Will fit perfectly into my group of friends, and I fit right in with his.
He was a broadcast journalism major, and I was a straight journalism major.
I came from a big family; he came from a bigger one.
Before long, we were best friends.
The coolest part? We were born on the exact same day, same year: Sept. 28, 1985.
Things ended with Jamie a couple weeks after they started. My best friend Colbie was in town and we were all at a party at one of Jamie's fraternity brother's houses. One minute Jamie was dancing with me in the living room, and the next minute he was outside making out with someone's sister.
Colbie walked right up behind him and smacked him in the back of the head mid-kiss.
I blame the trash-can punch and buttery nipple shots for my reaction: I bursted into tears as if it was the worst thing that had ever happened to me. Overreaction, I know. Colbie and my girls pulled me into the bathroom to comfort me.
Then Jamie's cousins, Mack and Tom, came in.
"Let me take you home," Mack said, as he and Tom joined in with the comforting.
"He's an ass. Don't worry, we'll take care of this," Tom said.
Instead of high-fiving Jamie for his latest success, they took care of me. I loved these guys.
We were both freshmen, only a few weeks into our college years. Jamie clearly didn't want a girlfriend, and then I realized I sure as hell didn't want a boyfriend either. I wanted to drink, party, and makeout with random boys.
Jamie merged into the Friend Zone, and we're still good friends to this day. I moved on with my new plan pretty quickly the second I set my eyes on Dane.
As you've probably figured out by now, I don't have a problem talking to guys. I don't get scared, I don't get intimidated, and when I drink, I don't fear rejection. But when I saw Dane for the first time, I was speechless.
He lived on the other side of my hall. I first saw him in the elevator lobby. I was coming out, he was going in.
His smooth dark brown skin was flawless. His perfectly straight teeth were a brilliant white. He was talking to a friend and laughing when he passed me. Ah, that smile. He was sculpted like a Greek God.
I ran down to Dawn's room and told her about the most beautiful black man I'd ever seen. He looked like Taye Diggs, only taller. And I loved me some Taye Diggs.
"Did you talk to him?" Dawn asked.
"No, what was I supposed to say?"
"I don't know, but next time you see him you should introduce yourself."
I half hoped I'd never see him again, because the thought of talking to him made my knees shake uncontrollably.
A few weeks later Dawn and I were coming back from lunch. The elevator doors opened on our floor, and there he was, standing in front of us. Dawn took one look at him and knew. With a quick glance at my wide eyes and stunned expression, she confirmed it: This was the sexy black guy I'd been talking about.
I tore out of the elevator as fast as I could and lunged for the door. Dawn grabbed my arm and tried to pull me back.
"Whitney! Go talk to him!"
"No way!" I said as I tried to pull free from her grasp.
He looked our way. I froze. Dawn snuck around me and through the door, leaving me alone in the lobby with him.
"Hi," he said with a smile. Oh that smile. I could have died right then and there and died the happiest person on the planet.
I willed myself to form words. At least smile. Could he see my knees shaking? Could he hear my heart slamming against my rib cage?
"I'm Dane," he said.
I still hadn't moved.
I tried to remember how to use my vocal cords.
I tried to smile, and then I turned and bolted for the door.
Note: I promise I'm getting to the part where I end up with Will. But I'm dying to tell yall a little bit more about my pre-Will hook ups. Hope that's OK :)