I was at my friends house who I met on the lacrosse team. She was having a mixer with the guys team at her apartment above a local pizzeria on the corner of Main and Harrison.
He caught my eye when I saw him first walk through the door. I remember wanting to talk to him, but I was just a freshman at the time and he was older; handsomely intimidating. Then I saw him walk over to me. His black rimmed glasses matched his dark hair and dark eyes as they glistened when he smiled and held out his hand.
“Hey I’m James. It’s nice to meet you,” he said. I shook his hand and told him my name.
“I’m Lexie. Nice to meet you too…” Our conversation didn’t last long.
“Who was that?” I asked one of the girls on my team.
“Oh, James? Yeah he’s super nice. I think he has a girlfriend though.” I was shocked. I mean I know that nice guys can have boyfriends (and most of them do) but there was something about James that made me think that whoever this other girl was, it wasn’t forever.
So that was the first night Jame sand I ever met. I was a freshman, he was a junior. Since then we’ve had many encounters from which I have become quickly infatuated with him (as any freshman would). He was a nice, superior, attractive lacrosse player.. who wouldn’t?
To my surprise the girlfriend rumor was true, but that didn’t stop me from thinking it was only temporary- even if they have been together for two years and she’s in grad school at Columbia. After all, a girlfriend is never permanent as my aunt would say. Life has a funny way of happening.
The next encounter was sober at a wrap place on campus. I remember thinking it was strange he was there, because he was a junior and still had a meal plan in which he was ordering shitty on-campus food.. but hey I didn’t question it. I loved this shitty wrap place for all that it offered and until that day I didn’t know that apparently he felt the same.
“Hey James!” I said when I walked in. I asked him why he was here, and I found out he actually loved Croutons. I replied that I’m too poor to eat real food, and then he suggested that I apply for a job at the gym – where he works.
“Yeah I’ll totally put in a good word for you, here take down my number.” I was kind of freaking out at this point. Is this what boys with girlfriends do?! For some reason I didn’t think so.
Next encounter: boys lacrosse mixer. At this point it was at least a couple months after our original encounter and my growing fascination has only gotten bigger. So, I did what any hopeless romantic would do. I took a penny, and I started spinning it on the counter (all by myself, might I add). I told myself that if it landed on tails something would happen down the road between us.. if it landed on heads I’d let it go. I watched as it spun in rapid circles, slowly slowing, slowing, slowing- SLAM. I looked over. James’ hand.
“What are you doing?!?!” I said in a frantic panic as his hand came crashing down on my spinning penny.
“What are YOU doing?!” he said, throwing the penny into the bathroom off the hall. My heart was racing. I quickly ran into the bathroom and searched for the penny, which I ended up finding behind the toilet- tails up. I smiled so big I couldn’t feel my cheeks.
The whole rest of the night, I would look over at James from across the kitchen and catch his eye looking my way. I don’t know if he was just drunk, but for some reason he had this stupid smile on his face that I can still see clearly- and he wouldn’t look away. It was definitely weird, and I noticed that it was weird.
That night he walked me back to my friend’s house where I was staying the night. It was all of three blocks away, but he walked me to the corner and offered to walk me the couple houses in. The whole time we talked about our love for Croutons and how all of our friends thought we were so weird. Then we got to the corner.
“Do you want me to walk you to the door?” He said, and I respectfully declined, although I wanted with all my heart for him to do that.
“It’s really okay, thanks so much for walking me home though, you’re not far are you?”
“Nah, this was on my way anyways.” I smiled and we hugged goodbye. He told me to text him, and I did. But the message didn’t go through.
I thought it was a sign, and after all.. he IS in a relationship, even if it is long distance. I was going to leave it at that, but I was a little drunk and I really wanted to talk to him, so I sent it again. Still didn’t deliver. That’s when I decided that it really wasn’t meant to be. At least not now; not tonight.
Since then, I got the job at the gym. As my sophomore year creeped around we started working more and more shifts together. He was always my supervisor, and although he could be serious when he had to be, we would always joke around.
I have never had more fun on shifts than when I was with James. I looked forward every week to those Tuesday morning shifts we shared together.
I remember distinctly there was one specific shift where we were laughing and joking around the whole time- I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much. Three hours straight and I just didn’t stop. At the end of the shift he clocked out and left. I remember watching as him and his black backpack and khakis walked out the door.. that was the first time I realized I was actually going to miss him. He was only all of six feet away from me and I already missed him being there.
And now he’s in Boston. Grad school at Suffolk Law.
There was something different about James. I know I say that about a lot of guys, but with James we call each other names and laugh at jokes no one else understands. He’ll send me weird pictures of funny memes everyone else thinks are weird and I’ll have a good time simply by just being in his presence.
Since he’s been away at law school he’s texted me, he’s said he’ll miss me and my weird sense of humor when I wished him the best of luck at Suffolk. I remember the first day he moved in this semester he texted me saying “My roommates from Jersey.. I just can’t escape you people”. I laughed.
I just don’t know. He’s friendly towards everyone- he’s a nice guy, and as far as I’m concerned he’s still dating that girl from high school.
How can I feel so emotionally connected to someone if they’re in a relationship? Is it possible that those feelings can be omens that later on down the road reveal themselves as a reality? But at the same time I can’t hold onto the idea of us ever being together- especially when I’m 13 miles away, and I’m not getting any younger. I need to go out and experience life without being caught up in this preconceived dream of me and James somehow falling for each other one day.
I still think it will happen, but I just don’t know when or where. I hope that it’s sometime soon, though.
To be continued…