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It was the summer of 2000, and I was off to University. After working myself into a frenzy about not being accepted anywhere, I managed to graduate with good grades. Maybe I didn’t get a Summa Cum Laude, or any other Laude for that matter, and perhaps I never did become a valedictorian, but I did good. The proof came in the mailbox sometime in July.
“Cathy! Cathy!” my mom yelled.
“What is it mom?” I yelled back from my room.
“Get down here! You have a letter!” She was standing by the end of the stairs looking very excited.
“Who’s the letter from?” I asked.
“New York University,” mom said, eagerly handing me a white envelop. It felt heavy in my hand, and the stamp in the right-hand corner clearly stated it had been mailed in New York.
“Well, aren’t you gonna open it?”
“Mom, I will! Let me get the letter…”
“Here you are,” mom handed me the letter opener.
“If I didn’t know better, I’d say you’re more eager to read this letter than me, mom.”
“For God’s sake, just open it!”
“Ok, ok! I’m opening it. I’m opening it!” A RITSCH was heard when I let the blade of the opener tear the paper. With trembling hands I took out the letter, and unfolded it.
“Dear Miss Davis, We are hereby pleased to inform you that you have been accepted to New York University…” Mom gave up a loud shriek.
“YOU GOT IN!” She grabbed my hand and started to twirl me around. “You got in!”
“Mom!” quickly I jerked my hand out of her grip. “I haven’t finished the letter yet!”
Mom stopped dancing, and casually leaned against the kitchen bench. Well, at least she tried to make it look casual.
“Now, where was I?” My eyes scanned the letter to find where I had left off. “Ah, yes. We are very pleased to welcome you in fall. A package including information on room and board, facilities blah blah blah will be arriving to you shortly. If you have further questions contact Mr. Allen.”
I looked up from the letter. The corners of my mouth started twitching, and I could feel a huge grin form on my face.
“I GOT IN! I got in! Mom, I got in!” Mom looked at me, forcing herself to look cool, but quickly lost her composure.
“You got in!” she screamed and grabbed, this time, both my hands while jumping up and down.
“Oh my gosh, wait until I tell grandma and grandpa. They’ll be thrilled to hear!” And with that mom skipped to the telephone to tell the good news to anyone who wanted to listen.
Since that day I began to plan for my move. It was quite scary to leave the comfort and safety that living at home stands for. Thankfully I had been lucky enough to get a place in the dorms. Being an only child, the thought of sharing a room with someone was also a bit worrying. What if we didn’t get along? What if she was some party princess who thought a good night involved sex, drugs and rock n’ roll? Or even worse, what if she was really really boring?
There were so many things that went through my mind that summer. Apart from the usual worries, like; would I fit in? How would the classes be? What if I got homesick? and so many others, there was another worry too. My friends. What about my friends at home? Would they forget about me now that I was off to University? After all, they had their lives, and I had mine. Some of them were also going to College or University, but most of them would be closer to home than me. Not to mention, closer to each other.
When voicing my concerns to my mom, she smiled at me like only a mother can.
“Darling, everything will be new. For you and me both,” she gave my hand a squeeze. “But, for you it will also be exciting. You’ll meet lots of new people, and you’ll make new friends.”
“I know that mom,” I said, “but I’m worried my old ones will forget me.”
“Well, I’m sure they won’t forget you, but at times people grow apart,” mom looked at me tenderly. “I won’t say that your old friends, or new ones for that matter, will be with along for the rest of your life. Friends come and go, and the reasons can be many. What I’m saying though is, it’s all part of life. Enjoy your time, don’t think so much about what might be. Enjoy the now.”
Of course mom was right, but I was still a bit worried.
It was a week before I was leaving, Steven, my best friend was coming over. Most of my friends found it weird I had a guy as my best friend, but I didn’t care. There always seemed to flourish tons of gossip about Steven and me. Personally I never understood the fun in speculating around our love lives. The last week before the move, not even my girl friends would let go off the subject.
“Are you sure you don’t fancy each other?” Beth asked.
“I’m sure, we’re just friends!”
“But, how can you be ‘just friends’ with a guy? Especially someone as cute as Steven!” Beth said.
What could I do but sigh? They apparently could not understand it.
“Have you ever at least considered dating him?” Anne asked.
“Well, I guess I have,” I grudgingly admitted. “In the beginning before casino oyna we became really close. Now I just don’t think about him that way.”
