Natalie was starting to think she might lose her mind at an early age. A part of her was happy about this. She guessed that way she wouldn't miss anyone, because she wouldn't know them.
At the moment it was best not to think so much about it. She at least had a few minutes to herself at the library. But she'd have to walk their first. And as she walked on campus, she dreaded the thought of seeing Derrick. Usually when he saw her, he looked straight through her.
For a moment, she felt as if something was caught in her throat. Really, it was time to be over him. But it wasn't like she'd gone out and made contact with anyone. OK, the summer job opened up and that was a new window of sorts. Meeting new friends. High school kids. Trying her best to be her happy self. Seriously, she was sure no one knew how she really felt. And now that she could feel this huge grief, she hugged her books tighter. Why was she working so hard? Why should she?
She'd slept for days after her breakup with Derrick. Did anyone call? No. No one. Suddenly, she felt she'd never had a friend at all. Except Randi, and she was a cousin. Randi was the one who had pushed her into doing something. And she'd kept moving, ever since.
Just like now, putting one foot in front of the other. It wasn't easy. She felt tired if she let herself.
And then she saw him. She thought of that silly drama workshop in high school where they were all trying to act like pieces of bacon being fried. It was an exercise on the floor. Naturally, he was the most sizzling bacon there. But now he was here. On campus.
"Hi!" She waved.
Of course, the guy looked around him to see who she was talking too.
"Hey." He looked at her blankly.
"How have you been?" She wanted to know, trying to remember his name. He was crazy funny that day, but he was sincere too, when they talked about skits.
"Well, I've had better days." He scratched the back of his neck, rather timid. His golden curls were a humid mess. "How about you?"
"Loud. Its very loud in the dorm." She admitted. "So, are you doing any theater, this summer?"
"Me?" He chuckled. "I don't think so." He winced with a smile.
"You're kidding me, you stopped acting?" She looked at him serious.
"I never started." He promised. "I think you have me confused with someone else." He shook his head.
"You're not Drew?" She winced back, feeling like a total fool.
"Its Smed." He nodded.
Natalie bit her upper lip. "But you ..you look so familiar. I must be going crazy."
"I don't think so." He smiled. "You're a friend of Sammi's, aren't you?"
"Uh." She didn't even want to think of Sammi's name.
"I room at her place." He nodded.
Somehow, Natalie felt totally defeated. She felt almost numb.
"Hey, lets get out of the heat," Smed said. "How about ice cream?"
"I should be studying." She told him.
"Everything goes better with ice cream. Even studying." He told her about the cheap soft serve ice cream cones at the bowling alley. "Who would have thunk it, huh?"
Soon enough they were having ice cream cones, watching bowlers in the cool air conditioning on a hot afternoon.