If that wasn’t a long enough intro, I’m not sure what will satisfy you. I suppose you can rest in the fact that at this point all we’ve done is met each other, so obviously there’s a little more to the story than love at first sight. In fact quite far from it, but at the same time not really. It’ll make sense later, promise.
Since this part of the story doesn’t involve any road trips, you the faithful reader should note that the conception of faithfully recording this story necessitates a road trip. Therefore, rather than sitting at the kitchen table observing the afternoon sun plummeting towards the Dallas skyline from my uninhibited 7th floor view that is less than a stone’s throw away (a stone’s throw for Peyton Manning though). Actually I just google-mapped it and we are exactly one mile away from the scrapers. So Peyton Manning probably couldn’t throw a stone that far. Uncle Rico maybe…
Moving on, all this to say I’m not in the apartment writing but instead, since it is Sunday, I’ve ventured away from Dallas proper and by habit when I do that, I usually end up in Arlington. Due to having to scour the DFW area for SuperTargets during my first week here, I knew of a nice little place called Mansfield which is southwest of Arlington, which is southwest of Dallas. If you’re keeping score, that basically means I’m in a suburb of a suburb of Ft. Worth, and quite possibly a little place that was not directly created by the merging urban sprawl of Dallas and Ft. Worth. In fact the sign says that Mansfield was founded in 1890. Interesting. The Starbucks I am enjoying abundant natural lighting in because of its orientation to the aforementioned afternoon sun probably does not date back that far. Nor does most of the immediate area. I did some recon a bit earlier before settling down to write and discovered a rather open area (Texas apparently has lots of those) with cerulean sky as far as the eye can see. For once, I felt like I was on the verge of being in the West.
All of this to say, my usual writing spot requires a road trip to get to, so going back to the original thesis that stories are birthed in road trips, actually writing this story is no exception and in an even more reflexive way, a story is created by endeavoring to copy down an already existing story. The ontological implications are mind-numbing so we won’t venture off that way, but will now, as you have so patiently waited, return to the actually story that got you reading in the first place.
At this point in the story, there is a pressing question of how much to condense and how much to comment on. Quite possibly the only significant event of the fall quarter as it pertains to the story is that Steven, once he regained his zest for life, thought it would be a good idea for me (not himself) to run for student body president. After proclaiming himself my campaign manager, he set to work and after an interesting campaign trail that involved videos/posters/speeches and espionage (a suspicious picture of me shaking hands with my opponent’s biggest supporter taken under different pretenses but then made into a poster) I emerged victorious. Or rather Steven ran a successful campaign and therefore decided to retire while still undefeated. This part of the story is worth relaying for two reasons. The first being that you should remember the incident in the previous part of the story and sit and wonder for a moment whether or not I actually would have been voted for had that story been more widely known. To my credit, I did promise free study notes (which I delivered and are still available on-line) and that was hard to turn down, but I still was not quite socially advanced enough to be representative of anything pertaining to student life (we’ll return to this in the following paragraphs though). The second reason is that Ali actually voted for me. While you ponder that for a moment, I’ll actually explain the reasoning behind it. Her boyfriend at the time also decided to run for said office. I know you’re probably still scratching your head and feel like there’s something I must have left out, but in her admitted selfishness, Ali had realized that if he won, he would have less time to spend with her and that was not acceptable. The question does still remain why I got the vote, but I could guess that in spite of my weirdness, it actually seemed like I had a plan of action, which is more or less true.
As best I can remember, the fall quarter carried on with not much worth commenting on, as did the winter quarter. Spring quarter brings the demise of Ali and Wes’s relationship, but it also marked the start of mine and Bekah’s. I remember noticing the drama of it all and felt bad for Ali, but still to this point, no interaction had taken place since the infamous wheelchair-appendectomy incident. This trend might have continued indefinitely were not for the summer quarter and the rigorous counseling schedule Word of Life tends to keep to. While I in no way agreed with the way things were running (which would haunt me later in a rather infamous paper I wrote), I felt it was my responsibility as leader of the students to say something about the grumbling that had infiltrated the ranks. In a rather generous step of faith, Rob Phillips (the dean of men/counseling coordinator) allowed me to address the students without any other staff present. So basically, free reign to say whatever I felt was necessary to deal with the situation. Apparently, I had come along way from creeping out girls in the back of the GTAC.
I don’t remember much of what was said, I do remember using 1 Peter 2 and agreeing that I didn’t like being worked to death either, but that we needed to do things without [word deleted] about it. It was a plea for purging the student body of unnecessary dissidence and it seemed to somewhat work (there’s a play on words in there if you’re tracking with me). Several people throughout the course of the next few weeks thanked me for what I said, usually to my deferral of something like, “Oh it was nothing,” or “Well thanks, but really it wasn’t that big of deal.” One such person, who at this time had come to see me in a totally different light, was none other than Alexandra Kaufman. And thus the silence was broken.
“I really appreciate what you had to say us,” she said.
“Well thanks, I felt like I had to say something,” I offered in response, “I just didn’t like seeing everyone so discontent and slanderous towards the staff.”
“You know,” Ali said, “I thought you were totally weird ever since that first time you tried to hit on me with Steven.”
“Yeah about that…”
“But now I’ve come to see you in a different light and like what I see,” she continued, “I think I’ve misjudged you Nate and I’m sorry for that.”
“No Ali, all the apologies are mine,” I said, “We got started off on totally the wrong foot.”
“You think?” she said rhetorically
“Yeah I do,” I said, “Maybe we should hang out and get to know each other a little better or something like that.”
“I would like that,” she said.
Basically at that point, the rest is history. We started hanging out towards the end of the summer and she decided to go to 2nd year (as had I) and we hung out pretty much all the time up there and it wasn’t long before we both realized we were perfect for each other and I broke up with Bekah and we started dating. Man, wouldn’t it be great if everything I just said was actually true?
Back in reality, the above conversation terminated right after I said, “Well, thanks” and silence ensued from thereafter. Ali did go to 2nd year, but we never hung out or spoke and I continued dating Bekah well after Ali left 2nd year went back home to Florida. Sometimes I have the need to create a fictional dialogue just for fun, and by fun I mean, to say things indirectly. There are partial truths in the above, but none of them were ever uttered or maybe even explicitly thought out in the words chosen.
So how then do we get to where we are now? Well I guess that’s the answer you’ll have to continue reading to find. Here’s a hint though, its still roughly 4 years away.