coffee at midnight
I didn't know you very well at all then, but I'd seen you walking around our small campus and I remembered altering my walking path a couple times just so I could catch a bit of a conversation that you were having so I knew the sound of your voice. Every time that I did, it somehow made you feel like you were more approachable to me, like at one point I would just walk up to you and start into a natural conversation with you.

But it never really happened like it played out in my head (as it usually didn't), and over the course of the next month I thought about it less and less until there was a two week period where my crush started fading. I didn't see you on the way to class or in the cafeteria, and you started slipping from my mind.

Then, one night things seemed to fall completely into place. It was just about midnight one Saturday evening and I was roaming around the hallways of my dorm to see if any of my friends were awake. After stopping by about 5 different rooms and finding nobody there, I decided to call it an early night and go back to my room, but things didn't quite work out that way.

Rounding a corner as I was heading for the staircase, I saw you coming down the hallway towards me and you looked like you were going home for the evening as well. I'm not sure if you were just leaving the room of a friend or whether you were wandering the halls exactly as I was, but everything seemed like it was falling into place and I spoke up in the silence to see what conversation would form. I learned that you had indeed been visiting a friend, but you were now headed back to your room to possibly do homework or just get on the computer for awhile. The key phrase that I heard come out of your mouth, though, was that 'you weren't really tired yet.'

Seizing my opportunity, I proceeded to stumble over my words and ask whether you liked coffee or tea or hot chocolate or pretty much any warm drink because it was cold out and I thought it sounded good at the time. You either laughed at me or saw my awkwardness, but I had to supress jumping up and down on the spot when you accepted the offer. It being midnight and us living in sort of a small midwestern town, there weren't a lot of options, but I informed you that I had a very wide selection of coffees in my room, as well as a couple different kinds of creamers. It wasn't just a line, but again you chuckled at my coffee shop salesman-like words and I wondered whether that was a good sign or not.

We chatted a little bit more there in the hallway, and then our conversation just sort of stopped and I motioned with my arms and set about my way a couple floors below to my room. Our conversation resumed in the stairway, and I remember the words bouncing off the walls and jumping off the last 4 steps as we arrived at my floor. I never was very good at hiding my giddy excitement.

After arriving at my room, I turned on the stereo and ran to get some water from the bathroom to brew some coffee. You picked my favorite kind and as we were waiting for it to finish, I learned what classes you were taking and that you were on the swim team. It explained the absence from seeing you only a week previous, as you had been gone for several days at a meet.

As the evening progressed, we went through 2 pots of coffee and talked about everything two people just meeting each other could talk about. I learned about your family and where you went to school, we looked through some of the photos I'd been taking, and I got excited (like usual) about several different CDs that I absolutely had to play for you. There were no uncomfortable silences and although the thought did come to mind several times, I didn't know whether I should even risk wondering whether we would kiss or not.

Time slipped by like nothing, and the next thing we knew it was 5:30 in the morning. Both of our cups were empty and although conversation was slowing down, it hadn't yet stopped. I looked at the clock and shrugged and you looked out the window and said you thought you could see the first hint of sun for the day.

And then you left. It all happened so fast and I was so tired from lack of sleep and wired from the coffee at the same time that my mind didn't even really process everything until I laid down to go to sleep. Even then, though, I couldn't sleep. Caffeine was spinning my head and I was replaying bits of our conversation until nearly 7 when I finally drifted off due to sheer exhaustion.

I didn't hear from you for 4 days after that, and when I finally did, you told me about this great new guy you'd met...


Friday, January 12, 2001


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