The Law Student
The first day of college orientation was a huge emotional mess. My family flew 3000 miles to help me unpack and all I could do was pitch hissy fits, scream, and cry at them when something went wrong. I was immensely unpopular in high school, and a constant target for bullying in middle school. I had no friends in either, and for 7 years was lonely, miserable and craving friendships and some form of acceptance. I was also severely depressed and thought it would all disappear in college (note: WRONG, WRONG, WRONG!!!) I also thought in college I would reinvent myself to be the person I had always wanted. Which is why I took it out on my family.
When they left, I talked to my roommate who I felt was intimidating and would be one of the 'in' girls. And if I didn't get on her good side, I would be on the 'out'. She brushed me off, and left, I thought, with the million new friends she just met. I took my swim test, by myself, ate alone, and found everyone else around me to have made friends within the first hour of orientation. And they weren't interested in including me.
I took a shower, crying all throughout the shower and fell asleep crying to the sounds of my fellow freshmen who found friends whooping it up and basking in the glory of their newfound independence.
At 12:30 am, I was awakened by my roommate returning. Surprisingly, she wasn't surrounded by a gaggle of gorgeous soon-to-be-popular girls. Instead, she had been away shopping at Walmart and going out to dinner with her mom. What a relief. "Wanna go out?" she said "Okay!" I said excitedly, jumping up from my bed, hoping the tear stains on my cheeks didn't show. I had no idea where our fellow freshmen were taking their first college tequila shots, were having their first encounters with the mythical rowdy frat boy and the beer bong. She seemed to know the general direction, and guided by a few drunk returners (it was the first time I saw someone drunk and I was fascinated but disgusted at the same time), we found the row of houses that were having a party.
I knew no one around us, and it was really strange that no one cared that we just walked into a random person's house. I was introduced to a world I'd never saw before, much less cared about or fantasized. Drunk people, alcohol, loud music, girl/boy interaction--I'd never been exposed. It was such a culture shock. I began to feel out of place and a huge fraud. Why was everyone dressed so nicely? How was I supposed to act? Did I really have to start drinking like everyone else? I really didn't want to. A bunch of attractive, confident girls with bodies I dreamed of having and dressed to complement these bodies were hanging around the older, preppy guys that looked like movie stars. I heard one of them mention something about her dorm room, a place where only freshmen were housed. She was my age?? I started panicking. My roommate went up to one of the girls and said that she remmebered her from when they visited the university last spring as prospective students. They started talking and we edged into their group. I freaked that my loser-ishness in high school was going to leak into college if I didn't erase any trace that I never partied before or even had a real friend! And why were these frat guys talking to her and her friends and not me? I accepted a bottle of Corona from my roommate, having no idea of what it was, and sipped it cautiously until we heard a blonde guy in a yellow polo and white knee length short yell "The cops are here!!" Normally in high school I would have freaked out knowing anything would go on my record, but I knew that if I acted towards the things as I had acted in high school, I would be stuck in the same situation.
My roommate and I, along with that group of girls, who seemed to know of another party bolted across the street to another bunch of attractive guys hanging on a porch. The guys in my high school had all looked like little kids to me, with none of them being remotely attractive, but these guys definitely were. They looked rich, preppy, and every inch the frat guy I thought existed in movies. I couldn't even believe that a bunch of them were talking to my roommate. If they thought she was legit, maybe I had a slim shot? I kept thinking I would be happy with her leftovers. So when one of them started talking to me, I kept waiting for him to stop, turn away and laugh at me like I was used to for so long. But he didn't! He actually seemed interested in what I had to say. And he was even inching towards me and getting unnormally close. Was it just my imagination or was he hitting on me? I couldn't believe it. I felt like such a fraud.
We talked about the school we were both at. It was his first year too, except he was in the law school. He was blonde, and he looked older and very scholarly and distinguished but still conventionally attractive. Attractive in the sense of a a TV anchor that you recognize is attractive but you are not attracted to because he's older and not for you, but you could see why other women would like him. There was a slight pause in our conversation. "Oh!" he said "You must want a beer." I had just sipped the Corona a few minutes ago and decided it didn't taste that good and I could handle going to parties without drinking, but I wasn't about to tell this guy 7 years my senior who was the first guy who showed interest in me I was a little high schooler who doesn't drink. He got me a bottle of Magic Hat. "Do you like this?" he asked. "Um, sure" I replied. I had no idea what it was at first, and until I tasted it, I realized it was a beer again. Great. I pretended to enjoy the bitter taste, and we went back outside on the porch.
My roommate was gone, as were the rest of the guys, so it was just us. I panicked a little, but realized my roommate was also with a guy, and how lame would I feel if she had an interesting story and I didn't when we walked home together? Meanwhile, the law student who evidently liked hearing the sound of his own voice was going at it trying to impress me with his knowledge of beer making and the difference between two brand blah blah blah. I wasn't listening because all of a sudden that warm summer night turned chilly as his arm with the blonde hair lightly grazed mine. Accident? I tried to ignore it and hoped he didn't notice my full body shivers. I made up my mind that I wouldn't kiss him because a) I had no idea how, I never even pecked a boy before and b) I didn't remember this guy's name or really care for that matter. I knew my first kiss was going to be special, with someone I actually liked and knew liked me and it would be the start of a long lasting relationship (note: I was so off the mark it's not even funny. Not just with my first kiss, but with any other kiss I've had after that).
