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I had just begun college in the next-town-over’s engineering program. I wasn’t very far from home and I wasn’t that far out of my comfort zone. It was a technical college so I didn’t expect too many dead heads, hippies, weirdoes, medical necrophilias, or the too hard-core partying that leaves people with a heavy cloud of guilt following them into their adult years. Nah. I was at this small town college not really looking for a good time or an adventure. I expected to meet a bunch of nerds, a lot of too-smart international students, and the occasional nut-job-genius-teacher. I was ready to spend the next 5 years of my life focusing on the nitty gritty of mathematics, sciences, and aerospace technology. -Sound fun? I thought so. I really did. I really though living in a small town of about 20,000 including the college was going to be some of the best years of my life. I just never dreamed it would be so unforgettable…
My paradigms shifted on some rainy September day..I’d tell you the exact date though it wasn’t that important to remember, at the time.
That’s the day when I (sort of) met Lilia.
I saw her wet blonde hair flying behind her and the sack of pencils bouncing
along her back. She was soaking wet and screaming, whirling through pools of water in the gutters and
sending spray over the bystanders angrily trying to block the rain and puddle's
spray with their umbrellas. Not her though, she came flying along the corners
and walkways (no bikes allowed) on her expensive looking bike that seemed to be
more in place in the rugged mountain trails than this small town engineering
school's campus. Nobody knew her name, not me. Hell no, this chick was crazy.
I heard her yelps of delight rounding my corner before I even had the chance to
escape. Rose bushes lined my right side and the nanotechnology building was
exactly to my left. My choice would have been to commit thorn suicide or smash
into the brick wall. I chose neither. In fact I had no time to even make a
choice let alone weigh my options. She was pedaling too fast when, of course, we
After I fell to the sidewalk with terrible bruising to my calves ( I would
later find out) I heard her shouts of puddle-splashing-glee turn to
bystander-was-just-annihilated-horror. By now I was obviously out of it and my book
back was beside me crushing the rose bushes with the weight of too many
expensive college text books.( Why didn’t we have holographic textbooks by now?)
She was a whirl-wind of energy on her bike so it was no surprise that energy
turned into a hurricane as she realized her mistake. The bike was light and
didn't hurt much, obviously made for mountain-biking; but the speed she was going at caused her to fly forward and
land, yes, right on top of me. Let me tell you, I’m glad this girl weighed no
more than 100 llbs. She was tiny! But the bag of pencils and sketchpad were
on top of me before I could even scream. Scream? Ha! This hellion hadn’t even given me time to dart into
the thorns to avoid injury. (I’d have taken scrapes from thorns over stabbing of books, bikes, and bodies any day!) But again, there was no time to even move; and after I'd
been hit, I definitely couldn't move.
One of the most clichéd terms to never use is: "it happened so fast". However,
I'll be a cliché right now and use it. It all happened so fast I hardly remember
it. Before I could do anything but let out a quick yelp of pain she was
apologizing hastily, taking her soaking book bag and flinging it on her
shoulder, then jumping on her bike and leaving as fast as she'd come. Leaving
me, my books, and the umbrella in a soaking pile mixed with her pencils that
obviously were too expensive to be treated in such a careless manner of being
soaked then stepped on. She was a whirl of orange scarves and blonde hair that
hit me before I even knew what was coming. Then she was off again. I heard her
apologies spewed over and over until she was out of sight and silence filled the
sidewalk once again.
Moments later after laying on the sidewalk in a mixture of surprise and agony, I
picked up all my wet books (if they were holographic water precipitation would not be an issue), my crushed umbrella, and my shoe(?)...How did I
lose that? But as I headed off toward my 9:15 class that I was now late for, I
realized I had blood dripping from my lip. It tasted like a penny. Salty. Gross.
I hated blood. I was here for computer engineering, not med school. Obviously I
was a wreck. Obviously this gave me a good excuse to skip class. -Too bad at
that moment she came back.
How did she get back so fast? Where did she go?
I didn't even have time in between the accident and when I got up to actually
start fuming with the whole hit-and-run session. The rain had let up to a light
spit by now. Horray. -Just what I wanted.
Flashes from a cannon camera soon filled my face and disoriented me yet AGAIN on
this fine and dandy morning. Did this girl ever know when to just stop? I felt
sick to my stomach with the taste of my own bitten lip, my leg was hurting with
probably huge bruises from being run over then squished, and now the d****
perpetrator was back at the crime scene to document the whole dilemma with her
d**** camera. It was still misting for crying out loud why would she want that
expensive camera to get ruined? Did this girl have any manners?
Blood was still in my mouth.
I needed some Tums or Tylenol or something.
Then, yes just when I thought it couldn't get any worse, she gave me a hug.
She pulled me in for one of the weirdest hugs of my life. And trust me; I've had
some weird ones! In 5th grade I had this teacher that always seemed to give me
extra long hugs...and I was just the right height and age to start appreciating
"them", if you know what I mean. –Then, my junior year, I had a stalker who
would not leave me alone. He literally followed me home from school every day.
One time I finally confronted him about it and he started crying! Yes, crying! I
didn't know what to do so I reached out to pat his back and he pulled me into a huge
bear hug and would not let go!
I've had some weird ones, but not like hers. She pulled me in and I expected to
be swarmed again like my stalker in 11th grade. However, hers was soft. It was
fast. It was almost…caring. With her whirl of energy I half expected to be
swallowed by this forceful but tiny girl, but I was wrong. She pulled me in and,
of course, took a picture of us.
By that time I was too confused to do anything about it. She got back on her
bike and pedaled away with the same amount of energy she left the hit-and-run
scene with. I was confused. I was dazed. And I walked away tasting my metallic
blood and smelling grapefruit. Did girls wear grapefruit perfume?
Needless to say, I skipped class that day.
That was my first encounter with Lilia.