Ryan McNight. The most popular guy from my grade in high school who followed me to college. Star lacrosse player and homecoming king, there wasn’t a person in the school who didn’t know his name.
Plus, he was attractive with that black hair, blue eye look. And, I will admit, he seemed nice, at least in the few encounters I had with him. However, maybe it was just how cocky, arrogant, and annoying he was in my chemistry class.
Like this one time…
The final bell dinged for the start of eight period and I was ready to collapse. I had a theology test that day and had stayed up late studying. A nap was definitely in my future but I couldn’t exactly nap in chemistry, the bane of my existence. The bane of my grades as well along with Algebra II. Currently, my teacher, a creepy graying old doctor, had been assigning us worksheets. Mountains upon mountains of them that made absolutely no sense and we were supposed to have a test the next day.
“Ok, everyone, shut up!” the teacher yelled from the back.
The talking around me ceased and I sighed in relief. I had such a headache.
“Will someone turn off the lights please?” he demanded.
A girl with white blond hair rose from her seat and flipped the switch.
“Today, I thought it would be good to watch a video about the elements for review…”
Suddenly, he was interrupted by a door creaking open and slamming shut.
“Mr. McNight. Where were you?” the teacher croaked.
“I was talking to Mr. A.” he answered, shrugging into his seat.
“That’s not an excuse to be late to my class Mr. McNight.”
“But, Dr. Ray, I was talking to him about my theology test,” he whined.
I snorted, likely story.
“Fine, shut up and be quiet if you still want to leave for the game early.” Dr. Raymond or “Ray” replied and he pushed play on the video.
Now that might seem like not a “big deal” but it happened almost every day. And every day, he got away with it. I also thought, being a favorite athlete of the Chest Mont’s went to his head and that his choice of girlfriends was lacking. A girl named Regina Lewis to be exact, a model-like volleyball player, that by observing, because I was often too shy to talk, though she had a stick up her ass. But then again, do you really know someone by just observing them?
This was a question, that I asked myself at the beginning of my freshmen year at college, on orientation. My dad had just settled me in my dorm and had left, with tears in his eyes, and I was sitting with my orientation group, alone. Alone, in the sense, I didn’t really know anyone. It was dinnertime and I was eating a salad, something that caused a great debacle to get. The rain was spritzing droplets onto everything, making everything glisten with tears. Our mentor, a lanky Asian with a beautiful singing voice was telling us our welcome week schedule but I was zoned out. High School and Summer were over, and I felt, empty.
But, then again, I had felt empty since April, when some guy broke my heart. Not important, though.
A group of people walked by and my new roommate Elena and Ryan were in it. I decided to look away, chest throbbing and tears threatening. But I felt a tap on my shoulder and I glanced up and there he was, smiling.
“Hey there Delilah. How are you doing ?” he asked, eyes twinkling.
“Good, how are you?” I stuttered, my cheeks feeling warm.
“I’m good. Listen, I’ll see you around, ok?” he asked and I nodded.
He walked away to his group and I watched him, unsure what to think.
At that point in time, I didn’t even think he knew my name, there were over two-hundred kids in my graduating class after all. I wasn’t really expecting someone, “popular”, to remember me. But surprisingly, it was nice that he did.Even though, it confused me. We would see each other on campus and say “hi” or at least when I wasn’t purposely avoiding him. For some reason, I had this idea that I was “lower” or out of his “league” which is not only cliché but unrealistic because no one is under anyone. But, that’s insecurity and anxiety combined.
It was different having him inside my house though, even if was as an acquaintance of my brother. But, it wasn’t really a surprise. My brother was also a great lacrosse player and decently popular. I shut the door just as the doorbell rang and groaned and decided to just prop it open and leave the screen shut.People continued to pile in and I sat in the front room with a single lamp light, reading and waiting. Someone brought a disco ball, colored flecks floating across the walls while another brought some confetti, strands of it laying in wavy stripes along the floor.
They were playing Fall Out Boy, but it was hard to hear against the cheering over beer pong probably. CRASH.I looked up from my book and glanced down the hallway but all I could see were madly dancing teenagers. Let’s just hope he didn’t break anything important, I thought to myself. But, it is not my problem and so I looked down and continued to read.The door suddenly banged open and I looked up and there were Sara and Becca, hanging off Dereck’s neck. I scowled, they were already out of it.