After we finished eating dinner at the Thai place, Vic and I walked back outside and just sort of slowly stalled around. We kept talking and talking and putting off getting back to campus. It was like neither of us wanted to leave, and neither of us was willing to make the first move to suggest that we do.
"I'm having a great time, I just thought I should tell you," Vic said at one point. We had found a bench near the main campus entrance and sat next to each other. It was already dark by this point, but the streetlights were on, so it wasn't that bad. I had plenty of light and well, Vic . . . you know.
"Really? So am I," I said, smiling the hugest smile I could muster up. My heart was doing somersaults. This was absolutely crazy to me, and I half-expected someone to wake me up at any moment and tell me it was all just a dream. No way I was actually meeting someone who was just as interested in me as I was in them.
"I'm glad," he grinned. "So should we keep doing this?"
"Doing what?" I asked, before I realized it was a stupid question. I wasn't the best at filtering out stupid things, they just sort of flew out sometimes. "I mean, yeah, definitely."
"Okay, awesome," Vic said, chuckling. "You know, I wish I could stay out here all night with you, but I should really head back home."
"Yeah," I agreed, reluctantly. The night had to come to a close eventually I guess. I didn't want to go, either. "Do you want me to walk you to your place?"
It was an innocent gesture, honestly.
"What? No," he said, rather abruptly. It caught me off guard because his tone was suddenly so different than it had been this whole time we were talking. I froze, wondering what I said to offend him. "I mean . . . sorry, I'm fine going home myself. I'll talk to you in class? Maybe we can figure out what to do on our next date, okay?"
"Yeah, okay," I said, quietly, my mind hung up on 'next date.' "Well, I'll see you around then."
"Wait, I don't get at least a hug or something?" he smirked. I bit my lip and felt my face growing hot as I stepped closer to him. He held his arms out slightly and I slowly stepped into them, wrapping my arms around his middle as his arms closed around my shoulders. He was so warm and I could already tell he was toned by how firm his body was. He was thin, but solid and warm. It was definitely a good thing, though. I never wanted to let go of him.
The hug wasn't that long, but I felt like I could have stayed there hugging him for a lifetime. I never realized that I could be left feeling so breathless and bewildered by something as simple as a hug. But it was perfect nonetheless. He was perfect.
"Good night Kellin," he said in a low voice.
"Yeah . . . Good night," I breathed, watching as he gave me one last smile before heading off in the opposite direction. I took a deep breath to collect myself for a moment before I started off towards my dorm building.
I was so happy. Was this what walking on clouds felt like? Or however that saying went? I literally felt like I could just break out into song and dance and I just wouldn't even care who was watching. This was just so perfect.
I took the stairs to my room two at a time, eager to get back to Justin and tell him everything. I got to the room, and dug through my pockets to find my keys. . . when I realized that I had forgotten to take them with me.
Letting out a frustrated sigh, I knocked on the door, hoping Justin wouldn't be too annoyed by my forgetfulness. He was always getting onto me about that, and I knew my forgetfulness was a bad thing a lot of the time.
A few moments later, the door swung open and Justin let me in.
"I'm sorry, I forgot my key," I said as I entered the room and locked the door behind me. Justin just shrugged and crawled back into his bed. I hoped I didn't wake him up or something.
"It's okay," he mumbled. "How was the date?"
"Oh my god, it was absolutely perfect," I gushed, sitting down on the edge of my bed. I felt like some middle school girl with her first crush, honestly. I just couldn't stop thinking about Vic or how perfect our date was. Perfect, perfect, perfect! "I really like him, Justin."
"Really? That's great," he said, casually, peeking up at me from the comfort of his own bed. "And the blind thing still isn't an issue?"
"What? No . . . Justin, come on," I sighed, a little disappointed in how low his expectations already were for Vic.
"What? I 'm just being honest here, Kells. Dating a blind person is different that dating a normal person," he explained, a little defensively. I didn't like the way he used the word 'normal.' I mean, that was highly subjective anyway.
"It doesn't have to be," I insisted. "Vic's really cool, you should meet him sometime."
"Yeah, I'm sure he is," Justin said, sounding tired again. He just didn't understand, but I knew he'd come around eventually. "Sorry if I said anything offensive, I'm just looking out for you."
That next week was a little crazy for Justin, or at least that's how he explained it. Apparently it was rush week, meaning that that was how he had to join the frat. There was something about attending parties and impressing people. It all sounded so superficial to me, but I tried not to pass too much judgment, because I knew it meant a lot to Justin.
"They're giving out bids today, wish me luck," Justin said, as he finished checking himself out in one of the mirrors. It was a little amusing seeing him dressed up all preppy. Honestly, it made it hard to believe this was the same guy that went through an eyeliner phase in high school.
"Luck!" I chirped enthusiastically as someone knocked at the door. "I'll get it!"
I moved towards the door and pulled it open surprised to see someone I didn't recognize. He was taller than me, but not as tall as Justin and dressed up all preppy like Justin was. He had a beard that made him look older than he probably was.
"Hi, can I help you?" I asked, giving him a friendly smile. I wasn't sure who he was, but I assumed he meant well.
"Hey, is Justin here?" he asked. A friend of Justin's! I nodded and invited the guy inside and Justin looked up in recognition.
"What's up, Mike," he said, casually, giving the guy a fist-bump as the metaphorical light bulb went off in my head.
"Oh! You're Vic's brother, right?" I asked, excitedly. He looked confused momentarily, but then nodded. He shoved his hands in the pockets of his khakis and smiled. I thought it was so cool how Justin ended up being friends with someone close to Vic. What a small world!
"Yeah, how do you know Vic?" he asked. His tone was a bit defensive, like he wasn't sure if my association with Vic was a good one or a bad one.
"I'm Kellin, I guess we're kinda dating," I said, smiling. Telling him someone out loud that I was dating him made me want to burst into a fit of giggles. By this point in time, Vic and I had already been on our second date and everything was going pretty smoothly. I had hugged him three times, and I thought about those hugs a lot. We didn't have an official label yet but he made me very happy.
"Oh, nice, I've heard a bit about you," he said, which caused my stomach to do a backflip. Vic talked about me? That was great right? Oh my goodness.
"Really?" I asked, grinning widely. Mike just chuckled.
"Yeah, he really likes you, I guess," he said. Then his smile faded. "I've heard good things, but just remember . . . you hurt him and I'll beat your skinny ass."
"What?" I asked, involuntarily taking a step back as he just laughed. I eased up a little and let out my own nervous laughter. I guessed he was just kidding . . . or maybe he wasn't but either way I had no intention of hurting Vic in any way. I guess a brother just needed to be protective. "No, I'm- I won't hurt him. No way."
"You'll be fine, I'm sure," he assured me, with a cool grin. Ok so maybe he was just messing with me. "Yo, Justin, I'm not getting any younger over here."
"Right, I'm ready," he said, grabbing his phone and keys from his desk. I said good-bye to them both as they headed out of the room and onto their bidding-rush-auction thing or whatever it was called. Hopefully everything would work out for them. The thought crossed my mind that maybe if they both got bids we could all go out and celebrate and Vic would be there too and it would be wonderful.
I sort of lay there for a while; imagining scenarios where we'd all be friends and Vic would hold my hand. I honestly never thought I'd make any friends besides Justin when I got to college, yet here I was. I had an almost-kinda-boyfriend and I was getting along with Justin's new friends.