US: Chapter 2

This is the point in our story where things start to get tense.

Looking back, it was a weird time
with a lot of emotions moving quickly.

There were some awkward confrontations
and some ugly moments...
both from others & my own.

I try to keep the drama excluded as much as I can here,
because it really is a good story...
it was just really difficult to live through.

But knowing what I know now, 
man, it was worth it.

Fall 2005

Lauren has returned from spending my summer in London & traveling Italy
and is gearing up to start her senior year of college.

She is feeling refreshed after an amazing summer
 filled with lazy days on the Italian coast,
dining and playing with her family in France,
and enjoying the fruits of a difficult long-distance relationship:
quality time in an awesome setting.

Lauren is also feeling really relaxed-
at last, her boyfriend is moving back to the states
and is going to start the next chapter of his life.

After a year and a half of late-night phone calls,
tearful near-break ups over the strain of living in different worlds,
and awkwardly explaining the situation to people at school...
the "real" them can finally get started.

Well, sort of, since her boyfriend will actually live six hours away in Dallas...
where Lauren will, eventually, move when she graduates in a year.

All she needs to do is get through 20 hours of awful classes 
with names like "Managerial Accounting" & "Business Law"  
and the rest is smooth sailing.

Tyler, on the other hand, is whipped.

Apparently, he's "fraternizing with the ladies" is starting to catch up to him.

Editor's note: Dem hoes will get ya.

His fling from the summer is starting to go psycho on him,
he has a co-worker that won't stop calling,
and he is starting to enjoy hiding out from the social scene.

He decides to focus on his semester ahead
and start making plans to move to NYC after graduation.

The first week of classes, 
Tyler finds himself on the back row 
of a night section of Business Law.

In front of him are two girls.

The first is a bubbly girl named Meredith 
who took him to her formal in the spring
but now is dating some older guy from Dallas.

The other girl is her roommate who never turns around to join the conversation.

Tyler and Meredith chat throughout the first weeks of class...
while Lauren, her roommate, ignores Tyler.

Because the last time they had crossed paths (literally)
he was too cool...
and, as every 21 year-old knows, two can play that game.

This continues on for weeks through the semester until Halloween rolls around.

Sometime in that three hour class, 
Tyler writes the two girls a letter.

He even draws a pumpkin at the top of the page.

When he slides it down for them to read,
Lauren finds it be hilarious
 and decides he must not be as bad of a human as she thought.

In fact, he reminds her of her brother-in-law.

As Lauren climbs in her car that night after class,
she calls her sister, Brooke, to tell him about this guy, Tyler.

She's giggling so much the words aren't coming out right
there's drool sliding down her chin as she laughs.

Her sister replies that if he is so much like her husband, 
why didn't she just marry him?

The conversation immediately downshifts from fun to awkward.

The drool is wiped off Lauren's chin
and she snaps back a defensive reply 
involving her love for her boyfriend
and how sick she was of everyone suggesting that she date someone else.

Why didn't anyone like her boyfriend?

The semester continued down a normal track,
but from that point on...
Lauren & Tyler were friends.

Spring 2006

The next months are really cloudy in retrospect.

No one from the outside really knows what is going on
except Lauren Bryan & Tyler Knight are inseparable
and that she is in a really serious relationship... 
with someone else.

Like, isn't her boyfriend about to propose?
Didn't he accept a scholarship for law school in Dallas 
so they can be close to each other?

Every day Tyler & Lauren spend time together.

On campus.

Off campus.

Each afternoon starts with a text that says:

"What are the plans?"

And plans would be made to go out to dinner,
to go out dancing with friends,
to cook dinner at some one's house,
to attend a speaker on campus...
and every time they were together,
it was really easy.

No drama. No awkwardness. Nothing was forced.

Just a good natural fit...
one that could only start as friends.

One weekend "the plans" involved a trip to stay with Tyler's family
to go see Coldplay's concert...
and to have Lauren's boyfriend there.

So they did.

And it was super awkward.

Like, this awkward.
After that weekend,
Lauren realizes she saw Tyler more than just a friend
 decides it's time to suppress those feelings,
and be a better girlfriend to her man in Dallas.

 Tyler begins to try to find every fault in Lauren
to stop him from feeling this way 
about another guy's girlfriend.

Editor's note: This is a very short list.

But they still continue to hang out together every day.

 One night at Lauren's apartment in late April
as she hugs Tyler farewell, 
Lauren awkwardly bemoans that she's attracted to him.

He just looks at her and replies
"It makes things complicated,  doesn't it?


A few more weeks pass
and suddenly, it's
 weekend before graduation.

This falls on a holiday celebrated south of the border
 under the name of Cinco De Mayo...
and it deserves to be celebrated with honor.

Lauren's brother comes in town to see her room mate, Meredith...
and naturally, Lauren & Tyler are there, too.

The night is full of hilarious moments.

Her brother picked up the tab for a table of Hondurans,
ridiculous scenes involving mechanical bulls & a sticky dance floor,
a visit to Taco Bell at 2 am,
and eventually getting stranded at Tyler's house afterwards without a car.

As they lay talking on his couch,
 Tyler quietly tells her he thinks
if they ever dated, they would get married.

And that if they got married,
it would be really, really good.

Lauren starts to cry,
because, the truth is: 
she agrees.

She often looks at her boyfriend and feels trapped...
but with Tyler, 
she knows life would be different.

Being with Tyler would be what she had always wanted...
what she had always imagined love should be when she was a little girl...
and while these are all great thoughts,
she cries because it's impossible to have that with him 
now that she was supposed to marry someone else.

And then, for the first time, they kiss.

*ahhhhhhhhh!!! i am sweating after writing this... 
and the next installment is worse, albeit shorter.
Posted on December 1, 2011 and filed under "Kiss", "TK", "youth".