Valentine's Day Stories, Part 2

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Senior year of college, I developed a very strange crush on a boy in my upper level design classes.

It might have been out of boredom... from essentially dating the same guy off and on for several years (you remember... non-boyfriend from my previous post). Anyway, I didn't really get close to this guy until my last semester. He had been dating an even weirder girl for a while, but I remember them breaking up shortly after I got to know this kid.

One day, we were both waiting in the print lab for our designs to come out for our presentations. We started talking about 90s music and zombie movies -- the only two things that captured my attention for longer than a 5 minute span at the time. See, I was on a multitude of antidepressants that not only completely numbed me from feeling anything except when watching gory films and listening to music, but also gave me regular panic attacks that would lead to me vomiting almost everyday.

It was a really awesome time in my life.

After revisiting our favorite 90s songs (Tonic forever), he offered to let me borrow his copy of Dead Alive on DVD. Since I was so slick and so good at hitting on boys, I told him he should just bring it over sometime and we could watch it together. (Did you hear that? That sizzling sound? That was me.)

He agreed and we went back to our work stations.

The next day, which was Valentine's Day, I walked into our design class like I always did. There was a guy in our class who was so obnoxious, so irritating, said the dumbest dumb things in class, and always wore headphones in the front row. Ugh! Disrespectful! He wasn't very well liked because of his rancid behavior and disregard for basic social conduct. But I'd tolerate him because, as I told probably every single person on campus, if anyone would come to school and shoot the place up... it would have been him. A deliberate outcast. And a really not cute one.

I'm sitting next to my girl Jocelyn when Potential Campus Assassin walks up to my desk with a wrapped gift.

He hands it to me.

"Wh... what is this?"

"It's a gift!"

"No but what is it?"

"You have to open it!"

I glance at Jocelyn, who is just so tickled by the situation. It must have been just SO FUNNY to see me get a public gift from Potential Campus Assassin... in front of everyone... in front of weirdly cute art class guy that I was totally good at hitting on the day before. Just the funniest joke. To everyone.

All eyes were on me. It was dead silent in that room. I could feel my face getting hot. I couldn't look him in the eye. I couldn't believe this guy... this irritating, sweaty, monster mouth breather had the nerve to give me a gift when I clearly have never given him a reason to think that would be okay.

But, of course, that sounds incredibly self-righteous and rude of me to say. And I realized that at the time, too. So, in my strongest effort to appear grateful and polite, I opened it.

Dead Alive.


Confused, I asked "how did you know I wanted to see this?"

"Because I heard you and [cute art class boy] talking about it in the print lab."

I felt something stuck to the back of the DVD case, and when I flipped it over, there was a mix CD.

Of 90s songs.

For Valentine's Day.

I know there isn't an award for this, but if there were, Jocelyn would receive the award for best boisterous laugh concealment. Oh, the color wheels of crimson painted across her beautiful little face with tears gleefully streaming down her cheeks. Her pretty little cheeks. That trail of tears.

I awkwardly thanked him while doing my best "please get the fuck out of here" face.

I slumped down onto the ground below my desk, where the computer fans blew more hot air onto my already feverish neck. I couldn't get up. I couldn't move. I couldn't believe that happened.

Cute Art Boy walked up to see what was going on, and Jocelyn delightfully showed him my gifts. He glanced down at me, laughed, and said "well, I'm off the hook because I left my copy at home today!"

We never ended up watching it together. The closest we got was that time we all went to our favorite dive bar after class on Friday and I got 2Drunk2Function and he drove Jocelyn and me back to my apartment. He stuck around for a few hours while I sat next to him on my bed with the TV on. He tried kissing me once, but the thought made me so nervous that I immediately vomited into the trash can that he had placed next to my bed.

He got back together with his girlfriend the following week.