Punch One, Punch Two
I sat in the class room surrounded by around 20 other first year students. We were all Presidential Scholars. Meaning we were all in the top five percent of our classes in high school, and this tiny little college decided to rewarded us by paying for our tuition for our time here. This class was taught by two people who were supposed to be our mentors over the next year. One was Steve Hughes. He was a large man, and you could tell from his close cropped hair cut he was a conservative. The other was a little old lady named Jacqueline Reedit. She was tiny old lady that almost always had a scowl on her face. Every once in a while her frown was replaced by a really fake smile that revealed her teeth, yellowed from years of smoking.
We all quieted down as Steve began to talk. He started off by explaining the meaning of the class, how it was going to teach us leadership qualities, and how we were going to rely upon each other for moral support to get through our first year. I never thought I would rely upon these twenty other people for emotional support, I never thought I would get close to any of them. “I want everyone to say out loud how their first days of college have been going.” Steve instructed. One by one we went around the class and everyone said the same exact thing. “The classes are harder, but it’s not too bad” I hate when people respond to question with answers that don’t take a stand. What does “The class are harder, but it’s not too bad” accomplish? Absolutely nothing. That doesn’t tell me anything about how your first week went. It’s a pointless waste of air.
The girl beside me said the same thing as everyone else. After she finished she turned towards me getting ready to listen to what I had to say. She had shoulder length red-brown hair, and she was cute in a very average way. Her most noticeable feature was her blue eyes. I always liked to think I had the best blue eyes. After seeing hers I had to accept that I had the second best pair.
I took a deep breath and prepared myself for what I was going to say. I already knew what I was going to say. I had known after I heard the third person say the same damn thing. “Well Steve you want to know how my first week went. Well my girlfriend dumped me the first day of classes, and my car broke down the day after. So it’s been pretty shitty” Both of those were true statements. I had dated Sarah for the last two months of college. We both knew it was just a summer fling but it still hurt when she dumped me. The reality of it hurt more than I thought it would. We were never that close, she was too much of emotional bitch for that. But that didn’t change the fact that break ups still suck.
In the my break up depression the day after I decided to see how fast I could get my car going. Let’s just say that wasn’t one of my better ideas. It ended in about 1000 dollars’ worth of repairs, and no car for two weeks. That wasn’t my best moment to say the least.
There was an awkward silence in the classroom after my very personal response to Steve’s question. Steve was in the front of the class room smiling. “So are you saying you’re single?” He asked jokingly
“Yep, and if anyone is interested, I live in room 221 in the dorms.” I replied, portraying a false sense of confidence. Everyone laughed at this, and I spent the rest of class selectively listening to the first trait a leader must possess.
That class was the last class of the week for me. My favorite part of college as a freshman was the fact that I had no classes on Fridays. It made me feel so distant from high school, and I loved it. Leadership class was a two minute walk from my dorm, and that brings up the second best part of college. I learned early on that living in the dorms gave me the privilege to wake up for my 8:30 in the morning class at 8:20 in the morning.
I lived in the west wing on the second floor, in the first room on the right. My roommate was one of my good friends from high school, who I kind of forced to come here with me. I didn’t physically force him too, I just told his mom about how cheap it was, and once she wanted him to go to North Central he had no say in the matter.
Our first couple days in the dorms were pretty fun. No one knew we were good friends, so we would leave our door open and fake argue very loudly. I never asked anyone but I like to think that it made some people worry.
This day when I walked in my roommate and my Ra were parked in front of our T.V. shouting swear words at it, in between sounds of virtual gunfire. These bouts of my roommate and my RA saving the virtual world from virtual aliens would become a daily occurrence in my room. Sometimes they would play until three in the morning. Saving the virtual world was definitely a time consuming task. My RA was the master of life talks. Well actually he was the master of talking during life talks. He could rant for hours about something and he almost always turned it back into a discussion about how the U.S. government is terrible. One night we were talking about how hot Swedish woman are, and we ended listening to him talk about how big business runs the government. “What are you up to tonight?” he asked me after they were done whooping virtual alien ass.
