May 2000, sophomore year in college
MEChA meetings never started at 6 and this Wednesday late in the spring quarter was no exception. My friends milled around talking about classes and preparations for the upcoming youth conference and long weekend. Some stepped out to get something from the coffee house. I took a seat near the window away from anybody else. Soon the room filled up and my crush ended up on my right.
I liked when the crush sat close to me, whether it be in class, study hall or at a meeting. We’d keep each other entertained by passing notes and drawing pictures.
The meeting started 10 minutes later. G, a visitor from USC, picked the introduction topic: say something nice about the person sitting to your left (we always went to our left since that’s where the heart lies).
I have no clue what anyone else said nor what I said. I didn’t write those things down in my butterfly-shaped journal. But I did write what the crush said: “Well, the thing about Cindy is that she has a really good heart. And she has this huge smile, when she smiles it brightens up the whole room.”
The others around the circle awwed. I blushed. Then smiled. I had to smile.
That was the first time I recall someone complimenting my smile.