THE NIGHT WE MET.
I wanted to write the story of how Blake & I met & ultimately how our dating relationship started. It’s kind of a long story, so I’ve split it into parts– this is part 1.
He extended his hand when we meet. We were in the parking lot outside his dorm, & the sun was just starting to dip for the night. The girls had arrived a day earlier to decorate their dorm rooms & settle in, & they were excited greet the guys as they arrived for the fall semester. They were all friends from freshman year, but I had moved in the day before as a new transfer from A&M so only one face wasn’t new to me. Andrew & I had gone to the same high school, but we were more of acquaintances than friends. I think he was a little wary of girls back then, & I was shy in general. His girlfriend, Ramie, was whom I had attached myself to. A mutual friend of Andrew’s & mine who I worked with over the summer made me call her so I would have a friend when I got there. We weren’t in the same dorm that semester, but I would end up spending a lot of nights on a pallet in her room. (There have been two instances in my life when someone forced me to call a stranger over the phone, convinced we would be friends for life. It’s worked out pretty well both times.)
Everyone else was a new face. After being introduced to one or two people, Andrew said, Jenna, this is my roommate, Blake. I remember it so well—Blake extending his hand out to shake mine. Maybe it’s because I hadn’t placed myself around guys lately—I had ended an unhealthy relationship several months before. But this was a breath of fresh air. A simple handshake. Eye contact. A nice to meet you. His introduction was innocent, & his charm was strong.
A group of us went to Spaghetti Warehouse in the mall that night for dinner. I rode with Andrew & Ramie there but wanting to give them some privacy for the ride back, I ended up in Blake’s car. I don’t think it was just the two of us, but I can’t remember. I think he was playing Shane & Shane off his iPod or a burned cd. When we got back to campus, he shook my hand again & said thank you for gracing me with your presence. This wasn’t a syrupy Hallmark moment— his words were laced with humor & a tinge of mock & he probably bowed a little when he said it. His way was better. And I walked back to my dorm already feeling at home.
Also, we didn’t have phones in our back pockets back then, & Blake hated taking pictures, so here’s a picture that better encapsulates this season of life for the girls….I remember we also watched Tristan + Isolde that night because James Franco made us swoony.