Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: RASH (04/12/18)
TITLE: When We Were Young
By Stephen Kimball
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Walking into the building, the first time, I was shocked at the disparity between what I was beholding and my previous experience in the men’s dorm. The common area felt warm and inviting. The furniture was delicate, clean and comfy. Even the air in the room held a subtle, sweet aroma that hinted at the previous occupants who had vacated the premises just days before. The centerpiece of the room was a small, elegant upright piano – polished black – with not a hint of dust on it. I wished I could play it but as fate would have it, that would be someone else’s forte.
Over the next couple of months just about everyone in the building would spend countless hours in that room just hanging out, enjoying good company and getting to know one another better. One coed, in particular, stole my heart from the moment I laid eyes on her. As I entered the dorm, after finishing my first day of classes, there she sat at the piano - playing with a gentle grace that was absolutely captivating. She was surrounded by several other students who would all become lifelong friends, including the maid of honor and the best man at our wedding.
She was a dream! Long, flowing brown hair adorned with a bright blue bow that matched her eyes. Erin could play any song almost perfectly; all she had to do was hear it once. I am still amazed at how talented she is. I was surprised and thrilled when she asked me one evening to keep her company on her nightly walk around the campus. That one walk turned into an everyday walk and it was during those times that we really began to connect.
Erin was graduating and moving back home to live with her folks in Plano, which is only about two hours North of Waco but might as well have been a world away as far as I was concerned. As we counted down the days, I knew that unless I did something about it, I might never see her again. Everyone said their goodbyes the night before finals but somehow the spark, between Erin and me, had failed to ignite - I was disappointed but not defeated. Our last exams began at the same time, so if I hurried, I might have one last opportunity. This time I knew my faith had to overcome my fear.
I rushed through the test and got back as soon as I could just to find she had already left – I was dejected but just then Mrs. Towers, our ever helpful dorm supervisor, appeared and as if she could read my mind said - “She only left about twenty minutes ago and she said she was stopping at the book store on her way out.” I was out the door and headed toward the quad, in a blink, hoping against hope to catch her and not sure what to say if I did. I am certain it was an act of God when I spotted her getting into her convertible just moments before making her way into oblivion.
I tried my best to suppress my heavy breathing and appear casual in my approach. I was at a loss for words so I did something that I hadn’t even imagined myself doing in the moments leading up to this final encounter. I leaned into the car, closed my eyes and gave her a big, long, dreamy kiss on the lips. For a brief moment I was petrified, until the look of utter shock began to morph into the sexiest smile I had ever seen. “I left you a note back at the dorm…call me – soon”, she said. I calmly nodded my head in agreement as she was pulling away but on the inside my heart felt as though it was about to beat out of my chest. I think I floated all the way back to the dorm. She later confessed to feeling the same way.
And that’s how it happened…when we were young.
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