My legs wanted so badly to move. So badly to follow him. I wanted to yell out, “Please, just take me. Wherever you’re going.” But I just stood there. Watching this beautiful man walking away from me. This man… I barely knew. Who was walking away with my entire heart. The beginning of my senior year of college was the worst time of my life. I had been dating a guy for almost a year and it was amazing. An unexpected relationship just blossomed with this funny pothead, but somehow, it worked. Then one day, a week after classes started… we had an accident driving home from his home in Valdosta. I woke up with my body stuck between the dashboard and my seat. I couldn’t move anything but my head. And when I looked over at him… Not a day has gone by that I don’t see that image of him. I thought my life was over. I started my senior year off with nothing to look forward to I had Singers, which occupied a lot of my time. And my best friend always by my side. But every night I cried myself to sleep because I knew I could never kiss him again or hear his voice. I am originally from Auburn, so during breaks, I am still here while everyone else goes away. Christmas without him. I had started running to keep my mind busy. It was a good stress reliever. My trail was the circle through Ridgewood Village, the neighboring trailer park next to my apartment. I was on my third lap when I began to feel lightheaded. Shit, I didn’t eat anything today… And everything went black. I woke up trying to catch my breath. The setting sun was blinding me as I blinked my eyes open. I couldn’t make out the person standing over me. But I could smell him. He smelled like Abercrombie & Fitch cologne and Bud Light. It smelled so good, so captivating, so… southern. I grabbed his arms to pull myself up. Muscular… I stood up and took off jogging without looking back. “Hey… I think you need to sit down or…” A deep southern voice yelled out to me.
“Fine!” I yelled back. I couldn’t look him in the eye after that embarrassing fall. After I returned home, I came back to find a nice little cut above my eye. Dirt and blood covered my left cheek. Guess I hit the pavement too hard. I cleaned myself up and looked in the mirror. Why didn’t I say thank you… A week later, with only a few days left in break, I was at Wal Mart with Whitney. We were buying food because we were desperate need of some. I was reaching for a DiGiorno pizza when I smelled it. It was him… I ran down to the end of the aisle and looked around. What was I doing? Like I was really going to find him? “Evie, what’s going on?” “I smelled him.” She just looked at me like I was crazy. Maybe I was… The last night before classes started, some friends of ours in Ridgewood had a party. I didn’t feel like getting shitfaced like everyone else there did. What was the point of it anyways? So I just hung out and tried to have fun. Watching my beautiful roommate flirt with some country cuties. After two beers, I had to break the seal. I grabbed the door handle and smelled it again. Oh my gosh… I am going crazy… I swung the door open. The smell was much more intense. I gasped out loud. There was this tall, beautiful guy standing in front of me. He had the most amazing blue… I watched them travel to the scar on my head. And I panicked. I pushed my way past him. That glorious smell. “Hey…?” He said. But I kept walking. And just walked on home. School started back and so did my stressful life. Trying to finish classes and involved with everything Singers. But I couldn’t stop thinking about my tall rescuer. I didn’t even know his name… Just those blue eyes and his smell. I was walking to Singers one day, when I caught a whiff of that scent.
I ran to the end of the hall and saw him walking out of the double doors. “Hey wait!” I yelled. He didn’t turn around. “I just want to see what you look like…” I whispered to myself After a long and strenuous Singers rehearsal, I walked across campus in the freezing cold to the Transit depot. I jumped on the bus as soon as I spotted it and sat in the first empty seat available. I could feel someone’s eyes on me and turned my head. There he was… Staring at me. I quickly turned my head back around. My heart was racing. Why am I so nervous!? I closed my eyes and got his smell again. I sunk down lower into my seat and looked out the window. I could still feel his eyes on me. The Transit stopped at Ridgewood and he took his time walking off. I watched him walk across the street. He looked back at the bus and looked right at me… Even though the windows were tinted. And if I saw him correctly… he looked a little sad. We did this for almost a month. Watching each other on the Transit and smiling. Passing each other in Haley. Catching glimpses of him watching me in Singers. I thought it was never going to change. Valentine’s Day without him was horrible. We had celebrated our last Valentine’s the night before until12:01. Then Valentine’s Day was for my birthday, so I got two days of fun and lovin. I cooked our favorite meal, chicken alfredo, and watched our favorite movie, Wedding Crashers. I watched the clock as it turned to 12:01 a.m. This was when John jumped up and yelled ‘Happy Birthday!’ even though I was asleep. I actually caught myself smiling. God, how I missed him… Then there was a knock at the door. I was the only one home and terrified to answer it. After a few moments, I finally went to the door and found one single pink rose on the ground. And a note… ‘I don’t know your name. I don’t know anything about you. But for some reason, I can’t get you out of my head.
