Seven years ago today, I was not in a good way.
I was upset over a boy (isn't that just typical?). I was 17 with low self-esteem that had been pushed even lower by rejection. Not even face to face rejection, but pure ignoring and avoidance. I was in need of alcohol and a good friend, and that is exactly what I got.
Lana dtagged me out of my res room, dressed me up in what must have been a nice, but is now completely forgettable outfit, and together we missioned from the top of the hill down to the Old Gaol. The place was packed. Bodies crammed together in the tight space leaving a little room at the front in anticipation of a mosh pit, and I distinctly remember the telltale scent of sweat and smoke that lingered at a lot of the events in my first year. I also remember praying that the heavens wouldn't open up on us, since we were completely out in the open. At the same time, that would probably have helped cool us all down and get rid of the smell.
Lana found us an old mattress that we pushed up against the back wall. From there, we could hear the music and escape the crowds. We were quickly joined by others, most of whom Lana knew, one of whom she didn't.
"Do you mind," he asked gesturing to the space beside me.
I smiled and nodded and turned back to my conversation.
"Puffy." He held his hand out towards me, and I shook it wondering what kind of person I had just come across. Who has a nickname like Puffy anyway?
"Lara," I replied shaking the outstretched hand. The shake lingered a little. It made me smile, and he just grinned back.
To be honest, I can't recall most of what was said that night, and I don't remember much of the music either. I do remember the scent of smoke becoming too much for me to handle, considering that I was trying to stop myself from smoking at the time. I bummed one off the closest smoker to me, which just happened to be Puffy. It got us chatting. Nothing like a cigarette to really start up a conversation.
Before I knew it, we were taking over the mattress. I was young, he was cute and I was out to have fun and forget about a guy. I suppose you could say that it was rebound, but rebound involves having a relationship, which thanks to the rejection was not something that I knew anything about. We spent the night bouncing around, dancing to Breach, heading to Friar's so that I could meet one of the bouncers and coming back to the Gaol to finish back where we started. I found Lana and was about ready to go, and he asked for my number. I gave it to him without a thought, and he must have thought that I had rattled it off a little too quickly.
"You're not giving me a fake number now, are you?"
"Of course not!"
He pulled out his phone and dialed just to double check, and sure enough the phone started ringing.
"Good! Now you have no excuse."
He left it at that, and I thought that was going to be it. One night of fun and nothing more. But when my phone rang the next day, I didn't think twice about answering it.
"I want to see you."
And so it began. From "rebound" to requited, my world began to change for the better. We saw each other almost every day for the first 3 months, what with living less than 5 minutes walk apart and all. Even when he moved further away and the walk became half an hour, we were practically inseparable. And now, 7 years down the line, here we are. Having just as much fun as that first night that we met (or I am at least) and knowing that this is just the beginning.
I love you, Grant. Happy 7 year anniversary.