I was standing on a porch outside an apartment where a party was taking place. An acquaintance – that early in one’s freshman year all are acquaintances – had gotten me into the party. Now that I look back on it, in the peripheral vision of my memory things are clouded, though it was only autumn 2014.
Just barely below me stood a small crowd of boys. I don’t remember why, but I asked them, “Am I really beautiful?” Some said “Yes,” emphatically, while others simply nodded vehemently. He was one who nodded. His is the only reaction I remember with clarity.
I’d heard him spoken of before this meeting. People spoke about him as if he was a god. No one had anything bad to say about him.
I was drawn to him from the first time I heard his name spoken. I was attracted, not in the romantic sense, but he was like a riptide, pulling me toward him. I wanted so desperately to know him, to be his friend.
That night, he made sure I got a ride home with him through the university sober driver program, since my dorm was so far from the party and it was late. I was dropped off first. From then on, we were friends.