“I have no fucken idea” I said “Sleep sounds good”.
“Well Jake’s birthday is today, he’s having a party tonight, and both of you guys are invited.” I have to admit sleep did sound good at the time, but beer sounded better that day.
Jake was a quiet, muscular little guy. I never understood it but little guys always seem to be ripped. I have the blessing of being awkwardly tall, but that also comes with the curse of being awkwardly skinny. I think overall though I’d rather be tall and skinny, and then be short and ripped. Being short would suck.
I rode to the party with my roommate; he fell into a perfect niche in my partying life. He only drank water. I don’t know why, it’s just the way he is. The nice thing about that though was we never had to fight about who was going to be the designated driver. You can’t get drunk by drinking water. This means I was free to get drunk at any party we went to. By the time we got the party it was already up and running. There were about twenty people there and a good number of them were crowded around the two beer pong tables making a large amount of noise. When I walked in someone handed me a beer, and tried to hand Lawrence, my roommate, one and for the first of many times he had to explain that he only drank water.
Eight or nine beers later I was sprawled out on a couch in drunken bliss. Jake was bouncing around, drunk off his ass, rapping about his underwear, and everyone was having a great time. A guy came over and sat on the couch next to me. His cheeks were bright red from drinking and he was wearing a Beatles shirt. “What’s up dude, I’ve seen you around the dorms, what’s your name again”
“Damien” I said, “And yours?”
“Scott” he said. There was an awkward silence for a second.
“So I see you like Beatles?” I asked pointing to his shirt.
“I love the Beatles!” he exclaimed loudly “Do you like them?”
“Of course, everyone like the Beatles”
“The white album” I replied. To be honest that was the only album I actually knew by name.
“That’s a pretty good album, mine is revolver” I nodded my head like I knew what he was talking about. “I cried when I heard Revolution 9” he said randomly.
The first thought that went through my head was, “who the fuck cries when they hear a song, but instead I said “Yeah that was a pretty shitty song.” Our conversation was interrupted a loud high pitched cry.
“I need a beer pong partner!” Screamed a blonde girl with large breasts that she was not afraid to flaunt.
“I’ll do it” I said as I shockingly rose from the couch. I sucked at beer pong. Luckily Sally, my partner, was unstoppable that night. We still sucked and lost our first game, by a lot. She didn’t care though, because right after we lost she dragged me into the kitchen to play cards. Lawrence was my partner in cards; he was always my partner since we started playing during study hour in high school. We pretty much could read each other’s mind. We were almost unstoppable. Sally found another guy to be her partner, and we decimated the both of them. I even called out Lawrence for cheating and we still one. During the middle of one of our games a short girl with almost black hair came and unexpectedly sat on my lap. I was too drunk to really think much about it. I just moved my arm around her so I could continue playing cards why she sat there. I didn’t even notice enough to stop and get her name.
The party ended with Jake puking all over the carpet, and everybody trying to feed him bread. It’s sad to say but in all the it was pretty entertaining. He puked mid verse of his 30th minute of rapping about his underwear. In a way it was the perfect way to end the night. Sadly it’s always extremely entertaining when someone else is puking. It becomes a lot less entertaining when you’re the one throwing up your insides.
Lawrence and I followed our RA back to the dorms, and I’m pretty sure I fell into sleep as soon as my head hit my pillow. That party seemed very insignificant at the time, but little did I know I met a few people there who would all play a huge part in my life.
Every Monday and Wednesday I had an algebra class, which I hated. The only good part of it was that two other presidential scholars were in it. One was a large guy named Erik. He grew up on a farm, a fact made very apparent by his noticeable farmers tan and all the john deer hats he wore. He enjoyed being loud and always seemed to make our math professor angry with our row. The other student was a blonde girl named Alison. She kind of looked like a chipmunk, and was always texting during class. There was so much homework for that class that the three of us decided to meet up two hours before every class and work on our homework together. I’m pretty sure that resulted in less homework being done, since we almost always went out for lunch.
