The first time I met Maddie was on an afternoon in res. Caitlin coerced me into sitting at a table with some of her Habitat for Humanity friends. We sat down and our introductions weren’t much different than the average college student meeting another via a mutual friend. We raised our voices just enough to be heard over the table and the roar of the cafeteria around us.
I went on like normal talking to Caitlin’s boyfriend about music and instruments when all of a sudden I heard Maddie utter “Heisenberg.”
“HOLD ON,” I interrupted. Realizing I just made an event of it over the utterance of Breaking Bad, I played it off with a chuckle. “Breaking Bad?” I asked eagerly, “Which season are you on?”
Maddie had just gotten into the third season. I had to refrain myself from telling her about Gustavo Fring. We talked about the pink teddy bear instead, and how shitty Jesse’s girlfriend was. She hated Jesse, I thought he was just misunderstood. Instantly we clicked. I wasted no time asking Caitlin after lunch what Maddie’s status was, and I got informed that she had a boyfriend. Drat.
But even still, we had a lot of lunches together after that, mainly Wednesdays and Thursdays. I looked forward to it. She’d effortlessly get me belly laughing, I haven’t met a chick who gets me laughing like that in a long time.
We eventually got to talking about music one day when at lunch she was wearing a Circa Survive shirt. That was a good sign for me: she was into good music, awesome. Turns out we have the same favorite Death Cab record in Plans. Talking about where we would listen to the album, she would always listen to “Marching Bands of Manhattan” in her headphones on the way to her swim meets. I would listen to “Summer Skin” and “Soul Meets Body” on long sticky night drives over summer break
I saw her one afternoon lying out in the fields by the CVPA. She was taking pictures for a project of hers and I opted to volunteer for it. She asked me for a quote, any quote. I decided this was my time to really relay to the world my juvenile wisdom of the ages: “The grass is always greener after the rain, stay up and stay positive.” I couldn’t have been more cliché, but that didn’t matter to me at the time.
We went to Chipotle that night for dinner. She loved burritos, come to find out. As she was unwrapping the foil off of her mammoth amygdala of food, she looked at me and said “how can anyone not love a burrito? It’s all the best things wrapped up into one.” We established our titles of burrito enthusiasts. I never thought an enthusiast could get sick of so many things they loved wrapped up into one concise package.
We ended up hanging out into the night. We went to drink in my friend Sarah’s apartment, and my buddy who was seeing her came up to hang as well. We listened to records and drank expired pumpkin beer. I don’t recall feeling quite as content as I did that night.
I got the call from Evan that they were going to the fields to smoke. I rallied my crew and we went over to meet them. The tent for graduation was up at the moment. Maddie and I ran through yelling and barking like dogs just to hear the ceiling sing it back at us. Evan brought a disc and we tossed it around.
At one high point we huddled. I don’t remember for what, but Maddie was on my right side. She was about shoulder’s height to me, and I remember feeling like her head was right in my armpit. After we broke I tried, subtly-as-possible, to smell my right pit to make sure it didn’t smell.
She caught me in the act.
“Waaaat are you doing?” she bawked at me.
I have a hard time telling a lie, so I told her I was making sure she didn’t get a bad whiff in the huddle.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen her laugh so hard. She walked over to me and lifted my arm up and put her nose right in there. She had no ounce of holier-than-thou in her, and it was so refreshing. She said my pit smelled good. It made me feel good, because I know she would’ve told me otherwise.
We went back to the apartment but shortly left after we figured out we were just exhausted. I invited her to crash on my couch. She agreed. I slyly laid down on the couch I enlisted to her, and she laid with me. But after about 5 minutes of cuddling, I laid out the option to move up to my hardly more comfortable and barely bigger, but ever more personable bed. She agreed and up we went.
The whole time I kept it in the back of my head that I knew she had a boyfriend. I didn’t pull any moves because I knew I wouldn’t want some dude pulling moves on my girl like that if I was in the opposite position. But would I really want my girl putting herself in another dude’s bed in the first place?
Absolutely not. If she did it to him, she’d do it to me too. But those thoughts are easy to move to the back burner, and for the night, I did.
We stayed up all night talking sprawled out on that twin-sized mattress. We were exposed and comfortable with it. Her head stayed on my shoulder. 11 a.m. rolled around and she needed to go pack, so I drove her home. She texted me later that day to let me know that the previous night was the best night she’s had on campus yet.
She hardly talked to me all summer. I suppose they come and they go.