Hello. Are you good at following directions?
Step One: Go here.
Step Two: Read the stories.
Step Three: Read the following.
Most of Drew’s and my early small talk (there wasn’t a lot of it, we got into the serious stuff pretty fast) consisted of us commiserating over the fact that we missed the west coast. Now, to Drew, the “west coast” was the dull brown, throbbing metropolis of Phoenix. To me, the west coast was the pristine waters and woods of Washington. I’ll let you decide who was more accurate in this case.
(Just kidding. Shout out to all our homies in Phoenix. We love you and your taupe-ish city, I promise).
That being said, we really did encounter a culture shock moving from west to east.
I had a hard time adjusting to life in Turner’s Falls. By the time Drew and I met, a lot of things were pretty tense at “home”, and both my emotions and patience were worn thin.
I lived in a tiny town called Miller’s Falls. This town consisted of one street, about ten houses, a local convenience store, a library and a pub. Things weren’t exactly hot and happening in Miller’s Falls, so let’s just say we had to make our own fun. Sometimes fun came in the form of a rollicking good time down at the neighbour boys’ place. Sometimes it came in the unexpected form of crazy-ass girl problems bouncing willy-nilly off the walls of our ancient house.
Let’s be honest. When you put six 18-22 year old girls, all extremely artistic, highly emotional, all strangers to each other, into a creaky, possibly haunted New England house, subject them to ten months straight of concentrated stress, throw in a few boy visitors and a whole lot of drama for good measure, something unsightly is bound to hit the fan.
And so it did, on several occasions. Not being a big advocate of drama, I packed up my things (or just a few essentials), and all but moved in with Drew. Oh, horror, you say, I barely know the boy! What if he’s a serial killer? Or worse, what if he’s messy?
But you know what? As cliché as it sounds, when something is right, you just know. Here was the fearful, doubtful, cynical girl willingly throwing in her lot with someone she barely knew.
You know that part in the chick flick where (after some catastrophic misunderstanding) the guy and the girl make up, and she says (with a single romantic tear clinging to her eyelashes) “We may have met just yesterday, but I feel like I’ve known you my whole life.”?
This was kind of like that. Except, after sensing a possibly romantic moment, I frantically backpedalled and returned with something bitter and sarcastic.
So there we were, riding out the last two months of school together, not really sure where any of this was going to end up.
This part I remember very clearly. We were standing in the commercial photography studio, talking about our upcoming Taco Bell dinner (seriously, how am I still this healthy?), and he drops this little number on me:
“Hey, girl I’m pseudo romantically involved / living with, but still barely know. Want to cram all of our earthly possessions into a little white Subaru and drive 3,000 miles across the country with me? I’ve always wanted to go to Washington, so I could, you know, drop you off or something.”
(It’s something akin to asking a guy on the first date: “Do you mind taking me home? I only live about 3,000 miles west of here. It’ll be totally chill, I promise.)
Perhaps this is one of those “he said, she heard” situations, but the gist remains the same.
Maybe it was because I'm sucker for road trips, or maybe it was because one look into those honest, fearless eyes makes me turn into a hopeless romantic who would follow him to the ends of the earth.
Either way, I said yes.
The story of our road trip is worth at least two blog posts, but before we get there, let me tell you about the time I took a spectacularly bloody dive down his concrete steps, and spent the evening in the hospital.