Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Journey-Part 1

The story of David and I is my favorite story.  We had a bit of a journey we had to make before we became us, and some of it is kind of hard to write about.  I didn't like who I was for some of the journey.  But, having said that, surviving what we did makes where we are and what we have today that much better.  This multi-part post is my journey to David.

The journey started about 4 years before I actually met David; I had to meet some other people before he would be introduced into my life.  It begins with Fenton Face.  I met Fenton my second year at WOU (it was still WOSC back then) in a History of the U.S. (HST 203) class.  HST 203 was a Monday, Wednesday, and Friday class.  Just before history, and with a small break in between, I was taking a Walking and Jogging class (PE 112) which was also a Monday, Wednesday and Friday class.  My normal routine was to go back to the room after PE 112 and freshen up before HST 203.  The day I met Fenton PE 112 had run late and I had to decide if I wanted to go home and change and be late for HST 203 or if I wanted to just go to class in all my after PE 112 splendor.  I decided to risk it because chances were if I was going to be late I just might not bother going, and that would be a bad idea.

PE 112 was not far from where HST 203 was taught, the bottom floor in Bellamy Hall (I don't think I ever called the building by that name,  we always called it HSS).  I spent a lot of time in that building, but on other floors.  It's where most of, if not all, my English Lit classes were taught.  As an English Minor I took a lot of English Lit classes.  The bottom floor of HSS felt like a dungeon.  The color scheme was a dirty paste color, making it feel dull and gloomy.  The florescent lighting did nothing to enhance things.  When I got there, there was still a class in the room, so I took a seat at an empty desk that was just sitting in the hall.  I was still hot and sweaty from PE 112.  As I sat there and cooled down, I closed my eyes and put my head up against the wall.  When I opened my eyes I was looking up at the ceiling and noticed the strangest thing, there was a colored circle sticker on one of the ceiling tile supports.

ta da! (yes, I actually have a picture of one)
Interesting.  I looked a little further down and saw another.  There were colored dots on the ceiling up and down the hall.  I wondered if they were some sort of class experiment or for some sort of training.  As I was sitting there staring up at the dots on the ceiling and wondering what they meant, some one joined me in the hall.  When I looked to see who it was, there was a guy I couldn't remember ever having seen before standing across the hall from me looking at me like I might be crazy.  

I couldn't have this complete stranger thinking I was strange, and then I realized I must look fantastic in my PE 112 attire.  I had to take attention away from me, "Have you ever noticed there are colored dot stickers on the ceiling?" I asked. 

He looked up, "No.  That's strange."

Now he was looking up at the ceiling and not at me, crisis averted.   We chatted about the colored dots until people started pouring out into the hall, and we were able to go into the classroom.  I went over to my usual spot.  My friend, Ellen Hart, was in the class with me and we sat together on one side of the room.  He took a seat in the desk just in front of where Ellen sat.  I wondered if he always sat there, because I couldn't remember who actually sat there.  We didn't say anything else to each other, but I kept glancing at him in class and noticed he looked back a few times.  Ellen was oblivious, and I didn't volunteer anything.  I didn't have the best luck with guys, and I had worse luck when I told my friends (there is a story behind that, future post).  Ellen was getting irritated with me because I was too distracted to play our favorite game in class-keeping a tally of how often the Professor Johnson (PJ) looked at the ceiling or anywhere above the heads of her students rather than making any kind of eye contact.  After class he ducked out before I had a chance to say anything, had I even wanted to.  I wondered if he would talk to me again or if this was it.

I was early for the next HST 203 class, he arrived early too.  Now, I'm not sure if he was showing up early or that was just the time he always arrived.  I said hello and he said hello, and we stood in the hall making small talk about the class, the weather, and just about anything that came to mind.  When we got to go into the room and sit down he sat next to me this time.  Ellen shot me a look when she came in, but didn't say anything as she sat in the empty desk on the other side of me.  Towards the end of class I noticed he wrote a name and number on a slip of paper, was that going to be for me?  I casually did the same, just in case, because I didn't want to be the only one with a number and the expectation that I would be calling him first.  

At the end of class, as he was packing up, he leaned over and handed me the slip of paper, "I'm Fenton" he said  "Maybe we can hang out sometime?"

I handed him my slip of paper, introduced myself, and told him that would be cool.  Could I have sounded any more goofy?  It was the first time in college I had gotten a guys number, and I didn't even ask for it.  But now I had the dilemma of do I call him or do I wait for him to call me.  At least it was still an even playing field, it would have been worse if I hadn't given him my number.  Now that there was actually a chance a guy would be calling me I had to say something to my roommate, so when I got back to the room after class I casually mentioned I had swapped numbers with a guy in class and he might be calling.  She assumed it was for a study group, and rather than explain I just let her believe that.  We went out that night for a girls night and when we got back to the room I had a voice message.  It seemed to late to call, so I waited until the afternoon the following day.  We made plans to go out and grab a bite after class.  There was a local pizza place that everyone went to and that was our destination.

After HST 203 he drove us to the pizza place and we had our first date.  I think we both were a little nervous, but it didn't take long to be at ease.  We had a lot of common interests and it was easy to fall into a topic and talk about it the whole time.  One of the perks of being a sci-fi/fantasy fan and meeting other sci-fi/fantasy fans.  As he took me home he was already talking about the next time we got together.  We had several meals together before he met my friend group.  It was several hangouts and dinners later that the topic of meeting his family and seeing his place came up, and we had been hanging out for about a month before it actually happened.

I was invited up to his place on Halloween to meet his mom and his sister, Cestus, in a casual environment.  His mom worked from home and was having a Halloween party with some of her clients.  I was nervous because this moment had been built up somewhat.  I wasn't worried about meeting his mom, I usually did well with parents.  It was Cestus I was nervous about.  He had built her up as a big fucking ball of crazy.  I was warned she could be intimidating and may not be overly friendly.  He assured me she was like that with everyone and it was really his mom who mattered.  I kept telling myself that.

The night came, and he drove me up after class.  We'd hang out for a little while and then go grab dinner somewhere and he'd take me back to campus.  I could do this.  His mom greeted us at the door and gave me the biggest hug.  She welcomed me to her home, told me it was nice to finally meet me, and told us to enjoy ourselves.  She had to play hostess so I didn't see much of her after that.  Fenton showed me around the house a little bit, including showing me his room.  It was a nerd's dream, well, if you were a Star Wars/Star Trek type of nerd.  There were models and posters and pristine packaged actions figures everywhere.  He was as true collector.  He had an impressive movie collection as well which included several of my favorites and ones I wanted to see.  As we were making our way out we encountered Cestus.  She was nicer than I thought she would be, but she wasn't particularly warm.  Thankfully she was helping her mother play hostess and it was a brief encounter.  I breathed a sigh of relief as we drove off.  I had survived the meeting.  Fenton told me his mom had given me the thumbs up, I had passed the mom test. 

This had me wondering where things were going.  We had been hanging out for about a month, there was no kind of relationship status established, no physical contact but there was a vibe that it wasn't unwelcome.  So, after dinner as he was driving me home, in an uncharacteristically forward move, I asked him what he was looking for from our hanging out.  I had caught him off guard, but he recovered well and we had a discussion that led to the determination that we were a couple and when he dropped me off that night we had our first kiss.   

Fenton and I, edited for my amusement
The journey had begun, I just didn't know which one yet.  

Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4

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