And so begins the Alex And Madeline Won’t Ever Stop Talking portion of the story. This is the part where Alex comes over a lot. It’s also the part where my roommate/best friend Lyndsay stays up with us, annoys the heck out of me, and kicks Alex out at midnight. In retrospect, this was probably a good thing. Not that anything bad would have happened, but both of us would have been extremely sleep deprived, and I mean, we both still had school after all.
There were good times and not so good times. These come from being eighteen year olds, I suppose. We hung out a lot, and had a good time, but there were times when he would blow me off, or not text back forever. To my little eighteen year old heart, sometimes this was hard, but whatever friendship/crush thing we had going was strong enough to keep for a while.
After one of these weekends of not as good times but forgiving, Alex came over. We were talk talk talking away as usual, and Alex wanted me to tell him an embarrassing story. The problem is, I don’t really have many embarrassing stories, because I don’t get embarrassed easily. (I know, how many times have you heard that excuse? But I’m serious.) Good ole Lyndsay stepped up to the plate however, and told him that I had a really good one that I wasn’t telling him. She meant the bus story, and I was going to kill her. I mean, if you recall, Alex STILL hadn’t forgiven Matthew Bean for his supposed transgression, and I LIKED Alex! He was begging for the story, but I wouldn’t tell. He let it go for a while, but as the night was ending, he asked me to please tell him. I told him that I couldn’t tell him, because he would hate me forever! And it was a long time ago and I didn’t know what I was doing and it shouldn’t matter! So he just started guessing, and after a few guesses, he gasped and yelled, “You told on me to Mrs. King!!!” So I had to admit that yes, It was me. I was terrified. But he just started laughing and laughing.
The thing about freshman roommates is that they are still basically in high school. All of you are. You’re at this weird point in your life where you’re not in high school, but you’re not really in college yet, because you have no clue what you’re doing, so you still act like you’re in high school. I had to deal with a lot of silly roommate action. First, Lyndsay forcing me to tell about the bus. And then Amy was always Facebook messaging Alex or texting him and letting him know that I wanted to kiss him, or hold his hand. These instances were mortifying to me. I mean, how can you recover from that? You can’t say no, I DON’T want to kiss you, because you really do, but you also can’t say that you do want to because then what if he doesn’t? It was a hard time.
After the whole kissing text thing, Alex went a whole weekend without talking to me. I was angry about it. So one night I was brushing my teeth, and I looked up toward the ceiling and sent angry brainwaves toward his room, and lo and behold, he facebook messaged me right after that. (Facebook, right? That’s just another sign of how young we were.)
Anyway, no matter the immature goings on of facebook messaging, and not texting back stuff, we were still going strong as friend/crushes/whatever we were. We talked for hours and hours. I know I keep saying that, but when I look back, that’s what I remember. Sitting on that stupid DI couch and just talking to each other. Not anything else but talking. And laughing so much that my roommates would text me and tell us to be quiet.
Our first hug happened on a Thursday night. Alex and his roommates were leaving to St. George for the weekend. We had stayed up talking for a while, but he needed to leave early so that they could get ready to go. As he was getting up to leave, Stacia said, “I think Madeline should walk you to the elevator!” (See what I mean??) So I did. Of course. The problem was that as we walked down the hall to the elevator, these other girls were there too, and it was way awkward, so we had to walk around like we weren’t going to the elevator. When that debacle was over, and Alex’s elevator had come, he asked, “Can I have a hug before I go?” And that was that. In my journal I wrote, “So we had our first hug! And he’s way taller than me!” That Saturday was Valentine’s Day. Alex texted me, and I asked him to be my Valentine. I know, bold move.
The true test of our relationship came on a snowy Sunday night right after Valentine’s. Alex was coming back from St. George, and I was at home with my family. They were upset because I was going to be driving back to Logan in a snow storm by myself and it was my first time. But Alex just happened to text me (shocker! I know!) and I mentioned it to him, and he said that he would stop in Kaysville and ride up with me the next morning. Problem solved. To be honest, that was probably one of the worst snow storms I have ever driven in. The canyon became this white wall of nothingness. I don’t know how we survived, but I remember feeling very grateful that Alex was with me. And he let me drive. I mean, the fact that he trusted me with his life!
One night, we went out for ice cream and then rented the Bourne Ultimatum. First of all, this was a silly movie choice, because I had not even seen the first two. But it was fine. We watched the movie with my roommate Kalli, her boyfriend (now husband!) Tyson, and my other roommate Amy. Amy sent me a high school text telling me “you two are such babies! If he isn’t going to hold your hand, reach over and grab his!” (Amy was a lot more experienced with hand holding, and this was really scary for me.)
After the movie, the others left, and we were sitting on the couch, talking as usual. I had a pillow on my lap. I always need a blanket or a pillow on me when I’m on the couch. A while went by, and then Alex put his hand on the pillow and asked, “Is this ok?” I was surprised, and could only reply with a brilliant, “what?” and then he grabbed my hand! Chills went up and down my whole body. I remember that. I sat there in awe of the hand holding experience I was having. Alex apparently wasn’t as moved by it, because he said, “You didn’t answer my question.” I didn’t remember a question. He asked a question? So I said, “What question?” He sighed, rolled his eyes and then closed them as if I was causing him great pain. Then he held our hands up and said, “is THIS ok?” Yes it is. Duh. That night, we talked until 4:30 in the morning.
After that experience, there was no denying that I liked this kid. A lot. We watched many movies together, holding hands a few times after this first experience. Of course, the high school behavior cannot continue unnoticed, and at times we both succumbed to it. Working through friends to get information became something of a habit, and something I wouldn’t recommend to people pursuing a real relationship… However, on one occasion, I did ask Lyndsay to facebook message Alex WHILE I was texting him. Lyndsay didn’t know I was talking to him, but he did know that I was with her, so it was this whole convoluted web of getting information. I had Lyndsay ask him, “How much do you love Madeline on a scale from 1-10?” To which he replied, “only to 10?” So she changed it to 1-100. After which, Alex answered, “101.65”. What’s a girl to do, when she gets extra credit on such a declaration? Of course, she should text him and say, “Not even 102??” And have him answer, “You’re getting there.”
p.s. i slipped and fell on the ice today. hard. i may be limping for the rest of forever.