“You are so strange,” Beth said. “He’s tall, dark and handsome. Steven’s the epitome of the prince in all the fairy tales. Not only good looking, but also nice and intelligent. You must be crazy not to date him!”
“God knows, I’d love to…,” Anne added.
“Then date him!” I urged her. “He’s single, and I won’t be around. I’m sure the gossip press would love to have you date him!”
“Cathy, you’re hopeless,” Anne sighed. “C’mon, you gotta have noticed how Steven has changed over the past three years. Or have you been that blind?”
“What are you talking about?” I said, cocking an eyebrow, pretending not to understand what she was implying.
Beth looked at me with a stern face. “Don’t tell me you haven’t noticed the change.”
“In Steven!” Beth seemed to want to kill me. She grabbed the milkshake in front of her, and took a sip. “When we started High School he wasn’t that tall. He had that boring boy-next door haircut. During his free time he’d hang out with the chess club, and you’d never hear of any girl fancying him.”
“So?” I said with a hint of annoyance.
“So…,” Beth smiled triumphantly. “Since then he has grown taller, gotten rid of that horrendous haircut, and basically turned from Dawson to Pacey.”
“I like Pacey,” Anne interjected.
“I like them both,” I said. “Now, why the damn comparison about two TV show characters?”
“Because,” Beth continued, “Dawson is the typical boy-next-door. He’s nice, sweet, romantic etc. Safe in short. Pacey, on the other hand is witty, sarcastic, nice, but has that bad boy streak.”
Here I couldn’t help protesting. “Steven is not a bad boy!”
“Anne, can you tell her to shut up?” Beth looked at me with an annoyed glance.
“Eh, perhaps I better keep out of this,” Anne said.
“What I’m trying to say,” Beth continued once again. “is that Steven has gone from being…boring, yeah yeah, stop throwing daggers at me, to becoming hot. He’s turned from Dawson to Clark Kent, if that’s a better comparison for you.”
“Dawson to Clark Kent,” I repeated not knowing if Beth was joking or not.
“Yes, the Clark in the Smallville series, that is. Hot, nice body, but still with that sweetness and good guy image to him. But you can just tell there’s a bad boy waiting to get out…”
“Ok, that’s it. No more TV show comparisons!” I said. “I get the picture, he’s changed, and apparently for the better. Great, what does that have to do with me?”
Anne looked at me and smiled sweetly. There was something in that smile that made me feel uneasy.
“Have you considered sleeping with Steven?”
I almost choked on my milkshake. “What?! Sleeping with him? Where did you get that from?”
Now it was Anne’s turn to hold a speech.
“You’re going away to University Cathy,” she said in a serious tone. “You’re still a virgin. Are you planning to stay one until you marry?”
“Eh, no,” I stuttered. “But, I don’t understand…”
“Are you going to let someone you don’t know take your virginity? I’ve heard plenty of stories how freshmen get picked up by the older guys, just because they’re new and naive. Easy prey.”
“Well…I honestly haven’t thought about it,” I said.
“Anne has a point,” Beth said. “Do you want your first time to be with just anyone? After all, it’s something you will remember for the rest of your life.”
“Who says I won’t meet some nice guy at Uni?” I argued back.
“You might, and you might not.”
“Look,” Anne said. “The point we’re trying to make is; why don’t you consider doing it with Steven? You know each other, you’ve seen each other naked…”
“Have not! We were in our underwear.”
Anne made a waving motion of her hand, showing she didn’t find that a valid argument.
“…and you trust each other,” she continued. “You trust each other. That’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? Trust. People say they want to wait until they meet someone who they’ll trust, who they feel comfortable with and so on. Well, Steven is that person to you, Cathy.”
Suddenly the front door bell rang. Steven had arrived.
“He’s here! Get out of here, I’ll see you guys tomorrow,” I ushered my friends out of my room and towards the main door.
The bell rang again, and I opened it. There stood Steven, tall, lean, and ok, I had to admit it, with a far better haircut than at 15. He smiled, and the deep dimples showed.
“Hi Cathy! Hi Beth. Hello Anne. How are you girls doing?”
“Oh, much better now that you’re here,” Beth grinned and stood closer to Steven. “Mmm, have you been working out?” She touched his toned biceps.
“Eh, yeah, actually I have,” Steven said. “Glad you noticed.” He smiled.
“Of course I’d notice!” Beth said sweetly. “Cathy, on the other hand would never have noticed…”
I had had enough of my friends, and shooed them out of the house, in a friendly, but firm, canlı casino very firm, manner.
