So, after our first visit to 210 we became frequent visitors. We eventually got to the point where we would knock on the door once and then just let ourselves in. If the door was ever locked we took personal offense and went back to 208 and sulked. We liked to lounge on their giant lovesack, snuggle with Jeff the body pillow, and play Guitar Hero. There were quite a few of us in my apartment that were developing crushes on Paul and I had no idea. We would all just hang out together all of the time and it was great fun. One night the girls in my apartment decided to plan an apartment group date and most of them were taking boys from 210. I wasn't going because I was waiting for a call from another boy whom I had recently shut down with the, "I don't want to date but we can be friends" line. I was waiting to see if he was going to follow through on his friendship end of the deal. Paul hadn't been asked (bizarre...really...girls are chickens when they like boys) and so he popped over to our apartment to talk and hang out while people were getting ready for their dates and I sat on the couch and sulked. (I know, I know, why was I sulking after I did the turning down? Well, I'm a girl...duh.) I sat there secretly hoping that Paul would ask me to go out with the group that night, but he didn't. (I bet you thought that was going to be our first date. He he he he, you were wrong.) I later learned from my roommate that he had been thinking the same thing.
Eventually November came with my birthday, which he helped make fun by helping set up my surprise birthday party, and then December with Christmas, with our big family (210 and 208) Christmas, and then January came, he took another girl out on a date to the Masquerade, and then February came, and we had another big family party for Valentine's Day. Then...came the beginning of our apartment drama. (I promise this story leads to our first date.)
Paul asked me out for a walk which was not unusual. We often walked along the river trail and talked about whatever the heck we felt like. It was nice to be able to open up to someone so easily. Eventually it got too cold for walking but we weren't done talking so we decided to go for a drive. I went into my apartment to get some hot chocolate and one of my roommates that was crushing on Paul wanted to know where I was off to. I told her I was going for a drive with Paul and I got a weird vibe from her but didn't think anything of it at the time. Paul and I went on a drive and we talked and talked and talked and talked and talked and then he said,
"Do you know why I want to hang out with you all the time?"
"Cuz we're friends! Tee hee hee!"
"No. It's because I like you."
"But I can't ask you out because it would cause bad feelings in your apartment."
"Yeah, ----- likes me and I don't want to hurt her."
And then he took me back to my apartment where I was confronted by my roommates who said,
"How long have you been secretly dating Paul?"
"I just barely found out that he likes me!"
"You haven't been dating?"
"No. In fact, he said he won't ask me out."
Not too much longer after this event Paul texted me and asked me to meet him on campus so he could share his lunch with me. I don't say no to free food unless I think someone spit in it, so, I boogied on over to where he was. When I met up with him he had a fortune cookie for me from Panda Express. I thanked him and we talked for a bit and then went our separate ways. As I walked to my car I opened up my fortune cookie and started to unfold my fortune and thought, "Holy crap. This is the longest fortune I have ever seen." Then I started to read it and this is what it said:
I know I said I couldn't ask you on a date, or rather shouldn't ask. Instead I decided to ask you on two, hoping that I'm not to late on one of them. First - come to the PJ thing with me, it sounds fun and even if it isn't we could still make it fun. The other is just a normal date, whenever you want. I know your schedule is really busy, so you name the time and I'll make it work.
(That's what it said word for word. I know because I still have it.) (More parentheses...the 'PJ thing' that he was referring to was a little party called "Pajama Prom.") Paul had been super crafty and had put his own little 'fortune' into that fortune cookie and hot glued it shut in the original Panda Express wrapper. I was so excited that he had asked me out on a date but also terrified of how my roommates would feel. I called my sister and told her the whole situation and about how I wasn't sure whether or not I should say yes. She said,
"Sabrina. Do you want to go with him?"
So I said yes.
To be continued...