I was a straight A student all through high school (Yep, huge nerd, right here!), so I joined the honors program in college and vowed I'd ace all of my freshman courses. I set out to prove that as long as you showed up for class, you could get an A with minimal other effort.
Brenda, Ann, Dawn, and I jumped right into the college life. Before classes even started we met some guys in a fraternity, and these guys became some of my closest friends (and still are to this day). We hung out with them every single night. I was interested in one in particular, Jamie. He was tall with brown hair, freckles, and the bluest eyes I'd ever seen. He was my first college crush.
I remember a couple weeks after classes started we were at a party at their frat house, and as usual, the offer was on the table for us to crash there. I was dead set against a walk of shame. I refused to stay the night in a frat house and walk home the next morning in my party clothes. But then again, all the cool kids were doing it.
"Please, please, please, can we stay?" Brenda begged me, both of us on the shitfaced side of tipsy.
"No way, man. I'm NOT staying here." Jamie offered me his bed and said he'd take the couch, but I still wasn't feeling it.
"But, Tommy invited me to stay with him, and I REALLY want to."
Tommy was adorable, and a huge flirt. I didn't want to leave Brenda at the house alone, but I also didn't want to cockblock Tommy. He was my friend.
Finally, I agreed to stay. I told Jamie he didn't have to sleep on the couch, I was fine sharing his bed with him. We'd been making out for a couple weeks at that point, so a sleepover wasn't weird. But Jamie was so concerned with me being comfortable that he slept on top of the comforter and grabbed another blanket to cover himself, so there was no chance we'd touch in our sleep.
I think he'd confused my fear of the walk of shame with a fear of messing around, and while I still planned on hanging onto that V card for a while longer, I was drunk and feeling frisky.
But he didn't even touch me. He kissed me goodnight and rolled over.
I woke up pissed that I had to do the walk of shame and I didn't even get felt up.
Brenda met me in the foyer downstairs when she crawled out of Tommy's bed. I took one look at her and realized that my walk of shame had just gotten exponentially worse. It was bad enough that I was wearing an inappropriately low-cut shirt for a Sunday morning, but I was going to have to do that walk next to Brenda, who was now wearing her jeans and a Hooters shirt with no bra. Worse yet, she was COVERED in hickies. I'm talking neck, chest, shoulders.
I tried to walk 10 steps ahead of her while I made a mental note to never mess around with Tommy.
Back in class, I was on cloud nine. I was semi-dating a cute blue eyed boy, partying every night, and every now and then I mixed coconut rum in my Dr. Pepper just to make class that much more fun.
I started to really enjoy anthropology, and even more, I enjoyed watching my Will Smith lookalike. Even from the front he looked like the Fresh Prince. But I loved watching him because he always had this huge smile on his face. He'd do this funny laugh where his shoulders would shake and he'd stick his tongue out a little between his top and bottom teeth. He looked like an oversized little boy. Such a sweet face.
And he was LOUD. Before class when he was talking with some of the people around him, if he'd get excited about something, everyone knew it. He didn't understand "inside voices."
I got a kick out of him. I wanted to know him.
The night before our first anthropology test, I was in the study hall in my dorm with Brenda and Ann. We were looking over the review when Will Smith walked in with the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen. I recognized her. She lived at the end of my hall a few doors down. They sat at the table next to ours. He pulled out his anthropology book.
I knew this was my chance.
"Hey, you ready for that test?"
He looked at me confused. Then he looked down and saw my anthropology book in front of me.
"Oh, are you in Gadsby's class?"
"Yeah, we sit a few rows behind you."
"Oh no way!" His outdoor voice bounced off the walls of the tiny study room.
He leaned over and shook our hands so hard I thought I was going to tumble out of my seat.
"The name's Will, you?"