“Hi there stranger,” I said while closing the door. Steven leaned over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I could smell the cologne I had bought him for his birthday.
“Hi there, yourself,” he said. “Excited about the move?”
“Very. It’s hard to imagine I will be in New York next week!”
“I can imagine,” he said and smiled that cute dimpled smile again. “Do you need any help getting your stuff there?”
We started to walk up the stairs to my room, and for some reason I felt like he was watching my ass, while walking up. I was probably imagining things, but couldn’t get rid of the feeling. It was probably because of Beth’s and Anne’s talk earlier. I would get back at them later on.
We had reached my room, and I sat down on the blue clad bed. My room was a mixture of the stereotypical male- and female teenage room. It was not that spacious, but spacious enough. On the desk was my laptop, along the walls a few bookshelves, and on top of the chest of drawers was my stereo. In one of the corners stood my TV along with the VCR. On the wall I had a poster with Oscar Wilde quotes. I particularly liked the “When people agree with me, I always feel I must be wrong” – quote.
“So, how do you really feel about moving from home?” Steven said and sat down on the bed next to me. “C’mon give me the real version, the uncensored one.”
This was why I loved being with Steven. He was easy to talk to, and we could be honest with each other. We had known each other for about three years, and over that time the friendship had grown. Hopefully it would continue growing.
“Well,” I said hesitantly. “I’m excited, but it’s also quite scary. I mean, I’ve never lived anywhere but here! Not to mention mom will be alone, and I’ll miss my friends.”
Steven looked at me and grinned mischievously. “You’re gonna miss me?”
“Of course I will!” I said and hit him with a pillow. “I’ll miss you to death!”
“Great!” he said and laughed. “But I’d prefer it if you were alive though…” I flung another pillow at him.
Turning more serious, Steven took my hand in his, and clasped it gently. His hands were bigger than mine, but not as rough as some guy’s. In fact they were soft, and the fingers were long and slender. I had many times nagged him to start playing the piano or guitar. He finally gave in. He chose the guitar, as “chicks dig men who play the guitar”. Steven never did become the mean rocker type, but he seemed to have a hidden talent when it came to music. After a year of playing he started to jam with some classmates, and they even played at the prom.
“Seriously, though Cathy,” Steven said, and suddenly a dark cloud seemed to come over his other so cheerful mood. “I will miss you, you know that, don’t you?”
For some reason I could feel myself getting warmer. It was something in his tone, I didn’t recognize it. Not to mention I could feel his hand clasping harder on my hand.
“What are you talking about, Steven?” I said, almost tripping over my words. “Of course I know you’ll miss me.”
“Good, I just really wanted you to know that. Things won’t be the same without you around here.”
“You sound like I’m gonna die,” I said and gave a forced laugh. Steven laughed too, but went back to being serious.
“So, what will happen with us?”
“What about us?”
“What will happen to our friendship when you leave?”
“Steven, you know I will always love you like a brother,” I said and put my hand over his. “Nothing will change, we’ll be friends and keep in touch.”
“What if you meet some other guy?” he asked, averted his eyes.
“Some other guy?”
“Yeah, some other guy who’ll take my place. Either as a best friend, or as a boyfriend.” Steven’s voice was lower now.
“Steven, nobody will take your place,” I said, knowing perfectly well how cliché it sounded. “Well, ok, I admit I might meet some guy at some point…”
“…and you’ll fall in love and all that,” he filled in. “That’s what I mean by taking my place. As soon as you get a boyfriend things will change. You’ll have a new best friend, and he’ll probably get jealous at our friendship. Maybe he’ll forbid you to hang out with me.”
“Stop being so damn childish! Ok, so I might get a boyfriend, but he sure as hell won’t decide who I should hang out with, or not!” I said fiercely.
“Ah, now there’s that fighting spirit I love,” Steven smiled at me and I smiled back.
“Want to see more of it?” I asked, and before he could react the pillow flew at him.
“Hey! Just you wait…!” Steven grabbed another pillow and a fully fledged pillow fight had broken lose.
We were sitting down in the kitchen. The small square table was not made for big family dinners. Only four people could fit around it, but it was perfect for mom and me to have breakfast by. Now it was Steven and I sitting there drinking cinnamon and apple tea.
“So, not to butt into your private life,” I said while kaçak casino taking a sip of my tea, ” but what if you get a girlfriend? Would you let her dictate who you meet?”
“Never,” Steven said. “If I have to choose between you and some girl I’ve gotten to know in a club, I’ll choose you.” He took a sip from the big tea cup in his hands.
