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So I found out this girl’s name was Camryn. I helped her carry a stack of boxes up to her apartment and stood there looking around until she told me where to stick it. Well, she didn’t exactly tell me where to “stick it.” That would be rude, and she seemed like a nice girl. She kindly told me where to put them. Sometimes I know what I want to say in my head, but the words come out wrong. It’s not until I hear what comes out of my mouth that I realize my eloquence has failed me, and sometimes that eloquence-detection system fails too, leaving me and everyone else frustrated five ways from Thursday. Goes along with the territory.
Camryn had nothing, not even a bed, only a mattress to sleep on. Funny thing was, she didn’t even seem upset about it. She actually seemed happy. I invited her to an icebreaker event at the school, told her I’d pick her up after I did a few things, but I got there late and when I knocked on her door no one answered. I decided to go without her, after all, no sense sitting around the apartment alone. Then when I walked into Kitty Hawk I saw her talking to some guy, Raine, I think his name was. I immediately didn’t like him just because he was talking to Camryn, so I walked right up to them and put my arm around her shoulder, “Sorry, I got hung up in traffic,” I said even though it was a lie. I’d simply lost track of time. The sun shines on some people and everything goes their way, but I’m not one of them. Me and the “time?” We weren’t friends. I fully intend to show up on schedule, but the rain cloud of lateness pours down on me for inexplicable reasons, and I’m running behind. We have a long, sordid history, and I’ve come up with ways to hog tie that time-bitch. Still, those ways aren’t foolproof. I’m cursed. It’s embarrassing. And I’d never admit it in a million years because it’s truly not my fault and the best way to deal with my curse is to fib. Lie is such a strong word. I explain the unexplainable with reasons people will buy without the blame being on me. I’ve had enough blame too. It sucks.
We played several games at the icebreaker, including lacing arms together while back to back. We then had to sit down on the floor and get back up, each of us standing on our own two feet again, arms intertwined the whole time. Falling down was the easy part. We pressed against each other, trying to be careful at first, but three-quarters of the way down, Camryn’s legs gave out and my weight landed us on our asses in an unceremonious plop.
“That kinda hurt,” she said, but she was laughing, so it was fine. Getting back up was more of a challenge. She leaned her back into mine, trying to get up, but not getting anywhere, obviously, without my help. I leaned into her, but ended up pushing her back down with my weight, so she pushed harder and I backed off until we found some sort of balance and stood back up, leaning on each other the whole time. It felt like a huge accomplishment.
“That was hard,” she said. She looked worn out from all the pushing and pulling between us. I felt exhilarated, having reached our goal together. I got the feeling I’d like to reach goal after goal with Camryn if it meant I’d get to touch her more often.
Our last icebreaker was a staring contest. Raine stood right next to Camryn, and Camryn stood across from me as my partner. Some homely chick stood next to me, giving me the heebie jeebies. Thankfully, she was the one staring into Raine’s eyes and not mine.
“Ready, set, go,” the event coordinator instructed. I was hell-bent on bringing Camryn down, having her blinking in no time, outlasting her. But when her gaze fell into mine, it felt as if she peered into my soul, which caught me off guard because I’d never had that feeling with anyone. I was shaken and taken at the same time. I had to look away.
“You’re determined,” I said to Camryn, making it seem like just a game, covering up my unexpected feelings. “Congratulations.” She smiled back at me, seeming satisfied with her victory. Raine had taken his partner down, but in his case, his gaze seemed cold, at least to me, but when we left for the evening, he turned on the charm for Camryn and asked for her number.
“Maybe later,” she told him. Was she playing hard to get? My job was to make sure later never came. I made sure I got to her first.
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