PART I - THE BEGINNING
It wasn’t love at first sight. It wasn’t even lust at first sight.
Come to think of it, I can’t really recall the “first sight.”
Andrew was, at the time, under harsh tower orders from an 80 lb. warden and the rules were simple - Don’t talk to anything with female genitalia. Don’t leave your tower. Don’t have fun. And don’t you dare leave your tower to have fun and talk to anything with female genitalia.
(It is important to note that this was not my personal opinion of his former girlfriend. This description was more or less recited to me on a number of occasions from a number of different people. I don’t remember this being Andrew’s situation simply because I didn’t notice nor care about Andrew until much, much later.)
I was under different orders. From myself. My rules were also simple - Party your face off.
Andrew and I both fulfilled our duties wilfully and with precision.
By the time March 2012 rolled around, I had already “known” Andrew for almost two years, or so I’ve been told. I was a junior at Florida State and still living (The Dream) with my roommates-turned-best-friends. It was my friend Thomas’ birthday so naturally we were drinking heavily at our apartment before we went out to drink heavily at the club.
Andrew was there.
I know this only because of three reasons:
- There are pictures documenting that night
- The events that transcribed that night
- I’m probably in this relationship because of that night
Anyways, he was there, and I thought it strange. He never partied with us. I said this to him, to which he replied, “I’m not going out. I’m just here to pre-game.” This made more sense.
Thomas is his best friend, so he’s here due to moral obligation, not because he’s fun.
Then a strange thing happened. Andrew decided to come out. At the time I thought it was because he just decided to be fun for once. Later he explained that it had more to do with the fact that I was wearing half a shirt and there were jello shots involved.
Every girl’s fairy tale.
March 24, 2012
We go out. We bring flasks of tequila. We drink and dance and laugh and take pictures. Andrew is intoxicated, and everyone is amused; it is a rare sighting.
It is the end of the night and I’m walking up the stairs to my apartment when I get a text from an unknown number.
“where r you” the mystery number implores.
I go to sleep.
The next afternoon we are at The Boys’ apartment and collectively make fun of Andrew for his level of inebriation and drunken over-friendliness / borderline molestation. I mention something about pictures and posting them to Facebook.
When I wake up for class at 9 am the next day, the very first thing I see is a long text from the same "unknown" number. I realize very quickly the “mystery” number is Andrew. I know this because the text is one of those long ones that requires scrolling and it is filled with mean things directed at me and the now-infamous pictures.
I don’t remember exactly what was said, but I do remember this line :
“I know none of you respect my relationship with The Warden, but if you had any respect for me you’ll take those pictures down.”
I respond : “I think it’s cute that you think I give enough of a shit about your dumb ass relationship that I would try to sabotage it. I’m glad you think so highly of me. No one cares about your dysfunctional relationship. I’m not taking the pictures down but I’ll untag you.”
I don’t see him again for three months.
July 4, 2012
I still hate Andrew, but agree to go to The Boys’ for Independence Day festivities. I show up with a case of beer and Andrew helps me carry it inside. He asks me to play beer pong with him. I take it as his douchey-version of an olive branch and begrudgingly say yes.
He is nice to me for the rest of the night. It annoys me.
August 27, 2012
Everyone is gone.
My brother is in China teaching English. My roommates-turned-best-friends have graduated. The boy-from-back-home that I have been trying & failing to have feelings for for the past four years decided we are better as friends.
I still have The Boys and my old neighbors and new roommates but it’s not the same. My roommates aka soulmates have fled the Tally bubble and left me to drunkenly and naively fend for myself.
It is the first day of my senior year of college and everyone I love most is gone.
I go to the campus gym, the Leach, between my classes. I’m about to workout my abs when I hear someone say my name. When I turn around I see that it’s Andrew.
“Oh hey,” I say, “what’s up?”
We trade banter for a few minutes. I ask about his new place with The Boys; he asks me about life without Estefa and Danielle.
“Have you been to the new gym?” He asks. I say no.
“Oh it’s beautiful. Super nice. And no one knows it’s open so it’s a lot less crowded than the Leach. We should go sometime.”
“Sure,” I say, “I’m down.”
He asks for my number, which I find particularly amusing, as a mere five months ago he drunk thirst-texted / yelled at me within the span of 48 hours.
I don’t mention this as I recite my number.
I don’t think anything of the exchange as I finish my workout, so when he actually does text me, I’m surprised.
I also don’t have his number so I’m not sure who it is. Ha-ha.
We make plans to workout together.
Late September 2012
He puts in a lot of work. I am naive and still think he is just being a nice friend even though he keeps saying really sexually suggestive things to me. Friends suggest banging it out in the gym locker room, right?
Anyways, against my better judgement I eventually succumb to his game and stay the night. It still doesn’t make any sense to me, but I am sad and lonely and he is nice to me. Also his arms are as big as my head. That helps.
Still Late September - 5 a.m.
I can’t believe what I just did. I also can’t believe that I did what I just did and also stayed the night. Rookie move, Jill. Rookie move.
When I try to stealthily get dressed and leave he wakes up.
He insists on walking me to my car even though I’m insisting harder that please, no, (for the love of God), it’s fine.
We get to my car and I don’t really know what to do. It’s 5 a.m. I just had sex with one of The Boys. What do you do after you have sex with one of your friends???
I extend my hand.
Andrew looks at my outstretched hand, then at me, then back at my hand. Apparently this is not how you say goodbye to someone who just saw you in nothing but combat boots.
He looks at me and smiles and says “Get the fuck out of here with that” and hugs me.
My whole body tenses.
FSU - Fall Semester 2012
I fall in love.
-- in love