Hope this makes your V-Day a little better.’ My knees went weak. This could not be him. I’ve got to quit thinking about him. A few weeks later, Wade in Ridgewood had another party. Bigger than the one over break because everyone was in town. And Whitney dragged me to it. I had a funny feeling about tonight. I didn’t know what to expect. As we were walking up, we heard a guy playing the guitar and singing my favorite Dierks Bentley song, Settle for a Slowdown. “See you can make friends! There’s someone here singing.” Whitney joked. I saw a bunch of people I knew and mingled with everyone. Wade got me a beer and kept trying to flirt with me. When I finally got away from his roaming hands, I escaped to the back porch. I gripped the rail. I haven’t been touched by a guy in so long. I closed my eyes and thought of John. Oh, how I missed him. I took a deep breath in. My eyes popped open. The smell… I slowly turned around. I think I quit breathing. It was him… Holding a guitar. He was the one singing!? I turned and tried to run back inside. But he grabbed my wrist. And pulled me close. I just took in his wonderful smell and kept my head down. Oh my gosh, he smelled so good. I pushed my way past him again. “Why won’t you let me look at you?” He yelled. I stopped walking. I heard his footsteps coming closer to me. His warm breath sent chills up my spine as he whispered in my ear. “For some strange reason, you intrigue me. I don’t know a damn thing about you, but at the same time I want to learn everything about you. I think you’re beautiful…” A tear rolled down my cheek. Why was I so scared? I turned around to face him. I stood there…. Looking at this tall, muscular guy with his bright blue eyes and dark brown hair.
Nothing special about him at all. Just that he made my heart race with his look. I couldn’t look away from his eyes. He finally smiled at me. Beautiful... “My name… is Evie…” I barely got out. “I never thanked you… for that day.” Pause... “You’re welcome,” He said, smiling. Another tear rolled down. “I’m so sorry.” I said and walked away. When I got home, I stared at myself in the mirror and I actually smiled. I couldn’t stop thinking about his smile. I wanted to do anything to make him smile again. And I wanted to smile. I wanted him to make me smile again. Like I used to… I spent the next few weekends at Wade’s house, hoping I might see him. But never did. I wrote him a note and asked Wade to deliver it, since I didn’t know where he lived. ‘May 3rd, AU Singers Show, 730 This is the only thing that makes me happy right now. But I want you to be what makes me happy. Look for me afterwards.’ I didn’t see him on the Transit for awhile. Kind of like he disappeared. I kept imagining his smell… and getting excited. But I got nothing. The night of my Singers show and I was petrified. I had no clue if he was going to show or not. As usual, I put my heart and soul into the performance. I searched all over the crowd for him. Now it was my turn… All the Singers took a seat and looked up towards me. My solo… The music started. I looked around the audience again. This song is for him. “I’m gonna count to three. I’m gonna hold my breath. Try not to be afraid Though it scares me half to death. I’m out here on a limb
Although I know that it might break. My heart is gonna want you anyway. And if this love has any chance at all Someone’s gotta be the first to fall.” I didn’t see him. He didn’t come? I was upset for a week. Wade had an End of the Year party the next weekend. I didn’t want to go. But on the night of, so many people called me and asked if I was. And of course, Whitney talked me into it. I sat on the front porch and talked to Tyson for awhile. Wade’s cousin who also had a crush of me. I almost choked on my beer when I saw his tall, lean body walk up to the porch stairs. He looked at me and looked down. Yeah, that’s right. You know you fucked up by not coming. I stood up and walked inside and then back out to the back porch. I gripped the rail tightly. “Why do I fuckin care!?” I yelled to myself. I’ll just act normal. Like I don’t care. I turned around. And he was right behind me. I gasped loudly. “Lucas…” He said. Such a handsome country name. “And it was beautiful.” “What!?” I asked, puzzled. “I did come see you. And your song, your voice… it was beautiful.” He did come. “Thank you.” He walked closer to me. Our eyes never straying from each others. “Why do you care?” He asked. “I… um… thought that…” I stuttered and looked away. And in what seemed like slow motion… He put a strong finger on my cheek and turned my face back to his enticing gaze. Then he lifted my chin up. His lips were so warm. And the kiss was perfect. Those few seconds seemed to last forever. My legs felt like noodles and I had to grab the rail. He pulled away. But I kept my eyes closed. I didn’t want to open them and it all be a breathtaking dream.
