So, I’ve always, always, always wanted to write out the story of how David and I became, well, Maegan + David. I am excited to unveil the first installment of how it all began.
I have always been a fast driver. I get that from my mom, even though my dad (who I’m sure has never driven faster than 45 MPH) taught me how at the young, innocent age of fifteen. I’ve had my share of speeding tickets and even a few wrecks that I’m not proud of (only one where I was driving!), but I digress. I’m really not a bad driver, I promise.
On the sunny Wednesday morning our story starts, I was—you guessed it—driving a little too fast. Even though I always meant well, I seemed to always be running late to class. I lived at home my freshman year at Shorter, commuting 45 minutes every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. When I wasn’t in class, I was working 30+ hours at a grocery store in my hometown, doing homework, or most likely hanging out with my mom.
The boyfriend I had when I started college was no longer around, which meant I was pretty sad and stopped going to church for a while (he was bringing his new girlfriend). There are absolutely no hard feelings there anymore, but it’s important to the overall story.
Anyway, back to it. So I was running late for my first class. There are two things I really hate—being late for things and waking up in the mornings. It’s pretty bad when these things clash, but what can you do? Even when I tried my hardest, I was usually flying out the back door in a panic. The drive is an uneventful one, full of long stretches of highway, occasionally dotted with a Walmart or a fruit stand. When you get into Rome, though, the red lights become your worst enemy and make the most-prompt-of-us scramble to get behind their desks on time. It was a glorious morning when you were met by green light after green light; I think everyone is familiar with that feeling of “Today is going to be awesome!” as you breeze down the highway, never having to hit the brake and wait for that one car turning left out of the Food Lion.
This day was not one of those glorious mornings. Every stoplight in town was waging war against me and my futile attempt to get to class on time. When I was finally—finally!—sitting at the red light across from the college, I knew it was useless. This red light, of all the lights in the stoplight-filled town, was always my ultimate downfall. It. Lasted. Forever. I remember sitting at it time and time again, timing it at two minutes or more sometimes. Of course, when it finally turned green, you had a good eight seconds before it was yellow and then red again in a flash. I gunned it when, two minutes and thirty-seven seconds later, I got the go-ahead from that bright green savior. I drove through the gatehouse, probably not waving at the grumpy guard, and sped over speed bump after speed bump in my little red Cavalier.
That car was one of the best Christmas gifts I’d ever gotten. No, it wasn’t brand new or fancy or even that well-kept, but my wonderful sister Tori gave it to me and I absolutely adored it. Did it roar to life like a race car on the Nascar runway? Definitely. Was the paint peeling and fading in places? Sure. Did it come complete with a giant “Cowgirl Up!” sticker on the windshield? You betcha. But it was mine and I loved it (and, luckily, my dad is very good at scraping unsightly stickers off windows). I named the car Bobby and he accompanied me on many adventures.
As I drove up the hill to the commuter parking lot with trusty Bobby, I hoped and prayed I would find a parking spot. Here’s the thing about Shorter: If you live in a dorm, you can easily wake up late, say, at 9:58 a.m., jump out of bed, change clothes, even brush your teeth, and make it to class with a few seconds to spare. As a commuter, you had to find a spot in the tiny parking lot, making sure not to accidentally park in a Faculty or Handicapped spot, walk up more of the hill (all while fake-coughing to cover up the fact that you are badly out of shape and need to lie down), and then reach the building where your first class was probably halfway over. I quickly turned Bobby into the farthest-away-from-the-buildings commuter parking lot as I saw someone walking up the hill in front of me. I didn’t really almost hit him, but that’s the way we’ve decided to tell the story.
This boy looked like he was running just as late as I was, though, while I was panicking and worried about coming into the classroom late (Who doesn’t hate that awkward moment when you turn the old door handle, which is probably really rickety and needs a good oiling, then everyone looks up and stares at you as you search frantically for a seat that’s hopefully not in the very front while also apologizing to the professor for being late?), he was just leisurely strolling up the hill like it was his job.
He didn’t seem to mind that he was going to be late, that people might stare at him, or that he might get embarrassed. I jumped out of my car after—thankfully—finding a parking spot and easily caught up with him. I don’t remember our conversation, or even if we had one at all. But I remember that he was wearing khaki shorts and a black fleece jacket, and there was something about him that I liked.
That was the first time I ever met David.