Then we 'talked' about reading the newspaper, and how to do well in college, and his past college experience as an undergrad in West Point. I say talked in quotation marks because it was mostly me getting a sentence in and him rambling about it and lecturing me like the dumb 18 year old I was and the all-knowing distinguished and learned law student he was. I started to get fed up. Was he trying to seduce me or was I just imagining the closeness in my delusional, desperate mind? When finally, his arm went up on the back of the porch bench swing we were sitting on. My thoughts starting going a hundred miles a minute and I cradled my glass beer bottle. This was insane! Was he going to....ohmygod!! He put his arm on my shoulders! I definitely was not imagining this! I ignored the fact that I didn't like this guy very much: He wasn't wholesome, he was too old, too WASP-y, he barely knew me, and he kept talking on and on about how his experience in a military setting set him up to want to work for a conservative lobbyist group and practice corporate law, blah blah blah....
And then his face got uncomfortably close to mine. He wants to kiss me? Who in their right mind would? No one did in high school, why is this changing all of a sudden? Does he see something in me that no one else does? I dodged away from his face and looked away, pretending to be fascinated by the porch fr
"Um, I just thought you should know..." I started. Should I tell him this? He might think it's hot, the whole Madonna/***** complex. I continued, "that ...um...I've never really kissed a guy before" He was taken aback. "What do you mean, never?" he was confused, as if it was impossible. "You're the first guy I kissed" I said. He kept asking really and how come it had never happened before. Then he told me he thought I was a great kisser, which I didn't know whether to believe or not. Something about this guy was rubbing me the wrong way. He seemed scheming, calculating, and slightly sketchy. This was magnified when he said, "Well how about we try again?" and made a movement to resume making out. I complied for a short while and felt his hand which was behind me the whole time, grabbing my right breast. I immediately stopped. This was not right. I felt gross and sleazy. We were sitting right in front of a porch window and as I looked staright ahead I could see in my peripheral vision that he was turning around to look inside the window and mouthing things to the guys inside who were sitting on a couch and playing video games. Did he think I couldn't see him right there? Did he think I was stupid? I turned around just to see him making a kissing face towards the guys and then the gesture of him feeling a boob. The guys laughed. He abruply turned back to me and said something, I don't know.
"I have to go" I said. I definitely wasn't used to putting my foot down with anyone, much less a law student! But I was already starting to feel extremely uneasy and onjectified throughout this whole thing. He begged for me not to go. "I'm looking for my roommate" I said, "She's probably wanting to go home." "No, she'll be fine. You don't have to wait for her" he insisted. "No, I think I should. I want to make a good impression, it's only the first day..." my voice trailed off, hoping he would understand the need to make a good impression to the girl that I would share a room with for a year. "Oh, you're such a good roommate. You're too nice aren't you? And so cute. Come here." I felt this was too demeaning. I wasn't going to fall for his stupid fake compliments like I was a complete idiot! I had let him trick me before, but if I gave him this, I would have no dignity left. "NO!" I said in a kind of loud voice. I walked down the porch steps onto the street. Uh oh this wasn't how I wanted to end things. "Thanks though," I said gentler, "bye". While he argued for me to say I kept walking and saying "gotta go, bye."
And that was my first kiss. My roommate turned out to be still with the law student's friends who was an undergraduate and considerably less sketchy than the one I was with. I roamed the deserted streets of the off-campus houses by myself, kicking the masses of crushed beer cans on the sidewalk, praying I would run into my roommate and we would walk home together and trade stories over brunch tomorrow morning. But she didn't come. I finally picked my last resort: calling her while she was getting busy. Her voiced seemed kind of muffled and busy when she picked up, but I was relieved when she insisted on leaving the house and walking home with me. I kept apologizing, hoping she didn't hate me for bothering her. As I waited, musing over what just happened, still in shock the law student called me cute even if it was insincere, an older looking man dressed up as a thug with baggy pants and a big white t-shirt approached me and started asking me questions if I was a student or not and where I was from. I couldn't believe it. Two guys were interested in me in one night! He asked for my phone number, and even though he said he was 26 and wasn't a student, just a local I gave it to him anyway (he called me the next day, but I didn't pick up). My roommate finally showed up, and we told each other the stories, even though she was holding a lot more back.
"And then I told him it was my first kiss and then..." "Wait, that was your first kiss?" she was shocked too. Crap. I shouldn't have admitted it. "No," I said, trying to backtrack and think of something fast, "I just tell that to guys to see what their reaction is. They love it. They think I'm some pure naive girl. I love tricking them! They're so dumb!" I forced out a fake laugh. But I could tell she didn't buy it.