His glorious smell seemed to be all around me. When I finally did, he was still standing in front of me. Blue eyes sparkling and the sexiest grin on his face. “Would you sing for me sometime?” He asked. I just nodded my head. I was afraid nothing would come out if I tried to speak. “Want to go back to the party?” “Oh… yeah…” I replied, forgetting where I was for a minute. The whole rest of the night we didn’t really talk. Just exchanged smiles and glances from across the room. He talked to his friends and I talked to the people I knew. My focus was suddenly turned when Wade yelled that Whitney was throwin up in his bathroom. Oh Lord… I found her against the toilet. Gosh, what am I gonna do? He walked past me and got her to her feet. Then he picked her up and started carrying her out of the house. He looked back at me before he walked out of Wade’s door. “Thank you.” I mouthed to him and smiled. He just gave me a little nod. It was amazing how he didn’t have to say anything and I knew what he meant. When we got back to our apartment, he carried her to her bed. He started walking out the door. “Hey, do you want a ride?” I asked him as he stepped outside. He turned around and flashed me a smile. “No thanks, I’ll walk.” “Well… okay.” I replied, a little disappointed. Then he walked back towards me. “Tonight was good.” And he kissed my cheek. I couldn’t stop smiling for a week. But my smile was quickly wiped away. I was running my routine through Ridgewood. And I spotted him in a trailer window. No shirt on… Mmm… nice. Second lap. Didn’t see him. Third lap. There he is. And there was someone else. I slowed down.
Yes, there was another person there. It was a girl. I stopped. She hugged him. Her hands were on his bare muscular back. What the hell… He turned and looked out the window. Like he knew I was there. Are you hiding something? He looked right at me. I took off running. He saw me. He knew that was me. What was I thinking? Getting excited over a guy I didn’t even know. I should’ve asked him. I should’ve… asked if he was dating anybody. Oh my gosh, he kissed me. I mean… did that not mean anything!? Well it fuckin meant something to me... With every step I got more and more upset. John always told me that was my problem. I’m too critical of myself. It started raining. How could I even think he was interested? That girl was prettier. They’ve probably been together since high school. One of those unbreakable couples. And he just wanted a night of freedom to kiss another girl. Getting closer to his trailer. My clothes were beginning to stick to me. Then why did he kiss me? And why did he come see my show? And help Whitney back to our house? Why did he do those things? Why is he fuckin with me!? Doesn’t he know he’s hurting me!? No. He doesn’t know. He doesn’t know anything about John. He doesn’t know anything about me… Passing his trailer. And I started crying. Why do I care? I heard his door open. “Evie!” He yelled out. I stopped running. I put my hands up to my face. Like I can hide my tears? I turned around.
He was in the middle of the street getting soaked. Like I already was. “How long have you been dating her?” I yelled. He was like 15 feet away. “What!?” He yelled back. “And why didn’t you tell me?” Long pause. Like he was trying to figure it out. “She’s my baby sister.” He replied. “What…?” I mumbled to myself. Oh my god… did I feel stupid. “Why do you keep running?” He asked, slowly walking towards me. My crying became more intense. “Why!?” He yelled, now in my face. “Because I’m scared!” I yelled back. “I am scared. I am falling for you and I don’t even know you!” He just stood there watching me. I wanted to just jump in his arms. “You don‘t know anything about me except that I can sing, my name, where I live and that I have an alcoholic roommate! Which is more than I can say that I know about you!” This was more conversation than we had ever had. “I can’t get you out of my head and it just… scares me.” I said. He walked up to me and put his big strong hands on my face. “Why are you scared? You don’t have to be scared with me. I would never hurt you.” He said to me. I grabbed his hands from my face and pulled them down. I squeezed them hard like I would never let go. “The last guy I gave my heart to… died. And I watched him die.” The color drained from his face. “And I am terrified… about giving my heart away again.” I cried to him. “Terrified…” I whispered. He just looked at me. Looked into my eyes. “I’m sorry.” He said. “What?” I asked. “I’m done with finals. I got a job…” He said. What is he talking about? “I’m leaving for Tennessee tomorrow.” I think I quit breathing. “It’s my fault for not doing anything. Because I’ve fallen for you too…” He said to me. I began crying again. I let go of his hands. “I am so sorry Evie.” He said, as a tear rolled down his face. He leaned in to kiss me, but I turned my head. How could he do this?
He hesitated before he kissed my cheek. And he started walking away. This isn’t happening to me. I don’t even know this guy and he is walking away with my heart. I don’t know what to do. I’m not even sure if this is real… Why am I so scared!?
My legs wanted so badly to move. So badly to follow him. But I just stood there. Watching this beautiful man walking away from me. This man… I barely knew. Who was walking away with my entire heart. “Take me with you!” I yelled. He turned around. “What!?” He said. “Wherever you’re going… Take me with you.” I said. He walked back to me. “Evie…” He said & grabbed my hand. I closed my eyes. This is not happening. This is not me. “I don’t care. Take me with you. Take me to Tennessee.” I said. “Are you sure?” He replied. “Yes.” I said, not sure at all. “Evie…” He said again. “I’m in love with a man that I don’t know. And I’m asking him to take me to Tennessee.” I said to him. I looked him in the eye. In those gorgeous blue eyes. He’s going to say no. You can’t come with me. “Alright then…” He said. So I went to Tennessee. With a guy I barely knew. And it worked. Me and John always talked about living in Tennessee. It’s where we wanted to end up, even if we weren’t together. And now I’m here.
And I’m happy. With this guy that I unexpectedly fell in love with. And my life… couldn’t be better.