She had a boyfriend. I’m not sure when she told me but I’m sure I shook my fists at the heavens, stomped on some flowers, cried myself to sleep and then erased the event from my memory. I considered it a major setback in our future relationship. Possibly fatal, but my family came to my rescue.
My Dad and sister came to visit one weekend in February. We ate and came back to my dorm room to hang out and that is when we noticed the flashing button on my answering machine. It went something like this: “Hi Clay, this is April from Drawing class. I just wanted to call and find out how the nude model was today. I mean, how weird is that? I just couldn’t go. So, um, call me back. My numbers is flippity one flappity two. Ok? Well, bye.” I listened and although I was excited that she called, I chalked it up to a girl wanting some info from a friend and nothing more. My sister picked up on it right away, “so she called you to talk about a nude model in drawing class? Please. No, she likes you.” I said, “No, no. She has a boyfriend back home.” That’s when Dad said, “Clay, you’re here and he’s there.”
He is there. I am here. She is here. I had a glimmer of hope. I have to say that despite the “all is fair in love and war,” a dude doesn’t go after another guy’s girl so it was a faint glimmer, but a glimmer none the less.
That weekend, the RA on my floor scheduled a “mixer” with an “all girl” dorm on the other side of campus. I got ready and about twenty of us headed over to meet chicks and watch “Taxi Driver.” Why “Taxi Driver?” I have no idea but when you really think about it, isn’t Taxi Driver on your top ten date movie list? We met the girls, talked about the pluses and minuses of dating and relationships (good gravy it was boring) and headed back up to the lobby to watch the movie. I was feeling a little like I wanted to get the heck out of there when I heard April. Actually, I heard her laugh. If you need a first hand account, listen to this video. April has a laugh so loud that it takes a little while to gauge the distance and hone in on the source. But I kept following the sound and found her heading out the door with some of her roommates to get some frozen yogurt. She asked what I was doing and I told her about the movie and the boredom. After about ten minutes of conversation her friend gave up on the yogurt trip and headed back to her room while April and I spent the remainder of the movie talking. Boyfriend? What boyfriend?
Talking during class and seeing each other around campus was working well, but April had larger plans and invited me to meet her sister.
Okay, now that is cool. I was going to get the sister evaluation, that’s just one step from “I want you to meet my parents” and I was excited and a little anxious. We got to Rechelle’s apartment, she opened the door and said “So this is Clay, LOOK AT ALL THAT HAIR!! HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HAAA!!.” Yep, she was April’s sister. Here is an example of Rechelle’s laugh if you want get the full effect.
The three of us talked. There was laughing, and stories, and even some dancing and after about an hour, April and I left. I was feeling pretty good about the first impression. And apparently so was April. She asked me a few questions like, “So do you like Rechelle?” and “Isn’t she nice?” and “Do you want this picture of her?” It slowly dawned on me that I had been taken to meet her sister not to get the “potential boyfriend” evaluation, I was taken over there to get the “I’ve got a guy for you that I think you’ll like” evaluation. April was interested in me for her sister. She told me later that both she and Rechelle had ideal husband “looks.” Rechelle’s ideal husband look was a guy with red hair and green eyes. April’s ideal husband look was a guy with black hair and blue eyes. Obviously, I fit within the Rechelle husband category.
Once again I went through the shaking fists, stomped flowers, and endless weeping. But I didn’t erase that from my memory. Instead, I decided that I would have none of that and needed to step up my game. No matter what the guy code said, I needed to pursue this girl with 100% commitment.
So I asked her out on a date. Or a friend trip. Or whatever you call those. I asked her to go to a basketball game on a Saturday afternoon “just as friends” and she said OK. She met me at the field house and we went in.
April doesn’t like sports. And when I say “doesn’t like,” I mean “hates with a fiery passion.” I was enjoying the game but when I would glance over to her she would be looking at the rafters, the seats to her left, the popcorn on the floor, anything but the game. She was bored to death. I made a few attempts to get her involved. I would say “April, that was a great play. Let’s cheer. YAY!!” and she would look over at me and say “yay…” and then look back at the rafters and sigh. This friend trip wasn’t going well.
At halftime I decided I would give her the out that she wanted. I said “Well, um, do you want to go?” She looked at me and said “Yes” like “isn’t it obvious?” Um, yea, when you started yawning and straightening your cuticles, I kind of got the jist. My heart sank and I was feeling inadequate. I then said “Do you want me to go with you?” I was fully expecting her to say “Um, no, you stay and enjoy the game. You seem to be having a great time and I’ll just slip out. See you at class on Monday” but she surprised me with “Yes. Lets go to my dorm and get something to eat.”
Ok, who is this girl? We left the field house and headed across campus. It was during that hike and the experience that we had along the way that I began to see the real April.
[to be continued]