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Four Years at the Mount

Freshman year

Mating Season

Lydia Olsen
Class of 2016

(4/2013) I imagine her endless preparation for that night. She probably had to beg for permission from her parents. I bet she spent hours making herself look so beautiful and composed. Unlike most females, she didnít go out and buy a new outfit; she merely cleaned the one she already had. Her mother probably marveled at her daughterís appearance as she emerged into sight.

No one could look at her daughter and not find her stunning. The daughterís eyes were filled with innocence, her legs long with strength and her sleek figure filled with poise. Her parents must have been concerned when they learned that she was going to be traveling by herself, even though she claimed she knew the way. I bet they were still hesitant to let her go off alone and insisted that they escort her. I bet she was embarrassed by her parents and refused to have their accompaniment on her journey. Adolescents are like that, arenít they? Of course, the nerves of a first date must have been getting to her as well.

I can picture her walking down the street to his neighborhood with her heels tapping on the pavement and butterflies in her stomach. I can see her thinking the glimmering lights from inside indicated the correct direction and leaping toward them with excitement, until she found herself dizzy and in a heap. She lay on foreign ground. Her thoughts must have been jumbled and, with her head pounding, she must have questioned her surroundings in search of her destination. "What just happened?" she had to have wondered. She hadnít moved from where she had tumbled into the house, until she heard voices and became frantic. "Gosh, I must look a mess!" must have run through her mind.

In a panic, she must have decided to sprint up the stairs still intent on heading toward the lights. Following the only open path, she fumbled up the steps and through a narrow hallway that led to the kitchen. She was trying to be composed and well mannered but she became clumsy with her lack of familiarity. The smooth wooden floor caused her heels to slide. Her legs sprawled out from under her once again. With a bang she slid into the kitchen table and knocked it over along with a few chairs. Distressed by the piercing crash, I quickly turned around and watched as she fell in a heap once again. Utter confusion was beginning to set in for the both of us.

Gaining motor control, she was able to balance back onto her feet again. With her standing, we happened to be eye to eye.

That was the only time we met. We stood from each other only within an armís span. She stared into my green eyes and I gazed into her brown eyes as if we were communicating. She was flustered and had clearly realized that this was not where she was supposed to be. This stranger startled me, though her beauty mesmerized me. She was puzzled and I was, too. In our confusion, we were both paralyzed. Standing still, our eyes were locked, conversing without words or motion until I broke the silence. "Youíre alright," I whispered, in a voice barely audible. Her ears flickered gently and I knew she had understood. She glanced side to side, as if exploring her options and then grasped hold of my eyes again as if to apologize. The next instant, she was gone. Heavy footsteps signaled her departure as well as the glimpse of white that waved back at me.

The way I tell the story is that she had a wonderful first date. After she mistook the dimly glowing lights for the sunshine on an open field, she was successfully able to rendezvous with her date. I like to think that he was a gentleman and was not upset at her tardiness. I can see them grazing next to each other and communicating back and forth. I think she must have told him all that had happened and they shared a laugh or two. They must have then watched the sunset and waited for the stars to reveal themselves. I like to think that they fell in love. I envision them staying together and sharing their own piece of land in the neighborhood and starting a family.

Released from her trance, I maneuvered through the kitchen and picked up the table and chairs. I straightened them and pushed them back into place. I walked down the stairs and examined what was left of the door. Pieces of varying sizes of Plexiglas were scattered across the foyer. A gaping hole was positioned in the center of the storm door where she had leapt through. I looked out through the hole in the door into the dusk outside. I searched to see where she had run off to, but she was nowhere in clear sight. I turned to head back upstairs but was halted by what I saw in front of me.

On the wooden stairs, she had imprinted her footprints permanently as she had rushed off. The proof still remains. The way I tell the story is that she is living happily with her mate. I like to think that among the population they are still there. They donít have to live in fancy house or anything; a field with some shrubs for shelter is luxury enough. I donít think that it is too far-fetched to believe that she will live happily ever after. After all, no one truly knows what happened after she left my house that night and so far she hasnít come to offer me any corrections on the version of the story I tell.

Sometimes, when I head home at dusk, I search for the signs in yellow diamonds that display their address. I locate the glowing eyes that contain caution and mystery and think of the ones that were so captivating that evening. I watch their ears as they quiver back and forth with the sounds of motion. I raise my hand to wave as they turn and raise their tails to say goodbye. In reflection, I laugh at how she gave the phrase "OH DEER" a whole new meaning.

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