Holding on to Someday

By: K. Leah

Part I


Fall 1996

Julie runs into my room screaming, “Clara, I can’t believe you got a date with Drew Cason! I mean, he is THE star player on the football team, and like the cutest guy on campus! How in the world did you even meet him?”

Julie is my best friend, and one of my roommates. We met our freshman year of college at South Springs University during orientation when we were all forced to play the human bingo game. The object of the game was to go around and talk to other students, find out what you had in common, and initial the squares until someone yelled, “Bingo!” We had to get BINGO on paper by finding out facts about other people’s lives. We learned things about each other like, who had been bungee jumping, who had traveled abroad, and who could rub their tummy and pat their head at the same time.

Julie and I hit it off after we found out we were both only children. Being in a strange place, surrounded by people you don’t know, you latch on to what you can. We just kind of clicked that day, and the rest is history. We became best friends that first semester and have been roommates through our senior year.

Making her way across the room, she jumps over our other roommate Marabeth, who currently has her head buried in my closet, butt stuck up in the air, rummaging through my shoes.

“You need new shoes, Clara. These look like they came from 1985,” Marabeth yells as she throws every pair of Sam & Libby flats that I own into the middle of my bedroom floor.

If we weren’t such good friends, I might be a little offended. “What’s wrong with my shoes? I have a pair in just about every color, so they will match any outfit I have.”

“My point exactly,” Marabeth says, dangling a pair of royal blue flats in front of her like they have cooties. “You need to get with the program and trash these suckers. These are not cool anymore. High school called, and it wants its shoes back.”

Julie ignores Marabeth and continues to prod me for details about my male companion for the evening. “So seriously, how did you score a night with the hottest guy on the football team? Dreamy Drew…” she says with a sigh as she falls back onto my bed. “He’s so dreamy and yummy, and kissable…and dreamy.”

Marabeth rolls her eyes saying, “Oh no, here we go with the mushy stuff.”

I think Julie zones out a few seconds before I bring her back to earth. Standing over her, I snap my fingers in front of her face and tell her, “It’s not a big deal. We are just hanging out together. Remember we DO have the same major. Dreamy Drew, and I have had plenty of classes together over the past two years,” I say, as I air-quote his name. “This is just a study date.”

“How many girls would be in a puddle at his feet if he asked them out? And YOU are all like ‘no big deal’… pfff… come on, at least get a little excited!” Julie says as she examines the clothing choices I have laid out on my bed. “So, what are you studying if this is a quote-unquote study date? Each other?… your lips?… his abs?” she giggles while making googly faces at me.

“Oh, come on! Are you going to be this way when he gets here? Because if you are, I’m locking you in the closet.” I tell her as I grab my sweatshirt off the bed and start to pull it over my head.

“Nope, nope, nope. No, you are not!” Marabeth says, tugging my sweatshirt off as I try to put it on. “Get that slouchy thing off and put on something that makes you look like a girl.” She picks up a miniskirt and shoves it at me. “This looks nice.”

I take the miniskirt and put it back in the drawer. “Like I said, this is not an official date; it’s a study date. I want to be comfortable. I also don’t want to give Drew the wrong idea. I mean, who shows up to a study date wearing a miniskirt and sequins?”

Marabeth snickers, “Sam wouldn’t mind if I showed up for a study date wearing a miniskirt.”

Julie chimes in, “Clara…He asked you on this study date, right? Like a ‘come-over-to-my-dorm-and-let’s-eat-pizza’ kind of date.”

I dip my chin, trying to hide the blush spreading across my cheeks. “Well, yes, but…”

Julie cuts me off, pinching my lips between her fingers. “But nothing! He asked you. It’s a date. If you are going to his dorm, it’s a date.”

I am not going to win this battle. It’s been going strong for 20 minutes; I need to give in at some point, or I’ll never be ready in time for my study date. Not to mention, she might have a point. I guess I don’t want to think of it as a date because it’s Drew Cason, the star quarterback for the Bulldogs, asking me to his place. This guy is dreamy hot, hence the nickname “Dreamy Drew.” Girls fling themselves at him all of the time. You’d think he would be your typical jock: cocky, arrogant, big-headed…all the stuff you tend to think about guys who play sports at the collegiate level…but he’s not. Drew seems to be a genuinely good guy. We declared the same major, Business Management, so we’ve been in many of the same classes together over the years. I’ve gotten to know him reasonably well. As much as I want to stereotype him as the typical college football player, he is different. Nice, actually.