As previously mentioned, the beginning of my freshman year of college wasn’t easy – it was down right tumultuous in fact. This likely comes as a surprise to my friends from home who know me to have loved college as much as Asher Roth. Reality is, early on a combination of questionable choices, bad choices, self-righteousness, miscommunications, haterade, and emotions made for a bumpy ride – but that’s the formula for any female athletics program right? I kid, I kid.
Following the incident which led to me being labeled a floozy, I also wound up having a rough time in the weight room, which led to a very serious, stoic, and anxious Aida during strength and conditioning training. Coincidentally, Jonathan and his lifting partner started showing up to the weight room during my training times, consistently, which only added to my anxiety. To be quite frank, I really had a lot of embarrassment to avoid at all cost, so I really wasn’t paying him any attention in there, but I knew just his presence was the last thing I needed during these tense times.
Then out of no where, to make matters worse, after I had just barely survived a training session without more than two instances of public humiliation, I was getting “signed out,” trying to flee as quickly as possible when the graduate assistant asked me, “so what do you think of Big J?”
I – WAS – HORRIFIED
All I could think was, “This is a trick isn’t it?” “what if Coach White heard?” “They are trying to catch me off guard.” Out loud I stammered, but eventually said, “ummm, I don’t know.” Despite my clear discomfort, he continued! “Well he wanted to talk to you,” – there was a lot more I swear, and it was in some strange code, but I was on the brink of blacking out from fear, so I can’t remember any of it. I ran out as soon as I could, thankful that Coach White didn’t add to my horror.
All was soon forgotten as our first home tournament approached, and team tension began to build as expectations and eight new freshmen spirits were heightened. In the midst of all this, team drama erupted. The night before the first game of our tournament, one of the senior captains was talking to me outside of my dorm in attempt to smooth out some drama. This was a very serious conversation, and a big deal for me, as I was only a new freshman, and a small fish within the team. In the middle of our conversation, from a distance, I saw Jonathan walking through campus. My heart sank. It was a little premature, but my first thought was, “please don’t come this way.” That may not seem very romantic, but remember I was trying to build a serious and cool reputation, and having this basketball player holler at me while with this senior captain would not be within that realm.
Just as I had dreaded, Jon started walking towards us very deliberately. I tried to stay focused within our conversation, while still pleading in my head “please don’t come over here, please don’t come over here.” Despite my internal pleas, Jon walked right up to us and without any suave or finesse, he asked for my AOL instant messenger. There was no smooth talking, flirting, or giggling. I was so mortified and terrified and I just wanted it all to be over so that my captain would just forget it ever happened. I swallowed hard, held my breath, and then sped up the conversation. Jon walked away as quickly as he approached.
As soon as my conversation with the captain was smoothed out and finished, I ran up eight flights (yes eight) of stairs to my dorm room, where I finally caught my breath. Obviously I had to debrief all of my freshmen teammates, and despite my terror, I signed on to AOL as soon as I could and waited to see what new requests I had.
Despite my ongoing drama, I lived to see another day, after which began a long period of “talking.” I don’t know if the kids call it that anymore. I didn’t have a smart phone yet, nor did I have a sidekick, so I had to be in my dorm room to talk, but that eventually led to face-to-face conversations. To respect our “privacy” (word spreads quick through athletic departments) and because Providence College is a Catholic institution and still has parietals to instill their codes of propriety, we would meet outside of McVinney hall, where I’d prop up on the stone wall that separated the building from the lawn, and we’d talk for hours on end about everything and anything. He learned that I had a boyfriend, but we were in an “open relationship,” the newly introduced, Facebook, even said so. He informed that he too was in an “open relationship” with his girlfriend, however Facebook was not so clear on that matter – hmmmmm?
To be continued