Everyone has a story about their first time. Some are sweet and romantic, some are incredible, some are bizarre and some are disasters. My story may be all those things rolled into one. When I think back even I have a hard time believing what happened. I do know that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the incredible woman who dropped so suddenly into my life, a woman I met the fall of my second year at college. I owe her so much.
I was getting that familiar buggy feeling I get when I’m in a crowd and my anxiety starts to crank up, but I kept it in check by looking down and avoiding everyone’s gaze. The party was in full swing with music blaring from the lounge halfway down the dorm hall. Eager drinkers pressed in around me as I pumped the keg. There was not one familiar face in the crowd. Everyone there was with my roommate or his circle of friends. Normally, I wouldn’t have associated with my roommate and would have preferred the quiet solitude of the library but the thought of strangers touching my things had been too much, so I volunteered to man the keg. This way, I could keep an eye on my stuff and get free beer.
Black leather combat boots appeared on the floor before me, a change from all the tennis shoes, sandals, and flip-flops I had been seeing. My eyes followed the boots up to a black and green plaid kilt, up to an ancient black Joan Jett t-shirt tattered around the edges, up to a thin face framed by spiked jet-black hair, up until my eyes locked onto brilliant green eyes outlined in heavy mascara. She half-sneered at me, as if in challenge. I just nodded in greeting and passed her a beer. She gave me a little crooked smile and melted into the crowd, leaving me slightly flushed. I continued pouring but kept thinking about her green eyes and how they seemed to bore into me.
Later those boots and those eyes were back, looking for more beer. Her hands were empty, though, and the supply of plastic cups had run out several minutes before. “Sorry,” I said. “What happened to your cup?”
She scowled. “I put it down to send a text and it must have been picked up by one these ass-hat frat boys.” Pointing to a half-full mug on the shelf next me she asked, “Whose is that?”
“Mine,” I explained and she picked it up and downed the rest before smirking and holding it out. I refilled it and she took a long sip off the top before handing it back.
“I’m Nico,” she volunteered as I took a drink.
“Thomas,” I said as she took the mug from my hands. A black widow tattoo decorated the inside of her left wrist and another tattoo, green vines twisting and choking a broken clockwork, adorned her right bicep. I counted at least nine different piercings in her ears and eyebrow. She was short, almost a foot shorter than me, with a slight build. At first glance she appeared frail but I noticed the way the cords stood out on her arms as she randomly plucked textbooks off my shelf and thumbed through them before replacing them in the wrong location. “Nico’s a unique name,” I said, attempting conversation. I winced inwardly at the awkward rhyming of my statement.