I've made a little headway with Mikaela. I skipped a couple of classes just before Spring Break and she's missed a few classes this last week, so our paths haven't crossed as often as I'd have hoped.
Just before Spring Break, we had to give oral presentations in front of the class as part of our midterm. Oral presentations are interesting for me. They give me an opportunity to be funny in front of the class, but I dread them. They're like talks in sacrament meeting. They scare the crud out of me. But somehow, simultaneously, I love to stand in front of a bunch of people and say borderline inappropriate things in order to make them laugh. I always think it's hilarious when I'm saying it, but when I'm reliving it later and I remember something I said... I also remember how nobody laughed and then I blush. Seriously, I'll be watching T.V. all by myself and I'll remember something I said three months earlier and I'll get embarrassed and start blushing. It suck so bad. I have to purposely put the memory out of my head so that the blood can go to other places in my body other than my freakin' ears and cheeks.
I've been late quite a bit to my Geography class. A couple of weeks ago, I came in late as usual and found a seat rather quickly. The teacher looks at me and she says, "Nice of you to make it to class, Calvin." I say, "Sorry. I kept getting lost." I felt my face starting to get red as three or four of my peers looked back at me. Then the teacher started to look back down at her notes, but then I saw her head jerk back up and stare at me again. Then she said, "Oh look. Calvin is a blusher." The other 20 or so students cranked their heads around so they could see "the blusher". Criminy. How embarrassing. I wanted to slash her tires. Luckily, that wasn't the class Mikaela is in. I'm only known as "the blusher" in that class now. I can be other things in my other classes.
Anyway, so as I prepared my midterm I felt like it had some pretty humorous nuggets strategically placed throughout the report. Even through my intense fear, I sensed a hint of excitement that Mikaela would be able to see me shine in front of the entire class. Unfortunately, Mikaela wasn't there on the day I gave my report. So I ended up presenting my report and surprising the whole class with how cool and funny I am... except nobody else mattered. Mikaela wasn't there so it was all a big fat waste.
This last Friday, though, Mikaela and I were both in class. It felt pretty good sitting next to her again. I didn't know what to say, though. I was out of funny. About halfway through class, I hear her say, "Psst." Then "hey". I hoped she was trying to get my attention, but I didn't want to be overly eager like when a hot girl waves from across the room and the guy eagerly waves back before he realizes she was waving at the hot guy behind him. So I just waited until she said my name. I figured that was a pretty safe bet.
Then I heard her say, "Psst, Kevin." A part of me hurt a little bit inside that she was trying to get Kevin's attention instead of mine... whoever Kevin was. Then I felt her tap my right ribcage. She was talking to me. I cranked around. "Hey, Mikaela. What's up?" She said, "Do you live around here? Like close to campus?" I reply, "No. Not really." She proceeded to ask me if I drive to school or take the bus. I told her that I try to avoid taking the bus after the time the gang of homeless guys stole my shoes and Bubblicious. Then Mikaela said, "Do you mind giving me a ride to work after this? Unless you have another class or something, then don't worry about it." I did have another class, but I told her that I was planning on skipping it anyway and I'd love to take her to work.
I thought about a couple of things during the last 20 minutes of class. First I thought about what we were gonna talk about for the walk to my truck followed by the drive to her work. I thought about taking a few quick notes about topics of conversation. I wished Jake was there as my wing-man. I always do better when Jake is around. Then I thought about the type of person that asks a (almost complete) stranger for a ride somewhere. She has no idea if I'm a rapist or if I plan on slipping a roofie into her Powerade while she's putting her backpack behind her seat. Then I thought, "She thinks my name is 'Kevin'. Hasn't she called me by my real name before? I don't remember. If she thinks my name is 'Kevin', that is something I need to remedy as quickly as possible."
After class ended we started walking to my truck. In Single's Wards you meet a lot of new people all the time. There are a lot of introductions, a lot of new names, and a lot of forgotten names. I've been in a lot of situations where I'm fairly certain that a girl I'm interested in has forgotten my name. The last thing I wanted to do is let her call me the wrong name too many times until someone else corrects her or embarrass her by saying, "What did you call me? Oh, my. That's not even close to my real name." So I've devised a little strategy that works perfectly, and I decided to use it on Mikaela.
I didn't know how certain she was that she knew my name. She may have only thought that 'Kevin' was my name so she took a chance. I've done that before. My strategy is to wait for an opportunity to tell a story, real or fake, and make sure I say my name as many times in that story as possible and make it clear what my name is. Sure enough, Mikaela asked, "Is this your truck, right here?" This was my opportunity.
"Yeah. This is it. It used to be my brother's but when he left on his mission he told me, 'Calvin, I'll just let you take over the payments on this truck, ok, Calvin?' and I was, like, 'That sounds great.' Then my mom said, 'Calvin, don't forget to get gas when it hits a quarter tank. You don't want to run out of gas, Calvin.' Then I said, 'I got it, Mom. Thanks.' Then she said, 'You're welcome, Calvin. I love you, Calvin.'"
As I told that completely fictitious and boring story, I tried to see if Mikaela was absorbing what I was saying. I think she got it cause when I dropped her off at Lens Crafters 10 minutes later, she said, "Thanks for the ride, Calvin. I owe you one." Actually, Mikaela, you owe me a couple.