[Wednesday, October 24]: FLASHBACK! Write a story about how you and your partner met. We want to know everything!
Freshman year, Yale University.
It was around the time that the leaves had started turning on the towering trees outside my window. Afternoon sun shone through on the dappled ground, and I stared out into the courtyard, avoiding the pile of midterm study material on my desk.
The old wooden door creaked open, and my roommate stuck her head inside. “Bambi! Are you coming?”
I looked at her blankly. “To what?”
“The barbecue. With the Sigma boys.”
I glanced over at the stack of papers. Surely it wouldn’t hurt if I left them for a few hours, right?
“Sure,” I said, standing on my toes and stretching my limbs up, shaking off the failed study session. I slipped my feet into my boat shoes, which I’d kicked off haphazardly next to my bed, and wrapped myself in a cardigan. It was still warm enough to sit in the sun and enjoy days like this.
I followed her down through the building, around winding paths, until we ended up at the back of the Sigma house. The area was buzzing with people, and the smell of the grill wafted through the air. Greeting the people I knew, I picked up a plastic plate and loaded it with meat and pasta salad, taking a seat on a picnic rug with a few guys I’d had classes with.
“Bro, I’m telling you, you have to come down the Cape with /me/ next year,” one of them was saying while ripping apart a steak with his teeth, his Vineyard Vines hat perched precariously over his wavy brown hair. “We just refurbished the yacht, it’s a beauty. Nantucket is the only place to summer.”
Another shook his head. “No, Hamptons, you won’t regret it.” He nodded at me, and I recognised him from Ancient Greek Philosophy.
A third guy crinkled his face at the mention of the Hamptons. I hadn’t seen him before. Though he was sitting, I could tell he was tall, and his skin was still giving off that summer glow that only a boy with a holiday house could have. He had dark blonde hair and ocean-blue eyes, and I found myself staring a little longer than I should have.
“Hyannis Port,” he said definitively, “is where it’s at.”
The first bro rolled his eyes. “You need a summer out of the Betancourt compound, dude.”
“He can’t do that, he’s too busy being a Kennedy,” the other one said with a snicker.
My ears picked up. Betancourts, Kennedys...
“Bambi, have you met Jack?” the Ancient Greek classmate asked, gesturing towards the tall, tanned one.
“Nice to meet you,” I grinned, pushing a piece of hair behind my ear. He looked at me for a few seconds, and glanced down at my feet.
“Nice boat shoes.” He was wearing a similar pair.
I listened to the summer home conversation for a while before finding a few new people to talk too, but kept an eye on Jack Betancourt, King of Hyannis Port. A few times, he caught my eye too, and I found myself turning away with flushed cheeks.
Two weeks later, I was standing in line at Starbucks, staring intensely at the pumpkin scones in the display cabinet and tuning out the chatter of people around me. Impatiently, I shifted from foot to foot, wishing the girl in front of me would stop taking a million years to put in one order.
Once it was finally my turn to approach the counter, I ordered my pumpkin spice latte, and dug around in my wallet for spare coins. Before I could find them, a hand pushed a note across the counter.
“This is for hers. And a short black for me,” a guy said, and I looked up to see Jack Betancourt, King of Hyannis Port.
“Oh... hey,” I stammered, undoubtedly blushing again.
“Good to see you again, Abbey.”
“Bambi,” I corrected him. I immediately winced at my rudeness, but he just grinned.
“Sorry, I’ll never get it wrong again.”
And he never did.