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Alexandra Tyminski
MSM Class of 2015

(9/2013) "Cheers to Jenna and James! May they always be happy and live long together. May they have amazing adventures. To this new and exciting time in both of their lives," Josh said as he raised his glass high.

I glanced over at Jenna and James and admired their glowing faces. The sun was beating down on Jennaís skin and her blonde hair was so elegantly placed on top of her bare shoulders. James couldnít help but stare at her. It was obvious they were in love. Everyone thought that they were going to be married, and here we are 6 years later.

"Hey Maria, how are you?" a deep voiced said behind me, and I suddenly knew exactly who was behind me.

It was hard to miss the tall, dark haired, big-shouldered and blue-eyed man standing in front of me. Eric had always been a nice looking guy and he was extremely nice.

"Can you believe that this wedding has finally brought all of our college friends back together?" he asked.

"Yeah, itís hard to believe that everyone is together again," I said back, trying to remain cool. I couldnít help but stare at his big blue eyes. I could feel my freshmen year crush coming back all over again.

"So, what have you been up to these past 2 years since we have graduated?" I asked him.

"Just working through law school at the moment. It is a lot harder than I thought!" Eric chuckled and his big white teeth were gleaming at me.

"What about you, Maria?"

After realizing that my freshman admiration crush had turned into a creepy silence for a few moments, I finally snapped out of it.

"Oh yeah, I bet it is difficult at law school. But, at least you are aiming high. Thatís a good thing. My dad always says hard work pays off in the end," I said, ignoring the question he asked.

"Maria! I see that you and Eric have finally had some time to catch up!" Jenna interrupted us.

"Jenna, this seriously is a beautiful wedding! And Josh gave a great toast. Maria and I were just saying how great it is to see all of our college friends together again!" Eric turned to Maria and gave her a hug.

"Yeah, it seems so unreal that we are all back in one place since we graduated. Iím lucky Maria was even able to make it. She works like crazy on the West Coast. Iím sure she has told you all about it already," Jenna said, glancing at me with a huge smirk on her face.

Jenna and I were freshmen year roommates, best friends, and practically sisters since the day I met her at orientation. She knew me better than I knew myself at times. She was from Massachusetts so she often came to our home for meals. Soon enough we knew exactly what the other was thinking without saying anything. She knew that I had a crush on Eric since forever. She met Eric at a club fair event and ended up being in the same club throughout all of college. When Jenna invited me to this one event, I met Eric there. We were casual friends, but Jenna and Eric were always closer. When Eric invited his roommate, James, Jenna developed a crush on him very quickly. It then became an ongoing joke that one day Jenna would date James and then I would date Eric. As if it was some kind of "my roommate dates your roommate" reality TV show.

"You know she actually hasnít told me about it, Jenna!" Eric nudges me in the arm and the dimple in his left cheek becomes visible.

"Yeah well I donít like to brag about it!" I said jokingly.

"But, yes Iím working a lot there. I got a big broadcasting job out there with some TV stations, and Iím currently transitioning to working with music production studios. It all happened pretty quickly! I took a year off after school, and I met some people along the way that helped me out with my career. It is all about who you know," I said. I felt as if I was rambling on so I just left it at that.

"Wow, thatís very impressive, Maria. Good for you," Eric said.

"Yeah, Iím surprised that you two havenít kept in touch more. I always thought that you two were going to end up dating," Jenna said.

I could feel my cheeks getting red, and I just looked down at the ground. I smiled and looked up at Eric. He was smiling too.

"Jenna, that is crazy! You and James have been saying that ever since that first event we went to!" I laughed her comment off, secretly wondering if Eric felt the same way Jenna did.

Ö

"Welcome to the 1st JAM event of the semester! Freshmen, we welcome you!"

The sign on the top of the outdoor stage was standing out really well. I wish I didnít see it because it just reminded me that Iím a new freshman with no social skills and have no idea what is going on. Well, maybe thatís just what I thought about myself. The red ink popped out, and it was hard to miss the different bands gathered around the stage. I was dreading the fact that Jenna dragged me to this event. She joined a club that helped plan and run events on campus. This Friday night happened to be the event she planned, which was some type of battle of the bands. Not only did I not know anyone yet since it was only the third weekend at school, but I now had to stand in a crowded green space by myself pretending I wanted to be there.

I scanned the crowd of awkward freshmen, comfortable sophomores, relaxed juniors, and extremely over-hyped seniors. I saw Jenna down by the stage, so I decided I would just hang out with her until I wasnít allowed to anymore.

"Jenna! Hey!" I waved to her.

"Maria! Hey there, how are you doing? Have you met anyone yet?"

"Nope, not yet. Jenna, why did I come? No one is going to talk to me here," I complained to her.

"Maria, you are not going to meet anyone with that attitude! Come on now! Well, I met someone that I have to tell you about. So you know my friend Eric that helps plan events with me?"

"Uh, yeah. By the way, Iím starting to think this Eric guy is fake because I havenít met him yet or seen him help you with anything out here. What kind of helper is he?" I said in a snarky tone.

"Youíll meet him soon! I promise! But, I met his roommate James. He is sooooo cute!" Jennaís face lit up and her eyes began to widen.

"Oh jeez," I said rolling my eyes.

"No really, Maria, he is really cool and nice and Iím so excited to become friends with him!" Jenna announced again.

"Oh hey, there is Eric! Eric, over here!" She motioned with her hand to come over to us.

I turned to my right and could not imagine the kid I was seeing. Perfect smile, talking to everyone, very tall, and friends with my roommate. Looks donít mean anything though, so I guess we will have to see how nice he is.

"Eric, this is my roommate, Maria," Jenna said.

"Hi Maria. Iím Eric," he said while shaking my hand.

"So is this your first campus event? I donít think Iíve seen you before."

"Uh, um, yeah it is. Jenna has been telling me about all the planning you guys do together," I answered his question. I bet he thought I was a loner for this being my first event.

"Yeah, we have been working hard on this one. So, I hope you like music because it is going to be awesome!" Eric smiled with his bright smile.

"Hey Maria, I actually have to finish some stuff, but maybe Eric can take you and score a good lawn seat for the concert?" Jenna asked.

"Yeah definitely, that would be great," Eric said looking at me.

We walked away from Jenna, and Eric began to tell me about how much he loves to plan events and be involved on campus. It made me feel weird since I wasnít involved in anything yet. We found a lawn spot that was pretty isolated from the massive crowds of students. The weather was perfect. It was sunny, but not too hot, and there was a small breeze. We sat together on the lawn and listened to the bands for hours. We didnít really say much, but besides Jenna, I realized he was the first friend I really met and hung out with since I came to college.

Ö

"Grandma, tell us more please!" Alyssa begged with her big brown puppy dog eyes.

"Yes, more please!" Timmy tagged along.

"Kids, thatís enough story time today, but I do have some advice for you," I said.

"Is it going to be more advice about how to do our laundry properly?" Timmy snapped.

"No little Timmy, it is about life. Life is going to bring all types of people and experiences. And my advice is to stay open. Stay open to the people, friendships, and opportunities that come along your path. It may change your life like it did mine," I said with a huge smile on my face. I peered out of the window and gazed upon the green fields and colorful flowers. I saw two horses afar and the branches of the trees dancing in the wind.

"It sure changed mine," Eric said, appearing from behind the kitchen.

"Grandpa, youíre so silly," Alyssa laughed as her little nose crinkled.

"Love makes you that way, buddy," he replied.

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