One day after lunch we decided to come back to the dorms and play some ping pong. I had been spending a lot of time playing it with Lawrence, and one day I brought it up in conversation during lunch.
“Hey do you guys play ping pong?”
“Hell yeah I do!” Alison exclaimed. “I probably way better than you”
“Oh yeah?” I was really surprised by this blunt challenge.
“Yep. My dad is a champ, and I play him all the time. It won’t even be a contest”
“I play too guys” Erik chimed in.
“Well how bout we play a game after I’m done eating?” I asked ignoring Erik’s comment completely.
“You’re on buddy.”
We raced back to the dorms and played a very intense game of ping pong. Sadly she beat me 20-16. To this day I say I let her win. Truth is she was pretty darn good, a lot better than me. On the way to math she wouldn’t let up on her trash talking.
“How about a rematch on Tuesday?” I
“Glee is on Tuesday, I don’t miss Glee.”
“How about this, we have a rematch then we can watch Glee?”
“Okay, if you really want to, I’m going to whoop your ass just like I did last time” I laughed at gave her a little shove and we continued on to math.
She beat me again; I actually did worse this time. There is no need to know the exact score of the game, let’s just say it was pretty embarrassing. We watched Glee in my room, and I luckily I got her to talk about something other than her whooping my ass in ping pong.
We spent most of the episode talking about her ex-boyfriend. They had dated for two years and had just broke up the end of her senior year of high school. He had cheated on her with some younger girl from a town not too far away from where they lived, and she had lost the fight to win him back. To make him jealous she dated a new guy during the summer, and it accomplished exactly what she wanted it to. It made him angry and he told her he wanted her back. I asked her “Why would you go want to go back to someone who hurt you? If he cared about you like he says he does he wouldn’t of cheated on you.”
“I know” she replied somberly “But deep inside I have this hope that he’s changed, I want to think he’s changed. That he’s learned from his mistake, that he still loves me.” After Glee ended I walked her out to her car and we talked for hours about how she felt during everything, about all the fights they had, and about how much of a dick he was to her during their relationship.
As she started her car and went to get in I asked her “If you recognize how much he hurt you during your relationship, why are you even considering getting back with him. To me it’s just such an obvious bad idea.”
“You’ve never been in love have you?”
“No” I said. I had once told a girl I loved her, but I had always felt that she had almost forced me to say, I never really felt like I meant it.
“It’s hard to let love go, you always find yourself wishing that things were same as when you were in love, it hurts to accept the reality without love.”
“I don’t see how you can still love him, after all that he did.”
“I don’t love him now, I have hope one day he’ll change back to the person I did love. Good bye Damien, Are we watching Glee next Tuesday?”
“Of course” I said, shutting her door with a fake smile on my face. For some reason I was really uncomfortable with her getting back together with her ex. To me it was an atrocity that she was even thinking about it. That night as I lay in bed, I made it my personal mission to make sure they did not get back together.
That Thursday I decided to go to a club about an hour away from the college with my RA and my roommate. Also a large number of people from the dorms were going. It had potential to be a very fun night. One girl was going that my roommate was interested in. She was tall and blonde, and a little slow. She liked to brag about how she was a model, even though every picture I’ve ever seen of her, trying to make a pose, has sucked. We were determined to get Lawrence this girl, my RA and I dedicated ourselves to being his personal wingmen for the night.
