the one exclaiming "See, it's fun!" to her companions as if this absolves her from ridicule during the week. No, Suzi, you'll still be the only drunk, err, 'fun' one come Monday afternoon.) Touring the frats is pretty much the norm for any underage kid looking to go out in this college town, and my friends and I are no exception.
I don't really remember where I meet him. This boy who looks like Cory Matthews. But that is the very first thing I think when I meet him. "OMG, he looks like Cory!" I whisper-scream to my friend shortly after meeting him, receiving a very 'so what' look in response. I should probably mention now that Cory Matthews was my first ever crush at the ripe old age of 5. Sah-woon. So when a handful of friends insist that this Cory Matthews look-a-like 'definitely likes me', I'm not exactly upset, to say the least. He is really cute, in that adorable, bashful kind of way, and at least 6ft 2'. And despite looking like Cory, he wears a backwards cap and lets his jean hang off his hips in that attractive way guys do. Let's call said boy *Tommy.
Cory, I mean Tommy and I spend a lot of time together, just not actually alone together. As most freshman do, we travel in a pack of about 10 to 20 every time we go out, but Tommy and I would always separate from the group, standing a distance away from everyone but not so far that it's uncomfortable. I've always gotten along really well with guys, so I don't think much of it. I mean, I hang out quite frequently with one of the other guys trading CDs to copy onto our iPods, and another friend chases me down the hallway with a can of Nair. I'm no stranger to guy friends. It isn't until one night when we wander into some truly random frat with a dance floor that I realize "yeah I think this guy's into me." He isn't much of a dancer (has rhythm but not quite sure how to use it. Not that I'm a big dancer either. I can hold a beat/note, but that's about it), but he keeps pulling me out onto the dance floor so he has an excuse to touch my waist, my hips. He also compliments my cowboy boots and denim skirt (it was a Western themed night!) by saying "you sure do pull that off, don't you?" and staring down at me through his eyelashes. We babble back towards campus slightly buzzed and holding hands when we think no one is looking.
A few weeks later, we find The Mudhouse, a fraternity house just off the 'main row' where one of the brothers really likes to stare at my boobs - so much that I'm almost never on the list but always let in, and said brother always hands me a Bud Light can to replace the shitty Nattie Light on tap for everyone else. And then, one totally normal night at The Mudhouse, something totally not normal happens.
The Mudhouse is having some really weird invite-only shindig where party-goers go from room to room for samples. Each room has it's own theme or station. Tommy is hanging out with some guys and is going to meet my small group a little later. Frat bro who likes to stare at my rack (but never touches! Come on!) begins showing me around the stations but eventually leaves me somewhere. I end up in the "Purple Haze" themed room, rocking out, throwing back heaven knows how many mind-eraser shots, and dancing with some guy that I never really learned the name of. Classy, I know. Eventually, I think I see a tall, curly-haired boy standing just outside the door frame, but when I look back he's gone. I go in search of Cory and find him sitting outside on a porch swing drinking a beer surrounded by a few friends. Plopping down on the seat next to him, I curl into his shoulder and he wraps his free hand around me. We sit like that for a while as he talks to his friends and squeezes my arm intermittently.
All I can think is "what is this?" Yeah, I knew he kinda liked me. He's said a few borderline things, dipping his toe into the waters of 'not-friendship' and then stepping back. He's held my hand in secret, dances with me occasionally and has infiltrated my little group of friends for the sake of me (so says little group of friends.) He seems to be almost claiming me in this moment, but he hasn't actually made a move.
Like a real move on me. And in my clouded, mind-erased head, none of the aforementioned gestures mean a thing. In fact, there could only be one possible reason for all of this.
"Are you gay?," I blurt out as we walk back alone.
He stops walking just ahead of me and turns around hesitantly like he's not sure who he'll see. His brow furrows and a light flush takes over his face, and for a moment, I think "Shit! He is. I've embarrassed him." But then I realize that he's not embarrassed. He's pissed. Before I know it, he's stormed off ahead of me just within earshot. I think to call him back but I don't. We walk back to campus like this, him turning often to be sure I'm still following, me searching through my foggy head for what to do next. As we get closer to my dorm, he slows until I'm by his side. I look up at him expectantly. Expectant of what, I don't know. After what feels like 5 minutes, he pulls me into him and fits his mouth to mine. We dated for almost a year after that.
Actually, he kept walking right past my dorm and never spoke to me again.
April Fool's! :)
Although I do still think about him sometimes. Tommy, where you at? FaceBook friend me again!
*Name has been changed for the sake of anonymity and because, well, I'm not sure I remember his name :) Damn you, mind-eraser!