Transferring to a new college was scary. The first day of my World Literature course I couldn't help but to notice this girl sitting in the very back. She had long dark hair, pale skin, and bright blue eyes. I envied her beauty immediately. The next day, I head to Art History and there she was again. She was always wearing something dope and she always had a pair of vans on. For some reason, I was so fascinated with her. Back to World Lit, we seemed to be the only two that actually read the material and participated in the class discussions. We bounced our ideas and opinions off of each other, you could tell we both enjoyed it. I was walking to the library one day and we happened to bump into each other. “Hey, you’re in my art history class”, “You mind sending over the study guide?”, she proceeded to give me her number. I couldn’t believe that she even recognized me. I shot over the study guide and we quickly began to get off topic. I was kind of a loner, not really having any friends. Come to find out, she was too.
She invited me over one day after class and I felt like we clicked immediately. “I’m going to take a step outside and have a quick smoke break”, she followed. As I dig in my pocket to grab my carton, she does the same. I glanced over at her with a big smirk on my face. I’m not used to meeting other smokers, as most people tend to turn their nose up to it. She smoked Marlboro Blacks, a cigarette that hit a painful spot with me, memories came rushing back. For some reason she made me feel safe. Our friendship quickly took off, something I would’ve never expected. She ended up living literally 2 minutes down the road from me which was extremely convenient. We ended up spending many of our days together after that. I admired her; she was a cool chick. Unlike me, she had her head on straight. I was a drinker, although that wasn’t really her thing, she wasn’t the type to judge. I tried not to pressure into joining but every now and then she would grab a beer. I would rattle her can when she would step away for a moment, it was pretty much full. I think she only did it for me, which I felt was kind of endearing.
She lived with her step-dad, and he was just as awesome as she was. He had blue hair and a blue beard. He had actually convinced me to dye mine as well one night. He brought out about 2-3 boxes of hair dye and we quickly got to it. I loved it. He also frequently painted his fingernails. Lily painted hers too, but that wasn’t really my thing. I have huge hands which I’m extremely self-conscious about, and I didn’t want to draw any more attention to them, but I decided to join. I really sucked at it and she noticed and offered to paint them for me. I smiled and gave her my hand. With her, it was always the little things, things most people wouldn’t really think twice about, but to me they meant the world. Her house was scattered with guitars, huge speakers, a keyboard and I there’s no way I can’t mention the walls. They treated them as they were a canvas, covered with crazy colors, and unique designs. They were both very artsy. They were also musicians and I excitedly told them how I played guitar and a little keyboard as well. Her step-dad also played the guitar and keyboard while she played the ukulele. My favorite nights were the nights where we would all jam together. I gained a new appreciation for the Beatles and Johnny Cash. They introduced me into a whole new world of music. They taught me that Jimmy Dean didn’t only make sausage, as we all would sing “Big Bad John”. “Big John, Biiiig Joohnnn, Big Bad John!”
I wasn’t much of a screamo person, but they took me along to a few concerts and next thing I know, I’m bouncing around in mosh-pits ready to punch a bitch. I never actually knew the bands but before we would go, for about a week or two, her step-dad would prepare by blaring their music and when the music wasn’t on, he would be singing the lyrics. Next thing ya know, they were stuck in my head and I would find myself singing them too. She was extremely talented, an amazing artist and ukulele player, a fantastic writer, and such a sweet soul. It didn’t take long for me to become attached because I had never had such a genuine friendship. I would stay over until about dinner time and would join the two. He was an amazing cook. You could tell he felt flattered every time I would complement his meals. I wasn’t used to eating such high-quality food. Steak, brussel sprouts, a large baked potato followed by a craft beer. I hated how often I began to stay for dinner, but little did they know most nights I wouldn’t eat. We really didn’t have much food at the house.
I noticed that she soon began to withdraw, and I ran through my head trying to pin-point where I fucked up. Without even realizing until it became too late, I had smothered her with my problems, and wanted to hang-out basically all the time. I texted her profusely apologizing where she concluded to say that she had just gotten busy with work and school, but I knew deep down what I had done. I didn’t bother her after that. Now when I think of Marlboro Blacks, I think of her. My heart aches nowadays when I think about her. But I’m trying my hardest to understand that everything happens for a reason. She made such a huge impact in my life in such a short amount of time, I will forever be grateful for the friendship we shared. Although I am still baffled as to why she was taken away from me so soon, all I can say is lesson learned. The universe knew what it was doing when it brought them to me. Her and her step-dad showed me unconditional love. Without even directly mentioning it, she showed me that I still have some growing to do. I couldn’t help but to cry while writing this and I thought it would put the icing on the cake to go outside and smoke while re-reading it before I post it. I hope everyone gets a chance to meet someone like her.