A wingman job is pretty much to make your bro look good. And giving him the best chance possible to get the girl he was going after. We got to the club a little late because we visited some of my RA cousins, so we could help them move a couch. By the time we got there all the group from the dorms was there and so was the girl that had sat on my lap at the party. She was a tight shirt, and some really short white shorts. You could tell she was trying to flaunt her stuff that night. Lawrence and my RA got right in on the dancing. They were both grinding on girls within the first couple of minutes. Being at the club made me realize why I never went before. They’re loud, way too loud, all the people are obnoxious and to be honest I look like a huge fool dancing, and I’m usually way too tall to grind on any girl. After being there for a half hour, the girl in the short shorts came over and grabbed my hand. “You’re going to dance with me” she said
“I don’t really do the dancing thing”
“Well you do now” I danced with her for about half a song maybe more, before I was over it. I maybe danced with two more girls the rest of the night. My RA danced with a ton of girls the whole night, and Lawrence danced with a little less.
“How did it go?” I asked Lawrence as I climbed into the front seat of my RA’s van.
“Yeah, about that. Emily can’t dance at all”
“No she cannot” agreed my RA.
“It’s like she was trying to grind my dick down or something. It was bad”
“I mean she’s cute and all, but I didn’t see this coming. To be honest, it almost ruined my night” We continued on the whole ride home sarcastically complaining about how terrible of dancer she was. Sometimes I’m glad I never had the opportunity to dance with her, that I didn’t have to share in their disappointment of having high expectations and watching them fail before your eyes.
It was about that time in October, in Northern Michigan, where it seems like the weather can’t decide whether or not it wants to snow or rain. It snows one minute rains the next. Luckily for me at that moment it was a rare time where it was doing neither. I found myself sitting on a bench on the bank of a river about a 5 minute walk from the dorms, and next to me was Alison.
We had been spending more time together since our talk outside her car. And the reason for me not wanting her to get back with her ex had changed. Before I wanted her to stay away because I knew he didn’t deserve her, I hate douche bags, I’ve always believed they get to many girls. Now, I knew she was too good for him, but also I wanted her for myself, I wanted her to be mine. The bench we were sitting on was like a pit stop off the two mile nature trail that was on the college campus. We had been on the trail for almost two hours, and somehow I was able to keep the conversations going without missing a beat. I liked this. The whole getting to know somebody. I had met Sarah at a party over the summer. We had hung out twice and then after all we did was make out. A month after that all we did was have sex. Plus she lived two hours away from me. I saw twice a week, and that time was spent having sex. I’ve always thought sex could do two things, bring a couple together, or make them drift apart. For Sarah and I it was the latter. I enjoyed this. The friendly talking, the laughing, the joking, the actual emotional interaction. I forgot how much I had missed it.
Now, though, my mind was stuck on something else. Should I finish this night off with a kiss? I hadn’t even thought about it for most of the walk. Not until I made a harsh joke and she walked off in fake anger in front of me. And then without even thinking about it I ran up and hugged her from behind. “Oh do I get an apology hug?” she asked jokingly hold my hands around her stomach.
“Yeah I guess” I stayed hugging her until she let go. That hug felt right. It made me get that feeling like your stomach is floating. I missed that feeling. There had been a pause in our conversation before I said “I kind of want to make another mean joke so I can hug you again.” she only laughed at this. “Fuck” I thought. I needed more than a laugh. That comment was like a call out, trying to get her to admit whether or not she wanted me hug her again. She was too smart for my petty games. We kept on walking on the trail making small talk.
“Let’s stop at this bench” she said when it came into view around the bend. I agreed I was just happy to extend this walk a little longer. I asked her about her parents. That was one of the few things we hadn’t talked about. “My mom is a worry wart who talks too much.”
“Wow she sounds lovely” she laughed, I was starting to really like that sound.
“And my dad works all the time. I love him, well I love both of them, but he’s my favorite.”
“I’m going to tell your mom what you said!”
“Yeah who says you’re going to meet my parents!” she shot back. Damn that had some sting to it. Every time I made a small hint at being into her she would make a snappy comment back. She was making reading her harder then I wanted it to be.
