Our First “Real” Meeting
Now that you know the story of when I first saw Daniel, I’m sure you’re wondering how we got to this point from there. Technically, we did not meet that day at all. We were not introduced; we did not speak to each another or learn each other’s names. Like I said before, Daniel does not even remember this encounter at all! Both of us went home following that orientation weekend to spend our summer vacations in between two worlds: high school and college.
It was another two months before Daniel and I would “meet” again, this time for real. Our college had an optional retreat for incoming freshmen in August, and he and I both chose to attend. I recognized him as the boy from the ice cream-less ice cream social, noting that he was not quite as unhappy. He spent his time with a different group of people than I did that week, and I became interested in another boy.
I have a vague memory of leaving my seat beside this boy to run to the restroom just before a presentation was about to begin. By the time I came back the seat was taken, and I ended up in an empty seat next to Daniel (although I didn’t know his name). We talked briefly, but I have no idea what our conversation was about. After that presentation, we both went back to our different groups of new friends.
For about a week or so after we returned to campus I would see Daniel in passing once in a while, and he would always say hi to me. He was always very friendly, and it was during that first week of school that I began to notice how cute he was. But I still didn’t know his name! I felt terrible. Luckily, my roommate, “Maria,” had a class with him and was able to find out his name. So, the next time I saw him I proudly said, “Hi, Dan,” with a big smile on my face. I would later learn that he prefers to be called “Daniel,” but I didn’t know this at the time and I guess he didn’t mind.
A couple of days later, everyone in our building was required to attend a beginning-of-the-year meeting in a small lecture hall. Before we left, Maria and I decided to stuff our pockets full of tootsie rolls so that we would have something to munch on. We ended up arriving a couple of minutes late, and although the meeting hadn’t started yet, people were already beginning to stand in the back because all the seats were taken. Almost all the seats, anyway. There were a couple of solitary seats left, scattered throughout the room. Maria and I prepared to sit on a step along a side aisle. Just as I did, I heard my name. I looked up and there was Daniel, with one seat available next to him at the end of a row. He was inviting me to sit beside him, so I glanced at Maria. She shrugged her shoulders, so I stepped across the aisle to slide into the empty place.
Meanwhile, my mouth was full of tootsie rolls, so when Daniel said hello I could only smile. “You smell like chocolate,” he said. I suppressed a chocolate-toothed grin and pulled a handful of the candy out of my pocket to show him. We talked there and after the meeting on the way back to our rooms—I on the first floor of our residence hall, he on the fourth.
And so ended our first real conversation—which, as usual, I am unable to remember most of! This story is taking longer than I expected, and I’m running out of time for now. More history stuff to come!