Never ones to pass up an opportunity to converse with new friends, we decided to chat with his roommates (whom we had never met) instead. At first it was just one or two of them, and then a third showed up… some kid who liked to run. I think his name was Reid or something…
He was a scrawny one. Looked like a high school kid rather than a college student. He was nice, but I think I forgot his name two seconds after he told us what it was. I have a way of doing that with names.
And I continued to hang out with Isaac off and on. When I was with Isaac, I don’t think I ever stopped smiling (or laughing). But after several weeks of silliness, it was starting to wear me out a bit. I often thought to myself… umm… Okay, Isaac, enough fun and games. Let’s be real for a change. I don’t think I ever did feel like we had a real conversation.
So, around this time (mid-September 2000, I believe), my apartment decided that we wanted to invite Isaac’s apartment over for Sunday dinner (or was it lunch?). I remember exactly what I cooked. Penne pasta all mixed up with sauce and chicken and mozzarella cheese. I’ve come a long way since then in the culinary department, but I wasn’t too shabby.
Anyway, when it was time to eat, we all packed around our little kitchen table. And I happened to end up sitting squished between Isaac and Reid. As we started eating, I leaned over to Reid and jokingly said (pointing at Isaac who was the silly center of attention, as usual), “Does he ever shut up?!” I think Reid just kind of laughed.
Fast forward to after the meal was over. Our apartment didn’t have a working dishwasher, so I started washing the dishes by hand. One of Isaac’s other roommates (whose name escapes me) and Reid asked if they could help. They felt bad that I was doing the dishes after making the dinner mostly by myself. So we talked a bit as we washed and dried. I don’t know exactly how, but eventually it was just Reid and me, washing and chatting. All I really remember is thinking how nice it was for them to offer to help.
A week later, my roommate Amber and I were walking down a hallway between classes when we saw Reid coming toward us. We smiled and waved and said, “Hi!” As usual, I was drawing a mental blank on what his name was. I was forever wishing I could address people by name when I greeted them. “Hello, George!” or “Hello, Stephanie!” sounds so much better than just, “Hi…!” I think it feels so good when people remember your name and speak it out loud. Well, Reid smiled back, and then he said something that stopped me in my tracks. He said…
To be continued…
Read the next installment here!