It was starting to sprinkle. “So I kind of hate rain. I’ll walk you back to your car” I said getting off the bench.
“How gentlemanly of you” She said as she walked back onto the trail. The rest of the walk I was stuck on the thought of a kiss. Should I do it? I had no idea. I didn’t want to make a move and be rejected that would be just a tad embarrassing, and before I knew it the moment was upon me. We were standing next to her car.
“Well I guess I’ll let you go” I said, hands awkwardly in my pockets.
“Do I at least get a hug?” She asked. My heart skipped a beat. I felt like I was 13 at that point, I was getting nervous at the thought of hug. I’m a college student. College students aren’t supposed to get nervous thinking about hugs. We’re supposed to be smooth adults; we’re supposed to be able to handle ourselves in situations like that.
“I guess” I made it sound like it was a huge effort to give her a hug. Inside I was giggling like a school girl. As I was hugging her I thought about putting my finger under her chin, tip her head back, and press her lips to mine. But for some reason I resisted. I just held the hug for a few seconds then let her dip into her car. Even though I didn’t kiss her that day, I was still smiling as I walked back to my dorm room.
“Did you kiss her?” Lawrence asked as soon as opened the door.
“Nope, man. Didn’t feel like the right time”
“Well damn….I’m heading down stairs to poo. Our sweet mate has a girl over again.”
“Really? Didn’t he have one over last week?”
“Dude we live next to a player…I heard him having sex earlier today.”
“You fucken listened to that?”
“No man, I’m not some sick fuck! I turned the TV way up and played some Call of Duty, and I kicked ass.” After that he shut the door and went down stairs to take what would later be called a courtesy poop. Thanks to our suitemate having women over so often, we felt obligated to not stink up the bathroom. We invented courtesy poop for the sake of our suitemate that we didn’t even know. Up to that point we had only seen him twice. Once when he moved in, and once when we left our rooms at the same time. I had heard him having sex more times than I had seen him.
I always wondered how he got so many women. He was short and ripped. The key there was he was short and ripped. Short guys aren’t supposed to get woman. Tall guys like me are supposed to be attractive, so how come I was always listening to him having sex but he never had to listen to me. I never got to ask him that question because about a month into school he moved out. To be honest I didn’t even notice he was gone until like a week later. I thought he was just on a cold streak.
Lawrence had been on a cold streak since I can remember. His first target of the year was a girl that couldn’t dance. So you think his next choice would have been a better one. Nope. He chose a better personality but completely messed up in the whole availability section. That was probably mostly due to me.
“Dude I think I’m going after Ellen” Lawrence told me one day.
“What about that tall blonde girl?”
“Yeah, dick grinding is not a quality I look for in my women.”
“There’s one problem”
“Aww shit.” I already knew where this was going. Lawrence had never been really good at choosing women.
“Yeah. She has a boyfriend.”
“Dude you know what they say. Just because there is a goalie doesn’t mean you can’t score.”
“This is true”
“Invite her over to watch a movie, or better yet lets invite her and Alison to go to Pizza Hut with us tomorrow, and then go see a movie?” This was just an excuse for me to spend time with Alison, and I thought maybe it’d help Lawrence out if I was around to be his wingman at the same time. “We can invite more people so we can go with a huge group.” Well my plan of going with a huge group never worked out. Only one more person wanted to go, Scott.
Scott had become a very interesting person in the dorms. He was loud, attention grabbing, and had grabbed my butt on more than one occasion. Along with the butt of many other men, and maybe a few women as well. I was never really bothered by it. Not because I like it. Don’t confuse not being bothered and liking. They are two very different things. Lawrence on the other hand, let’s just say he’s a lot less comfortable with man hands going near his ass.
The night went perfectly fine for me. I had a fun, easy going time with everybody, and I felt very relaxed around Alison. We cracked jokes through the movie and overall it was a great night. The best part came at the end when we all stood up. We saw some mysterious looking figures laying down in the very top row in the back of the theater.
