My senior year began with a move into a beautiful brown-bricked building named Haven and a honor's thesis that promised to destroy my social life. At the time, I was very conflicted about a moody writer I had been half-dating for about a year who was on his way out to California. I'd spent the last few weeks of my summer vacation weeping into wine glasses and buying trendy clothes I told myself I'd be wearing when I met him in Los Angeles.
When I met Ben, he had just come home from a year abroad and was hanging around a lot of my friends (and his old friends, I suppose). I thought he was really cute (especially since he knocked off his foot-long ponytail since I'd last seen him) and I liked how crazy smart he was, but he seemed too clueless to actually date. I could tell he had a crush on me because I always made him blush and he asked me lots of questions and laughed at everything I said. I even remember calling my brother and telling him some guy from my floor who liked Rubik cubes and Japanesse was stalking me behind trees with his longboard.
A week or two after we met, our school held it's annual Folk n' Blues festival (it has another name us kids like to call it, but I'll just let you guess that on your own...) and my friend invited me over to her room to pregame with Ben. I wore a red dress and cowboy boots and Ben, Jen and I took shots of whiskey in her room and I gagged a lot because I'm not a very good drinker.
After the festival (which I spent shamelessly flirting with Ben), we all went to the campus bar and listened to a DJ in the basement. I danced with Ben and when the music stopped he grabbed my hand to lead me through the crowd, and I know it sounds silly, but I knew we were going to fall in love.
We talked a lot and I really liked that. I felt consumed. We drank a lot of wine and made dinner every night and showed each other our favorite movies. I read him essays from my thesis and hated that he liked every one. He read me a passage from The Brothers Karamazov and I cried into my pillow and felt so liberal-artsy. I called my mother and told her I wanted to visit graduate schools in Boston during winter break and she called back to ask if I was seeing a boy from the east coast.
A month went by and Ben kept asking me to be his girlfriend and move to New Hampshire with him.
I can't... we live in different parts of the country and this is our last year of school...I think I love this guy in California...
One night, Ben brought over a case of PBR and a pizza he'd found in a trash can and we stayed up until 5 a.m. eating and drinking. He told me he wanted me to make-up my mind or he was going to "bounce". Then he teared up and said he hoped we could walk around holding hands one day.
I don't know when we decided to be a couple, but the first night we said "I love you" we were outside of a French House party and were hiding behind some bushes so our friends didn't see us together and think we were dating. Ben said he loved me and I said it back and we kissed and I thought I saw fireworks. Really.
About six months after that I was writing this paper (last minute) for this philosophy class I was taking on AI. I was really in over my head and just had a full blown wig out in front Ben. He made me buttered noodles and calmly talked me through my thoughts and notes until 6 a.m. when the paper was finished. He was so kind and supportive and I didn't even feel like I needed to explain myself. Like he just knew all the gory parts. Like it had always been this way and it always would be. I don't know how to describe it really, it just was. It just started and it never stopped.