She was walking around and around in circles in her room. This was going on for hours. Her roommates already learned that there was no chance to talk to Daphne. She had to think out this situation on her own.
At last the decision was made. She decided she will go to Neil, the first guy she dated in 7th grade and ask him out. Thinking about it again made her smile but shiver at the same time. They were friends since kinder garden and at 7th grade Neil asked her out. She was the happiest girl that moment.
There were a few embarrassing things to this plan. First- she is a girl, men are supposed to ask her out! "Come on, you are a feminist, the world changed! Get over yourself!!" Marisa shouted at her last night. So that problem was solved. Secondly- who believes in all the romantic stories of first lovers? Movies like "The Notebook" are only fantasies! Things like that never happen in real life! "You never know…" said Amanda, her other roommate in a mysterious voice. The last and most important fear she carried was- "Maybe he won't even remember me!! We are both in college already!!" that was the sentence that was going on in her head for the past hours when she was circulating around her room. But now she decided. She had to give herself a chance. She would go to Neil and work things out. There are only two options- they will go out or they won't go out. "It's as simple as that!" she persuaded herself. "A strong feminist woman can take both options with pride!" She thought to herself.
She turned to the mirror. She saw a pretty, tall, thin girl. The girl looked sure of herself. She had curly dark hair that reached her waist. Her green eyes were something that no one can miss. They glimmered and stood out but also showed a hint of shyness. She straightened her pasture and took a deep breath.
"Weir that bracelet Neil gave you back then! I saw you keep it in your old jewelry box!" said Amanda enthusiastically. "Are you out of your mind??" said Daphne furiously. But right before she left, she put it in her pocket when no one was looking.
The walk to Neil's apartment took forever. She only realized Neil lived next to her when a friend from college mentioned this fact casually without knowing what buttons he had pressed.
Neil and Daphne where in the same grade in elementary school. They spent every day together. The whole class called them girlfriend and boyfriend but they didn’t care. It was true. But then the fight happened. Daphne didn’t remember what it was about. The only thing she did know is that she was stubborn and when Neil came to say he was sorry she didn’t accept his apology. Something inside her wanted to test him. To see how much he is willing to fight for her. When time passed she showed the world that she moved on and that everything was ok, like she always did. After a year her family moved to New York and she never saw him since. That was the end of the relationship.
And now she felt so dumb for going back. She was known as a strong girl. Her shyness was buried deep inside and she never let it out. "Be strong" was her father's moto that was said to her multiple times in her life.
Her steps became smaller the closer she got to the apartment. At last she reached the door. She managed to produce a small shaky knock that was hardly heard even to her own ears. She took a deep breath, stood up straight and knocked loudly. The door opened after a few moments.
At the door was standing a young guy with light brown hair and brown eyes. His face was covered with bristles. He was wearing baggy clothes and looked like a homeless guy. His eyes were half closed as if he sleeps all day and wakes up to eat once in a while. He looked at her with no interest and impatiently asked- "can I help you?"
She was shocked! "Does he not remember me at all? I guess not" she thought wildly. Nine years have passed since they last saw each other. She put on a surprised innocent face and said with a steady cute voice she managed to produce - "ow! I think I got the wrong apartment." "Who are you looking for?" he asked her. "Never mind, I will manage on my own" she said quickly and turned her back on him.
"I'm ok! At least I tried." She told herself. Her curls blew in the wind surrounding her, do to the speed of her walk. She got to her apartment and started cooking dinner. Her roommates kept quiet understanding what must have happened and giving her time to herself.
She finished making dinner and sat down alone to eat at the kitchen table. Suddenly she heard a knock on the door. Marisa opened the door. After two seconds she came in to the kitchen with a tall guy following her. He had light brown hair with chocolate warm brown eyes. He was clean, shaved and dressed well. She looked at him astonished not able to speak. She stared at him for a few more moments till he broke the silence and said- "I understand you met my roommate Mat. Everyone says we look alike except for our different life styles that make us look so different. On his way to bed he mumbled something about a girl with curly hair and green eyes. I had to come and see for myself if it was my old friend." He said with a smile.
She started crying. He came towards her and took her hand. "Why did you leave my apartment so fast? That is your problem, you always have to show everyone how strong you are and not let yourself get hurt". She nodded her head. And with a little voice she said: "I'm sorry."
"I'm happy to hear that after all these years you remembered me". Neil said with a wider smile. She looked up to him with a shy smile. But then his smile faded and with a serious look he said with a sigh "But I am engaged."
A million emotions came to her and she couldn't understand all of them. Sadness, shame, vulnerability, and lots more. Was all this for nothing?
"But as you know me" he said slowly with a glitter in his eye, "I'm just joking!"
She laughed with relief and delight and remembered all the great times they had together.
They both walked out the door and took a long walk in which they had a lot of things to talk about and catch up on.