“Are they having sex?” Ellen asked
“Holy shit I think they are” laughed Alison. I burst out laughing as we walked out of the theater. The audacity some people have is amazing. I’ve heard of hand jobs, and blow jobs in theaters, but having sex? Kudos to that guy. Lawrence’s night didn’t go near as well as mine or the guy having sex in the theater.
About halfway through dinner it became very apparent Lawrence had become a fifth wheel. I was talking to Alison, and Ellen and Scott were talking. I did my best to be his wingman, but I kept on getting distracted. That night I walked Alison out to her car again. I enjoyed walking her to her car, we always had a nice long talk when I did that, and I loved having nice long talks with her.
This night our talk was a little different. She stood a little closer to me, and all I could think about was telling her how I felt about her. It was nagging at me the whole time we talked so eventually I just said it. “Alison I’m into you.” Did I really say that? I was trying so hard not to sound like a middle schooler that I ended up sounding like my head was on a little crooked.
“You’re into me?”
“Yes, I have feelings for you, I like you” This whole time I feel like I can feel my heart beat in my chest. I feel like my throat is clogged with cotton balls. I forgot how nerve racking telling someone you liked them was. I looked up from the ground at Alison. She had a smirk on her face. “Why the smirk?” I asked
“I like you too” my heart dropped out of my throat. I was beginning to calm down a little bit. “But.” My heart jumped back into my throat. But is such a terrible word, it can change a perfect situation into a terrible one. It’s like a warning for a terrible phrase. As soon as you hear but, prepare yourself for the verbal punch because it’s not far behind. “Jimmy texted me last night” That was her ex. “He said he wants to come up in three weeks and take me on a date. I want to go on it with him; I want to see if he has changed. If he hasn’t I’m yours.”
Inside I was freaking out. Inside I was a little pissed. Outside I tried to keep a straight face. On the outside I said “Well in three weeks you’ll be mine.” On the inside I said “Did you really just tell me I’m your second option?” I gave her a hug and went back to the dorm. This time on the way back I wasn’t happy. This time Lawrence was asleep. That was a probably a good thing. I didn’t want to talk. I just wanted to lay in bed and think. And before I fell asleep I came up with my conclusion. I wasn’t going to play nicely. I was going to make her choose one, or the other.
That morning I woke up to a text. It was from another scholarship student, a friend of Alison’s and mine. The text read “SO YOU’RE INTO ALISON!!!!!!!!” That was Nicole’s personality in a nut shell. She was loud, a little obnoxious, and always wanted to get the latest gossip. I told her I would talk to her at lunch.
She met me early for lunch so we could talk alone before our other friends got there. “So tell me everything” she said
“Well I told Alison, that I liked her, and she told me she liked me too.” At this Nicole got excited; she squealed and clapped her hands. “But” the squealing stopped.
“But she wants me to wait three weeks, until she goes on a date with Jimmy, so she can see if he changed or not.”
“Did you kiss her?”
“I don’t know”
“You know she wants you to, she told me herself.”
“Really? Are you sure she doesn’t want me to wait three weeks” I said that with a whole lot of angry sarcasm. Right now I felt like a second option. Being a second option is terrible. Why? Because when you’re a second option you lose all control. You have to rely on the other person, all your future is stuck in hoping that the other option messes up, makes a mistake. For me, that is too much uncertainty, too much time waiting on someone else. I like the ball to be in my court, I like to have some control over my fate; I like to make my own mistakes, not wait on someone else to make one.
“No! She told me when you guys were on the nature trail, she was practically asking you to kiss her” She was practically asking me to kiss her? Was I that bad a reading signs? Or was she just that bad a giving them? That night I was planning to hang out with Alison again. This time I promised myself I was going to kiss her.