“Geesh, thanks,” I snickered. “I come before some tramp you’ve picked up in a club.”
“Aww, you know what I mean!”
With an exaggerated frown on my face, I pretended to be insulted. “Can’t believe I’m only a step above some chick off the streets.”
“Stop that,” Steven said. “No matter who the girl is, she won’t tell me who my friends should be.”
“Ok, but what if she gets jealous at our friendship then?” I persisted.
“Well, then I’d have to explain to her.”
“That we’re only friends. Nothing else.”
I looked down into my tea mug. “Just friends, eh?”
“Not ‘just’, but best friends.” Steven took a deep sip of his tea, and I could see a cloud rising from the cup. “Cathy, you’ve been there for me since we were kids. You were the one chasing that bully Billy away, you saved me from being bitten by Mr. Henderson’s Pitbull, and you helped me through my parent’s divorce.”
“I did, didn’t I?”
“Yes, you did, and I can’t thank you enough.” Our eyes met and we smiled at each other.
“I’m sure you’ll always be there for me Cathy, and I’ll be there for you.”
“Steven,” I hesitated. Should I really tell him? “Have your friends ever said anything…” My voice was trailing.
“About us. You know, about that they might think we should get together, and such.” My heart was beating slightly faster now. I didn’t want it to, but it seemed to have a mind of it’s own.
“Well,” now it was Steven’s turn to admire his Snoopy tea cup. “Yeah, I guess they’ve said stuff.”
“What kind of stuff?”
“Well, eh…” Steven was starting to squirm on his chair. “They’ve asked if we’ve ever dated.”
“And as we haven’t I told them the truth. They can be idiots though, and sometimes tease me.”
“How do they tease you?” I asked, desperate to find out more.
“At times they’ve asked if we have…you know…,” Steve’s cheeks were turning red. “You know, if we’ve… done anything.”
I was almost too scared to ask. “Ehm, and what did you reply to that?”
Now Steven was clearly flustered, and he nervously ran a hand through his hair.
“That we’ve never done anything, of course! I mean, we haven’t.” He looked up at me. “Why? Did you expect me to say something else?”
“Oh no, I just…,” I stammered. “I was only wondering what your reply was.”
Steven looked at me, the redness on his cheeks still there, but not as intense.
“Cathy, even if we had done something it would have been none of their business.” God, I loved Steven. I knew I could count on him.
I put down my tea cup. “Steven, are you a virgin?” What the heck was I saying? How could I even ask him such a thing? I mean, he was my best friend, he would have told me if he had been with anyone, wouldn’t he? Or perhaps he wouldn’t. That’s why I had to ask.
Steven looked genuinely surprised at my question.
“Whoa! Where did that come from??”
Now it was my turn to blush. “Well, eh, I’m guessing you are. I mean… you’ve never said otherwise, so I’m assuming…, but I guess you can never be sure…” Once again my voice trailed off.
He sat there quietly. There was hardly any tea left in his cup, but he wasn’t asking for a refill.
“You want to know if I’ve had sex with anyone.” It wasn’t a question, more of a statement.
“Yes,” I said meekly, hanging my head in shame.
I looked up at him.
“No,” he repeated. “I have never had sex.”
“But, you’re 19!” I blurted out. “And I know girls fancy you!”
I could see the start of a smile on his face.
“You’re 19 too,” he said. “As far as I know you’re still a virgin.” He grinned. “Or have you been keeping something away from me?”
“No!” I said quickly. “I mean, yes, I’m also a virgin.”
“See, and I know guys fancy you. We’re in the same boat.”
I gave a meek smile. “You’re right, I don’t know why I even asked that question. Sorry.”
“No problem,” Steven said. There was an awkward silence. It was Steven who broke it.
“They want you to sleep with me, don’t they?” he said. I was too bowled over by the question, that at first I had no clue what he was talking about.
“Beth and Anne,” he said. “They are trying to talk you into sleeping with me.”
I just stared at him, not knowing what to say.
“They think we should do it, as we ‘know and trust each other’,” Steven continued. “Am I right?” He tilted his head in and looked at me questioningly.
“Yes,” I finally admitted. “They’ve… mentioned it.”
Now it was Steven’s turn to ask me what I had answered.
“I told them I haven’t given it much thought before,” I explained. “I mean, you’re my best friend! Not someone I’ve dated.”
Steven started to fiddle with his tea cup.
“If you had dated me, do you think you would have slept with me?”
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