I couldn't believe that a totally cute total stranger had just said that to me. I blushed furiously even though I really had no idea what he was talking about. Then he clarified, "it was a German movie..." and as he briefly explained under what circumstances he had seen this movie, I was more than embarrassed, I was mortified. I knew I had been foolish to let my guard down enough to play a murderess in a German class group project, and even more foolish to commit said performance to videotape. The fact that my teacher, Fritz, had apparently shown the tape to others was like a breach of confidence.
Still, beneath all the humiliation and surprise, I have to admit there was a part of me that was very flattered to have been singled out by a stranger on the basis of something as silly as a German video. Maybe that's why, as he turned to go, I called after him and asked him his name. "I'm Jeremy," he said. I told him my name was Bridget, but I suspect he already knew my name from Fritz.
From then on, it was one of those weird things where even though I had never seen Jeremy before our encounter on the steps, now I saw him everywhere. It helped that the bulk of both of our classes were in the JKHB, and that's where we usually crossed paths, but it was still uncanny how often we happened to be in the same place at the same time.
Most of the time we simply greeted each other in passing. More and more, however, we ended up studying at the same table in a place called the HLRC (Humanities Language Resource Center) in the JKHB. The HLRC was a place where pretty much anyone studying pretty much any foreign language had to spend a lot of time since it was where all the foreign language computer programs and tests were. It wasn't like it was just Jeremy and me there by ourselves - there were always a few dozen others gathered around. I'd be at one end of the table, he'd be at the other, or maybe he'd be working a few computers down from me.
On one of these occasions, we got to talking again and Jeremy basically asked me out. I say "basically" because for whatever reason, it wasn't immediately clear to me that that's what he was doing. There was an awkward pause and for reasons that remain unfathomable to me, I basically said no. I say "basically" here because I didn't mean to say no, but that's the answer that came out of my mouth. I remember saying something about it being awkward since he was still roommates with Fritz, and Fritz had been my teacher, and blah blah blah. Next thing I knew, Jeremy said he had to go. We parted amiably and it wasn't until I didn't see him around for a few days that I realized what I had done.
I felt terrible. I had an idea of how he must feel, and I felt stupid for having ruined everything, especially since we were getting along so well. But I didn't even know his last name, so even StalkerNet (Route Y) couldn't help me.
One night, I checked my BYU email and saw that there was a message from Jeremy (with the bonus information that his last name was Palmer, which I filed away for future StalkerNet use). I was excited to see that he was trying to contact me, but as I read what the email said, my heart sank.
How I wish I still had this email. Jeremy contests that it wasn't that mean, but that's not how I remember it. In essence, he told me that he thought I was a stuck-up snob who wore only Abercrombie & Fitch (um, it was actually J. Crew, thank you very much) and thought she was too good to treat a guy like him courteously and he hoped I had a good life...NOT.
Seriously, I am not joking. Jeremy actually sent me an email saying these things.
I'm sure you can imagine how I felt after reading that. But in addition to the wounded surprise, there was also indignation that someone could actually come away with that impression of me, and also hope that there was a chance for me to correct it.
So I wrote him back. I am sure he didn't expect me to. I bet he thought I would just laugh it off like the cold-hearted ice queen he took me for. But I wrote him back and said I was sorry for the misunderstanding and that if he was interested in giving me another chance, I would be going up to the HLRC to study after my Japanese class a few days later. If he happened to be there, too, I would be happy to see him. Before I could rethink things, I hit "send" and it was done.
That was on a Friday. It wasn't until Tuesday afternoon that I had my Japanese class and I was nervous and shaking almost the whole hour. It was so important to me that Jeremy show up, not only because I wanted to set the record straight, but because I wanted to spend more time with him.
Japanese class ended. I tried to breathe deeply to calm my nerves and act as normal as possible as I gathered up my things and walked up a few flights of stairs to the HLRC.
Was Jeremy there, or had he written me off as a heartless snob? Find out next week.