I spent the whole day thinking of what I was going to do. I knew I didn’t want to wait three weeks. I had known that since she told me that she wanted to wait until her ex-boyfriend came up. And lucky for me that day I saw her in the gym. She had her hair up, with headphones in and was methadolically taking jump shots from around the court. I walked up to her and as she saw me, she took her head phones out and looked at me. “What are you doing here?”
“We need to talk.” I took the ball from her and took a jump shot.
“About what?” she asked chasing down my rebound.
“I don’t want to wait; I don’t want to be your second option.”
“What do you mean?” What did she mean, what do you mean? I was obviously talking about her telling me to wait 3 weeks to be with her. But on the outside I’m always so much nicer then my thoughts.
“You told me you wanted to wait to be with me. That you wanted to wait until Jimmy came back, so you could find out if he was an still an asshole or not. I don’t want to wait.”
“I never asked you to wait” she said. Again my mind was tumbling with confusion. “I just said that Jimmy wanted to take me out, I never said you have to wait. You don’t have to wait if you don’t want to.” “Okay” I said. I really didn’t have an answer for that. What was I going to say? I wanted her. But I didn’t want to wait, and the only way to get her was to wait. I left the gym more confused than when I had entered.
Alison and I had watched Glee every Thursday night for the last 3 weeks, and this Thursday night was no different. We always watched it in the basement of the dorms. Mainly because the TV down there was huge, and the couch was a whole lot more comfy than the one in my dorm. The couch was big enough that we could both lay down if we wanted to, but today I sat on the same cushion as her, and she didn’t seem to mind. Tonight we didn’t talk much. At least for me, I felt a little awkward after our talk. As usual after the show was done I walked her out to her car. As usual we talked a little. Tonight was colder than normal. So our talk wasn’t that long.
“Do you want a ride back” The dorms was 500 feet away but it was really damn cold.
“Yeah, sure” Right before I opened the door I leaned in to hug her. We hugged like normal, but this time I held on a little longer. I looked down at her face. I went to press my lips to her. And the worst thing happened.
I missed. I landed a direct kiss right on her cheek... After I pulled away from her cheek, she turned toward me and pulled me close, and our lips touched. It was weird. That’s the only way I could describe it. I didn’t feel wrong, I didn’t feel right. It just felt weird. I pulled away and sat in my seat for a second looking straight ahead. “Do you want to hang out tomorrow?”
“Do I get another awkward kiss?” I was really glad she brought it up. For some reason her recognizing how awkward it felt too, made it better.
“Of course” I said smiling. “You can get as many awkward kisses from me as you want.” And with that I got out of the car. And that day I walked back to the dorms not knowing what to think of myself.
I volunteered a lot while I was in college. Well I really wouldn’t call it volunteering since every time you volunteered you were paid with a t-shirt from the college store and a ten dollar gift card to Wal-Mart. It was like volunteering with payment, which would make it not really volunteering. This time I was volunteering for college night. It was an event where all the colleges in the area sent representatives to NCMC to provide information for the local college and high school students. I volunteered, with Ellen, to be the snack guy. My job was literally to sit in a room and make small talk with the representatives as they came in to get snacks. Ellen and I sat around for most of the time. It really wasn’t that exciting of a job. I tried to make it more exciting by making the representatives answer a difficult question before they could grab a snack. But that didn’t last too long; I wasn’t very good at making up questions.
I had an urge to ask Ellen a question the whole time we had been sitting there, dispersing snacks. Everyone had noticed her and Scott getting close. A little to close for her having a boyfriend. I wanted to know what was going on. I didn’t like being in the dark. “So do you and Scott have a thing?” I blurted out one of the many times nobody was in the room.
“I don’t know. I do like him. But I don’t know what to do about Ted. I’m supposed to go down and visit him this weekend. I think I’m going to break up with him down there.”
“So you’re going to drive down there just so you can break up with him?”
“Yeah I was planning on doing it and then staying down there for the weekend” People surprise me sometimes. Why would you want to break up with your boyfriend then hang out with him for two more days? To me that’s a really good way to have a terrible weekend.
