College Tales: Unrequited Feelings & Assumptions
The music in my earplugs was blaring on an uneventful, Saturday evening. I got up, and checked on my roomie, Denise. She was watching cartoons, and eating a bowl of Cocoa Puffs. “What are you getting into tonight?” I inquired. “I’m just going to finish up some work for my Psych class real quick; that’s about it,” she replied. “Oh ok. I finished everything for my classes, so I’m just going to listen to music and read for a bit,” I said, walking back to my room.
About three tracks later, Denise knocked, poked her head in my door, and waved to get my attention. I removed my ear bud, and she says “Hey, Corey hit me up, asking if I would take him to “The Shops,” do you want to roll?” I nodded in agreement, and got up to put on my shoes.
Corey was one of the popular football players on our college’s team. He was tall, pretty cool, and also very friendly with the ladies. However, Corey’s relationships with Denise and I were strictly platonic. We all hung out occasionally and just enjoyed each other’s company.
Corey met us outside of our apartment at Denise’s car. Denise had a cute, two-door sports car that was really meant for two riders, maybe three or four if the two in the back were toddlers. Seeing as Corey was well over six feet, I took one for the team, and sat in the back. I’m no shorty, so I pretty much sat knees to chest for that 30-minute ride.
We arrived at The Shops, and went into the Nike store where Corey purchased some shoes. We checked out a few more stores. I ended up buying a pair of blue Aviators, and Denise bought new sandals for the summer. The last store we went in was the Ralph Lauren store where Corey bought a shirt. On our way out, we saw two familiar faces from our college, LaKeisha and Quita. LaKeisha was one of our suite mates, and Quita was her friend. There was tension over pettiness that we had not come to a compromise over. Needless to say, no words were exchanged with them, and we continued on out of the door and to the car.
Once again, I assumed the position—knees to chest—in Denise’s car; we were then on our way back to campus. About 10 minutes later, Corey received a call. Denise and I thought nothing of it, and continued carrying on our own conversation, talking and laughing in the background.
Corey hung up and informed us that it was Quita, and that she was mad. Denise turned back and looked at me and in unison we said, “For what?” I then go on to say, “I didn’t even know y’all knew each other. What’s the problem?” Corey said, “Man, she’s tripping because I’m not trying to deal with her anymore.” “Oh, Lord,” Denise laments accompanied with an eye roll.
Corey’s phone buzzed repeatedly and he ignored it each time. Denise was about five miles away from campus when she said, “Is that LaKeisha right behind us?” I turned around to get a look and confirmed that it was, indeed, her. At first, we didn’t think much of it because we all attended the same college, but after arriving back on campus I noticed she was following rather closely. I told Denise to make an odd turn into the engineering building’s parking lot, and sure enough, LaKeisha did the same. We burst out laughing and Denise said, “What in the hell is she doing?”
Denise drove into the gate of our apartments and parked. Corey grabbed his bags and proceeded towards his own building, and Denise got out and headed for the sidewalk. Me, well, I was struggling to exit the cramped backseat. Meanwhile, LaKeisha pulled up in front of Denise’s car, and when I tell you Quita hopped out of the passenger side before the vehicle even stopped, that’s just what she did. There is no exaggeration there; she was on a mission.
Finally free from my backseat prison, I shut the passenger door, and was met with what I can best describe as an angry Chihuahua. Quita had made her way across the parking lot, onto the passenger side, maybe three feet away from me (too close for my personal preference). She was all of about 5’3” or 5’4”, yelling obscenities, which didn’t faze me, however it did confuse me. There I was just looking down at her with one eyebrow raised—“The Rock” would have been so proud of me—thinking “She best keep her hands to herself!”
In the midst of her rant, the next thing I knew Corey dropped his bags, ran across the street, and pinned Quita down onto the car. I looked at the shenanigans that was taking place for a few seconds, and then began walking to the sidewalk to meet Denise. Corey yelled behind him, “Run!” Again in unison, Denise and I said, “Run for what?” as we walked to our apartment.
By this time, LaKeisha had parked and was outside with Quita. Denise couldn’t believe what was going on, neither of us could, and she called the campus police. LaKeisha and Quita could be heard coming through the door and headed towards LaKeisha’s room. Their plans had to take a detour when the knock came at the door from the police.
One officer recognized Quita and said, “I was just with you the other day. You can’t seem to stay out of trouble, can you?” Apparently, Quita was involved in the fight we heard about that occurred in our student center between two females a few days prior. One girl was drug by her hair across the center, guess who?
The police sat us all down, and we explained how LaKeisha had followed us onto campus, how Quita jumped out of the car to confront me, and how we had no idea why. Quita began by saying she saw Corey with us at The Shops with bags, and that he owed her $30.
I said, “Ok, what does that have to do with us or, better yet, me?” She went into this whole story of how they were together, how much she loved him, how much she did for him, then she broke down crying. Oh goodness! Someone cue the violins. What kind of soap opera had I been involuntarily casted in all because I chose to “roll” to The Shops? What’s crazy is that the star of the show, Corey, had went on about his business, and couldn't care less. What's even crazier is that my question of how it had to do with me was never answered in any part of her riveting tale of love and heartbreak. However, thinking logically, coupled with her story, and her only trying to go after me and not Denise, it was safe to say she thought I was the new flavor of the month for Corey.
“Why did it have to be me? I never talked to Corey in that way nor ever thought about it. Sorry, being on Corey’s hit list was not an aspiration of mine.” Denise interrupted my thoughts, and asked the officers could we be excused to our rooms, seeing as this had nothing to do with us. They granted us our freedom, and we went to her room to recap the craziness that our night had become. Any time I would pass Quita on campus she would avoid even making eye contact.
As time passed, Denise and I were able to laugh about it and tell the story of the jaded lover whose assumptions got the best of her. Denise’s account is far more theatrical and humorous, in my opinion, seeing as she acts out every detail in the special way that only she can.
Fast forward to about four years later to a local beauty supply store. I was in there picking up some hair essentials with my cousin, Nikki. As I raised my head from looking at different conditioners, I see her. There was Quita. She looked at me a bit puzzled and walked up and said, “You look familiar.” I replied, “Yeah, you jumped out of a car yelling and wanting to fight over a guy in college.” She then came closer to embrace me in a hug and said, “Oh, no! I am sorry. I am so not like that anymore!” I tell her, “Yeah. I understand, but he wasn’t even my teammate of choice.” She laughed and went on to reminisce about her past behavior, updated me on her life, and how she had found Christ. In the end, she told me she was glad to have run into me and could make peace of the situation.
The two biggest takeaways from this story is one, assuming is sometimes worse than ignorance. It is best to ask questions and gather all of the facts beforehand, to avoid confusion and making a fool of yourself. The second lesson is to let go of unreciprocated love/feelings. There is no need to chase after love that doesn’t exist, and be out here looking crazy while the other party is unbothered. You would only be doing a disservice to yourself by holding on to these feelings when the other person has clearly moved on.