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I had met B. when he visited Allegheny on a football recruiting trip. I was a 18 and a freshman in college, he had just turned 18 and was a senior in high school. I don't remember much about that night, because it was February 2002, not to mention the annual Mardi Gras party at the football house and the guys made sure my cup of jungle juice was never empty. I basically remember my outfit, lots of fog, making out with my crush, and meeting B., who just so happened to be my crush's recruit.
I had heard about B. even before I saw him that night. In college and grad school, I had a very distinct type, and B. was it to a tee. More than one of my friends IMed me and said, "Have you seen C.R.'s recruit?! You're going to love him!" I was already so excited for this party (and my outfit), so this was just icing on the cake.
I still remember what B. was wearing that night: A blue Gap hoodie and jeans. I can see him standing near the basement stairs, where I smiled and drunkenly slurred, "Hey, what's up?," plain as day.
I woke up the next morning with a killer hangover, bruises from falling into a cement pole, and a tinge of sadness, because I thought for sure I'd never see that gorgeous guy again.
Fast forward a few months to October 2002. I was having lunch with my roommate and her boyfriend and he said to me, "You know, you could do a lot better than C.R., he's kind of a dick. How about that B. kid, he's a solid guy?" Just as he said that, B. came walking down the stairs into Brooks Dining Hall and I stopped dead in my tracks; there he was. I remember that moment as if it were yesterday. With my mouth agape, my eyes followed him as he walked in and got his tray. At that point, my body somehow managed to start moving and I was heading toward the tray return area when our eyes locked. I think love at first sight is pretty bogus, but when he winked at me and gave me a head nod, I was a goner.
Over the next few weeks, a crazy friend did some detective work, found his AIM screen name and we started talking. Even though this was nearly 11 years ago, I still remember it all so vividly. Being in my dorm room (281 Walker Annex), the way my desk was setup, sitting on AIM in the dark until the wee hours of the morning talking about nothing at all, and everything at the same time. I wish I hadn't taken those days, or my four years of college for granted. We don't realize how good our lives are then (I'm really getting off track here). Anywho....
Over the next three years, our relationship was pretty tumultuous. When it was good, it was really good. When it was bad, we wouldn't speak to each other for six months. One of our silent periods was jealousy-fueled. I'm racking my brain trying to figure out why I stopped talking to him junior year when we had a class together. I still can't remember, but I do remember how he would stare at me from across the table our study group had commandeered in the library, while I tried to actively pretend he wasn't there. As you can see, we were really good at being mature. Looking back, that was all foreshadowing of our post-college relationship.
Through all of the madness, even when I hated his guts, I still loved him. However, I would never admit that to his face, even when he asked. Part of it was because I was afraid I'd lose him all together if I confessed how I felt, but looking back, I know the bigger reason is because I wasn't ready. After my dad died, I learned to not talk about my feelings because I wanted to stay strong for my mom. Naturally, when my brother or I got sad, so did she. My solution was to put forward a strong facade and not talk about how I felt. I know now that wasn't healthy, and led to me having a really difficult time discussing my feelings. As I've gotten older, though, I've made a point to actively work through that, so it keeps getting easier.
As my last semester was winding down, I was not only sad about leaving my friends and a college community I loved, but I was leaving B., with so much unresolved. I thought for sure that once I left Allegheny, I would never see or hear from him again. By the time I graduated, he was seeing someone else and the friendship we once had was all but gone. There was no animosity, but we barely talked outside of class.