“Yeah, don’t do that”
“Why not? Wouldn’t it be rude to break up with him over the phone?”
“I’d think he’d understand. And if he doesn’t he’s a jackass and deserves to be dumped over the phone. Is it really worth driving four hours just break up with him? It’s a waste of your money and your guy’s time.”
“That’s true. I just feel bad.”
“It’s okay. And plus if you break up with him over the phone you don’t have to spend the rest of the weekend awkwardly with him.”
“I think you’re right.” You could tell she had fallen into thought now, so we didn’t talk much the rest of our time spent volunteering. That was okay by me, by that time my mind was on other things. Alison had invited me go have dinner with her parents. I was only really nervous. I don’t know why I was nervous. Parents always have loved me. Well except for Sarah’s mom, but that was only because she had caught us fooling around. I guess I deserved that one.
Her parents were just like she said they were. Her mom talked a lot. When I say a lot I actually mean a ton. It was practically unbearable. Her mom was one of those people that all you had to do to keep them talking was say “yep” or “I understand”. I think 95 percent of my night was spent listening to her talk about nothing. Her dad was very chill. He was about as tall as me, but twice as wide. Alison looked like her mom, and her little brother looked like her dad. Overall they were a pretty ordinary family, nothing to be scared of, and they seemed to like me. We ate dinner and then played Euchre. It’s a card game that pretty much everyone in Northern Michigan knows how to play. For some reason her brother wanted to be my partner. By the end of the night it proved to be a pretty awesome partnership though, because we kicked ass. We beat Alison’s mom and dad, then Alison and her mom, and then Alison and her dad. It was a pretty fun night. I went over there at least once a week, and each time I felt a little more comfortable there. That was more than what I could say for Alison’s and mine relationship.
We had been dating three weeks and still hadn’t fallen out of the awkward dating phase. It was just like our first kiss, being around her, holding her, and kissing her, it didn’t feel wrong, but in no way did it feel right. She stayed over at my dorm when Lawrence would go home. Most of the time we would sit and watch a movie then go to bed. I never grew up the courage to ask her if she wanted to sleep in the same bed as me. I had thought if Alison and I weren’t right for each other, that maybe I should end things. I really thought about it a week into our relationship when I went with Lawrence to dinner with two girls. One of them had a boyfriend and the other Lawrence was going after. I didn’t see the problem with it. But her, she saw it as a enough of a problem to not talk to me for a day. We had been dating for a week and I had already got the silent treatment for a day. That wasn’t the best way to start a relationship by any means. When we finally discussed it two days later I said “Alison you’re going to have to give me time to get to know you. I’m not going to know everything you like and don’t like. I’m going to make mistakes and you’ll just have to be patient and let me learn from them. I can’t have you giving me the silent treatment every time I make one. If you do that we won’t be talking half of our relationship.”
“Damien” she said. You could tell she was still upset. A person’s eyes and voice are the best way to tell a person’s emotions. “We’ve been dating a week; you should know what bothers me.” Or people are just blunt and let you know you emotions.
I don’t know how many time I’m thankful that I have the ability to hold my want to outburst at times. Right now was one of those times. I wanted to ask her what the fuck she was thinking. I wanted to yell at her, tell her expectations were way to high. But on the outside I was a nice boyfriend and said “I’m sorry” and walked her to her class.
This Sunday was Halloween, and tomorrow a ton of people from the dorms were going to a party. I was sitting in my dorm just watching the History channel. When I got a phone call from my dad. I had given blood about two weeks ago with Lawrence at the time it was nothing, just me contributing to society, possibly saving three lives in the future.
“So we got a letter from the red cross today.” my dad said
“Yeah that should have my Id card for the red cross”
“Damien can you just listen for a second” my dad said fairly harshly.
“This letter says that the preliminary test on your blood detected possible HIV viruses.”
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