Driving down North Catherine Street and approaching the intersection with Broad, the sun was beaming on a beautiful fall day. The streets were quite as most students had taken advantage of the first long weekend of the semester to go home. Not me, home was the same town I went to college in.
So driving to campus on that Saturday morning I thought what a perfect weekend it would be for a hike. Fall foliage was at it’s peak and the forecast showed nothing but pure sunshine.
I arrived at campus to meet up with Jared and Taylor, my economics study buddies (Taylor and I go way back to modified soccer and we met Jared the previous fall in Finance class). We small talked, studied and small talked a little more until it became time to leave. Commenting on the perfect weather, Jared mentionned it would be a perfect weekend for a hike. Trying to contain my excitement, I agreed and we made plans to do just that.
Let’s just say the sun wasn’t the only thing beaming on my drive home. My crush on Jared resurfaced before school even started when I saw him walk into the gym with a friend. His long, lacrosse hair was buzzed off, making me do a double take as he walked through the door. My pace on the elliptical slowed as my heart pounded faster. He came over to ask how my summer was and tell me about the apartment that he was moving into with his lacrosse buddies and that I should stop over. “Yeah, sure,” was all I could muster while sweating profusely and feeling like my heart was going to explode. He smiled and said it was good to see me as he made his way toward the free weights. A smile crept onto my face, as I tried to dissect what just happened. It was then that I truly understood what “out of sight, out of mind” meant.
I made a CD for the drive to Giant Mountain, all the latest pop and rap songs, of course. Conversation was light as my mind raced, thinking about what the day would bring.
From the moment we hit the trails, we started talking. About growing up, sports, family and everything in between. He let me take the lead and only later did I find out that he did this so he could stare at my butt in my hiking pants. A true gentleman, really. He also came to regret the fact that he let me lead, as he had to keep up. I was in shape since basketball tryouts were starting that week. Jared told me later how he was thinking about how my pace was effortlessly fast and that he couldn’t complain, because he was trying to impress me.
We got to the top and the foliage was everything I hoped it would be.
We ate our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and relaxed at the top of the mountain, taking in the views. Even with my crummy point and shoot, I had to get some we-made-it-to-the-top pics. So I passed the camera to Jared so he could take a picture of me:
And then it was his turn:
And somehow I was able to muster up the confidence to get one of us together, and I’m so glad I did. This is our first picture together:
We made our way down the mountain and somehow took the wrong path and had to double back. It took us twice as long to get down as it did up but that didn’t matter. I wasn’t thinking about the back of my heals where I was losing skin with every step. I was caught up in conversation and my thoughts that brought a smile to my face as Jared led us down the mountain.
We finally made it back to my car and drove home signing along to rap songs and laughing the whole way. I’d like to say from that point on we were inseperable and we were, as friends. The relationship wouldn’t happen for a few more months but that doesn’t matter now.
Now, four years later, he’s still asleep at 10am while I write this. I picked him up from the subway last night and brought the kleenex like he asked. I dropped him off at home as I went to the store for chicken noodle soup, Gatorade, OJ and NyQuil. I warmed up his soup and made sure he got to bed early.
I had hoped to go to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard today, as Jared has been craving to get some fresh apple cider donuts. Once again, the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful fall day. It’s another October 9th that I’ll get to spend with him, if he ever gets out of bed. But this October 9th, it’s more. I’m his future wife, he’s my future husband. And we’ll have plenty of October days to enjoy in the years to come.