And so I rounded the corner, knuckles white from gripping my books too tightly, eyes darting in every direction away from that door, praying he wouldn't open it. I shifted my books to my left arm, took a moment to fumble for my keys, then hurriedly scrambling to unlock my door. Finally inside the safety of my apartment, i threw down my books and school bag and slumped against the door, working to get my breath back. I looked terrible. Bright red nose, rosy cheeks and frozen fingers from the bitter snow flurry having blown north from Flagstaff the night before, I looked quite literally like hell frozen over. I didn't;t want HIM to see me this way. By him, i meant the man in apartment 1897. Leo Reagan. The guy with everything. Closing my eyes, i retraced my memory to the first time i met him. I was 19 and was (finally!) out of my parents house. My best friend Crispin and I were moving in together since neither of us could live alone, nor could we be separated. and just as I was stumbling up the stairs, desperately trying to balance my 30 gallon fish tank beneath 2 boxes of cook books, Leo came to my rescue. Tawny, wavy hair encircled a strong face and almond eyes, paired exquisitely with a flannel, red fedora and small black gauges.
" You need some help with that?" He was so sweet. he carefully took the two boxes from my tower of imbalance and guided me to my apartment. ever since, he regularly came over for football, holidays when my family couldn't visit and even when Crispin went out of town. and I'd been in love with him ever since. But somehow, after 3 years, i still couldn't get past my girlish nerves and just ask him out to dinner. But today was the day. I opened my eyes and rushed into my room, throwing on a red sweater dress, gray tights, and my favorite pair of Mary Jane pumps. I took my time with my makeup, making sure every little detail was just right. I even put on lipstick, a rarity for me since I'd started college. Taking a deep breath, i checked the clock. 6:15. Perfect. He didn't eat dinner before 6:45, ever, he'd told me once before. A habit from his childhood, he said. I popped a Listerine strip into my mouth, grabbed my purse and sauntered out the door. Today was the day. I'd never have a better chance.