I was a sophomore in college. It was February and I had been pining about a crush on a junior for quite some time. My roommate was sick of listening to me. At the same time, she was dealing with some medical problems. Her doctor wrote her a prescription but as a vegetarian and alternative health practitioner she wasn’t thrilled about taking the medication.
She set the pill bottle on her desk and just stared at it for several days.
We made a bet. If she took the medication first, I had to go ask Matt out. If I asked him out first then she had to take the medication.
It was February in Michigan and I am pretty sure there was still snow on the ground, but one bright sunny day I came back to the room after class and my roommate was sitting on her top bunk. As soon as I walked through the door she looked directly at me and said four words:
“I took the pill.”
“Gah!” was the only sound I could make. I put down my book bag and sat down at my desk.
The date that day was February 13th. “You have got to be kidding me.”
“A deal’s a deal,” she said. She was right. I had to go ask him out.
The next day I put on my cutest outfit and mustered up the courage to walk over to the computer lab where I knew Matt was working. This wasn't the first time I had stopped in to talk with him. This time my palms were sweating in my mittens and my heart was pounding. “I can do this. I can do this,” I kept saying to myself.
I got to the computer lab and spotted Matt. I smiled and waved. He came over to say hi. Just as we started talking he needed to go take care of something. “Wait right there,” he said.
I waited. The waiting was the hardest part. “I can do this,” I kept saying to myself.
He came back and I was ready to do it, but before I could squeak out any words he said, “So, are you doing anything tonight?”
“It’s Valentine’s Day,” I said, dumbly.
“I know,” he said. “Wanna do something?”
I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. He wasn’t supposed to ask me out. That wasn’t in the terms of our agreement. I shrugged it off as a technicality.
“Yes,” I said.
That was 18 years ago.
It is hard to believe the things that we have done since that time. We moved away from home and lived in Atlanta for 10 years. We built a tiny house in the woods together. Now we live in our favorite city on earth. I have nothing to complain about; life is good.
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