Our First “Talk”

The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.


For the first two days after she proclaimed her feelings for me in the hall of our Cluster House I didn’t know how to act when I was around Stephanie, and so I avoided her. This girl was amazing and seemed so out of my league. I was totally taken aback by all of it. When she knocked on my door a couple nights after that first proclamation, it was a welcome thing.

I was actually afraid I had fucked it up by not talking to her for two days. I figured she’d have realized in those two days that liking me was a big fucking mistake. Sometime during the day before this knock on my door, I’d been convinced by Stacey and Donna to go down to Osco Drug down the street and buy Stephanie something, probably flowers.

It seemed odd to be buying flowers so soon, so I settled on a card similar to the one she’d given me with the “Another Secret Admirer” signature and I got her some candy as well. I forget what kind, but it might have been Twizzlers, which would have been recommended to me by Stacey, who knew those were one of Stef’s favorites.

It was night and it was rainy when Stef knocked on my door and asked if I wanted to go on a walk. I said yes, and we roamed the streets around Bradford for a spell, talking about anything and everything.

We didn’t actually talk much about our “relationship” or the fact that I’d so far been pretty distant. She started talking about dancing and her troubles with the head of dance company and then we talked about school in general, and very gradually she eased me into the conversation. I don’t know if the lack of “relationship” talk was by design, but it really helped to get me involved.

It was a good walk and by the end of it we decided to go out sometime during the upcoming weekend. The only other specific thing I recall is that when we came up to puddles during our walk, I worked to avoid them while she strode right through. In the ensuing years of our relationship Stephanie seemed to forget she ever did that, but it was as if her doing it that night was a signal that we were going to have rough spots but we just had to walk right through them.

Or else I’m reading too much into her walking through puddles.