A couple days pass and I'm still thinking about the fact that the cute guy remembered me. I'm also still thinking about how embarassed I was during our last encounter, but am curious enough to search Facebook. Finding him was easy- there really aren't too many Vinces to sift through. I sent him a friend request with a message saying something along the lines of "Well, I figured if we could sit through the Bell Witch thing together, we could be friends on here. :) " Smooth. He writes on my wall and makes a comment that nobody has facebooked me lately, so he figured he would, "so, hi!" ...also smooth. We began messaging back and forth a bit, and he asks me if I'd like to come over to his apartment and watch Smallville with him. Not knowing if "watching Smallville" was or wasn't the latest lingo the "kids" were using those days for something that would quickly land me a spot on Dateline: To Catch a Predator, I promptly said "NO." I may not have known much, but going to an almost stranger's place of residence was still high on the list of things mom had taught me NOT to do, second only to "if a strange van pulls up outside and offers you candy...."
I don't remember which one of us suggested it, but we finally settle on meeting up on campus and walking to that night's football game as a public (well lit) rendezvous and hang out spot. I got ready (actually bathed, make-uped, and fixed my hair this time) and called Kayla, telling her where I was going and at what time to send out the search and rescue team if needed. (Maybe I was a bit overly cautious back then...) I headed out and called mom as I walked down the hill to our meeting place at a "stoop" of one of the dorms behind mine. I told mom I was going to a football game with a boy I'd met, and was ending the call as I approached him. I explained that I let my mom know I was out with someone new, and that I'd be careful. He laughed and as he jumped down from the stoop, said, "Its okay. Just tell her I'm a Boy Scout." Swoon. I laughed and ate up his "quick humor", (…I later find out that he wasn't just schmoozing and IS a Boy Scout. Well- Eagle Scout, to be exact...heh..) and we made our way to the other end of campus to the stadium. I don't remember anything about our walk until we get to the stadium and he says his friends are already there and that we'll find and stand with them. The next couple hours included lots of drunken, bare- chested hugs from one of his friends, a steady rain that defeated my good hair intentions, dodging a pink inflatable cube that was being bounced around the crowd that made its way to my head no less than 15 times and Vince quickly batting it away from my head (each time with an announcement from the drunk friend yelling, "DUUUUUDEE! He just SAVED your LIIIIFE!"). I was also very aware of and distinctly remember how gently he would put his hand on the small of my back every time he'd lean over to talk to me or across me to say something to his friends.
Toward the end of the game, we were soaking wet from the rain, throats hoarse from laughter. I had truly enjoyed myself. Kayla showed up after a late Chemistry test, and the 3 of us walked back together. I also don't remember any of this walk, except that when we said "Goodbye" and turned to go our separate ways, I don't think that I hugged him. I think we did one of those 5-feet-from-the-other-person waves. I must have been feeling guilty for being out with another guy, and having the kind of easy, college-y fun that my then boyfriend and I couldn't have.
(Update 2/22/14: Recently, I wanted to see how far my Facebook message archives actually went back. Turns out I still have the message where we settled on going to this game… which was on October 5, 2006. October 5th is also the day we got married. The coincidences just don't stop!)
The following day, Friday, I packed up to go home for the weekend. During my drive, my phone rings- it's Vince. He quickly says "hi", and that was about the extent of the conversation- he was hanging where we'd met up for the game, and a friend came outside, which rushed him off the phone. Later on that evening, I was sitting at my parents' house in our "play room" doing some homework with Cast Away on TV in the background when my phone receives a text simply saying "hey beautiful." [I really think that's what got me. :) ] Vince was texting me from his assigned hotel room for drill that weekend, also watching Cast Away, and we make plans to see each other at the first of the week and maybe watch a movie together. What happens next, I'm not entirely proud of...