The following reflection was written in 2003, when I was between 25 and 26 years old.
Rachael and I woke up early on Sunday morning so I could drive her to South Station in Boston for the train ride home. I can’t remember if she slept in my bed or Russel’s (nothing like that happened regardless of which side it was) but I do recall that from the moment we got up to the moment we finally pulled out of the parking lot, things were so tense and so awful that I still feel uncomfortable thinking about it today.
Russel was pissed at Rachael for spending the majority of her weekend at Bradford hanging out with me. Yes, they’d been broken up for almost a year at this point, but that didn’t matter. He’d expected her to hang with him that weekend. She’d spent so much time with me and with other friends on previous visits that I can understand why. I can’t understand, however, why he reacted the way he did.
There was yelling and screaming that woke up the entire house. Rachael and I walked out to the car and then he was calling to her from the window of the Cluster House. I think she went back inside for a second and they argued some more. She came back out and we were about to leave when he came outside and they talked some more in the parking lot. He gave her the world’s largest guilt trip by the looks of it and after a little more yelling, she got in the car and we drove.
She cried a little and couldn’t understand why he was treating her that way, but by the time we’d made it a few miles down the highway things were better. We had a good conversation and I hugged her goodbye at the train station. She wished me luck with my quest to discover what was going on with these multiple secret admirers and then we went our separate ways.
When I got back to campus I did go back into the Cluster House, but I avoided my room like the plague. I wanted nothing to do with my roommate. He’d pissed me off with the way he treated Rachael one too many times. It was in that moment that Russel and I could no longer be friends in the way that we were. I just couldn’t deal with it anymore.
Upstairs in Jimmy’s room, Stacey, Stephanie, and Jimmy were sitting on Jimmy’s bed. I spoke with them about the Rachael and Russel situation and then a little about the secret admirer thing.
Jimmy said something about how frustrated he was that he was single. I told him he could have one of my secret admirers because I had one to spare. On this comment, Stacey flushed and leaned against Jimmy’s shoulder. All of a sudden Stephanie disappeared from view behind the two of them. Something struck me about that moment. Something had just happened, but I wasn’t sure what.
I took my leave from the house for the rest of the day, not wanting to run into Russel at all. I think I spent some time at the library. Eventually, as night descended, I made my way to one of the Tupelos (four-story dorms that sat in between Tupelo Pond and the Cluster Houses) to visit Nikki and Heather T.. A drunken evening ensued. I didn’t drink, but I did watch Nikki and her boyfriend Brad and Helen and a couple of others get drunk and watch a very creepy version of Sweeney Todd. Heather didn’t drink much either. She spent most of her time out in the hallway on the phone with her boyfriend Barry.
When it was suitably late and I was sure I wouldn’t run into anyone, I went back to my Cluster and went to sleep.