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Fleeting romance: remembering four years of seeing your freshmen hookup around campus

humor

1
0
2040
2

George Washington University

campus

- satire

Fleeting romance: remembering four years of seeing your freshmen hookup around campus

One night; one boy; one million moments thinking, "What could have been?"

Audrey Whitehurst

10.12.17

It started out innocently enough. I was just a girl, eighteen, heart full of hope and stomach full of pink lemonade Burnetts, sitting on the bottom bunk of a crowded Thurston quad. You were just a boy, dressed in a penguin onesie, serving drinks over the makeshift bar built out of two dorm-issued dressers. I still wonder about the circumstances that brought us to the same Halloween party that year, what magical forces were at play that lured both of us, two strangers, to that hazy, neon-lit dorm. Was it fate? Was it God? Was it a mutual friend from my Intro to Comparative Politics discussion? Who's to say? All I can be sure of is we were young, the party was heating up, and I was high on the euphoric energy of infinite possibilities...and whatever Kyle rolled into the spliff.

Our eyes met across the liquor covered boudoir when I came to refresh my Gold Emblem Cola and vodka. My heart rate increased, my breath shortened, my hands were unsteady. Was it love at first sight that was clouding my senses, or was it the smoke leaking out from beneath the bathroom door? And then you said those magic words, the words that I remember to this day, that have stuck with me all these years:

“We are all out of Burnetts, is PBR okay?”

You had me right then and there. We spent the rest of the night engrossed in conversation, sharing ideas and values. We talked about everything, from the Israeli-Palestine conflict to Foster over Yezer. And when the time came you proposed we go Monumenting together and I was overcome.
But we never made it to the WWII memorial. Not even to the Washington monument. We got trapped in each other’s budding sexuality, caught in the blissful web of post-adolescent freedom hurried forward by our indulgence, and made out in the Thurston stairwell. I didn’t even care about the the empty FourLoko cans that crunched beneath our stumbling feet or the condom wrappers that teased of the future we could have. I knew in that moment, as your hands struggled to unclasp my push-up bra, that something special was forming between us.

The next morning, my mind was clouded by mystery and dehydration, and it wasn’t until well into the afternoon did I remember your name. I searched my contacts, my recent call log, my messages, but there was no trace of you. It took me two days to build up the courage to send you a friend request, but after a week, you were already fading, like a ghost.

I had almost already forgotten our brief affair when I saw you a month later on the first really cold day of the season. I was rushing back to my dorm to escape the 30 degree chill after a long day, my hair in a messy bun and a fresh Chipotle burrito tucked under my arm. I was excited to spend a nice evening alone when you caught my eye, standing in the tundra around the benches outside Thurston smoking with friends. I didn’t know you smoked, and for a moment it felt like I didn’t know you at all. But then you looked at me, and saw me in all my exhausted glory, and with considerate subtlety, gave me a kind nod.

We were so young then, but it became our ritual. For the next few weeks whenever I saw you around campus, we would pass between us that simple, knowing look. When we passed on the street, or in Carvings, or on the stairway in Elliot. Things intensified during spring semester when we both had class in SMPA and we passed each other hurriedly at least twice a week. I began to wonder about you. Wonder how you were, how you were feeling. Sometimes I would see your Facebook updates and feel relieved to see you smiling and happy with your friends.

I didn’t see you during the summer, and maybe that would have been the end of it, until I found out that fall we were both enrolled in Geology 1001. On the first day of class we both sat in the back row, and I imagined during the lecture how our relationship would grow. Unfortunately, the class was at 8 AM and when I saw on the syllabus attendance wasn’t mandatory, I knew I’d never see you again.

A few weeks into the semester, I saw you coming out of Whole Foods with a girl. She was laughing at a joke you just told her, your hands clasped eagerly together. I couldn’t help but wonder if she knew about us, what we had had together. I was sad, but relieved that you had been able to move on from our wild night. You seemed happy.

Months later, I learned that you had become friends with my randomly assigned roommate for Junior year. I heard your name passed between her friends. You and the girl hadn’t worked out; bummer. And then one random Sunday, junior year; while I fiddled with the gas stove in my Munson dorm, I heard a knock on the door. Imagine my surprise when it was you standing in my doorway, your big, sleepy eyes just as shocked to find me. I know you came looking for your friend who had gotten strung out on Ketamine and punched a guy at Town the night before, but I couldn’t help but feel it was God himself had brought us together. Unfortunately, I had not seen your friend, and you slipped from my grasp once more.

College has been a wild ride, full of ups and downs, and strange encounters. I can’t help but look back on my relationship with you as the anchor that kept me steady. I guess for that I am thankful. And now, looking forward into our last year at George Washington, I can only imagine what fate has in store for us now. But no matter what happens, we will always have that magical night in Thurston to keep in our hearts.