In the winter of 2000 I fell in love with the most unlikely of persons, a large part of our bond the desire to escape west. Although I had already known true love several times over, he was different from anyone else I had dated. He was a proud outsider of any of my social circles, and I was resistant and suspicious of his charms until one day I wasn’t. There was no certain plot of cruel intentions, but there was a bad boy, a naive girl, and a bet. I believed every word he said.
Despite what happened later, I still look back on that spring of my senior year with fondness. The future held such promise. I was madly in love, I was ready. As my final semester drew to a close, I had less and less of an idea about how the next step was going to unfold but more of a resolve to make sure that it did.
With my incessant talking, several people had come out of the woodwork expressing desire to make the move with me. A good friend, a stranger, a girl from my pledge class who had since transferred schools. At one point, there were five westbound hopefuls and we were scouring the internet for large apartment rentals.
In the end, only the long-lost sorority sister stayed on board. And the boyfriend, always the boyfriend. Then, in early June, the intense romance was over before I could open my mouth in protest. Any bit of cold feet about the move I had before was absorbed by the depth of my heartbreak. I was driven to make a transformation, and couldn’t get out of my mind and body fast enough.
Sometimes I say, only half-jokingly, that anger and sadness and revenge are what sent me fleeing west.