Almost two years ago this summer, I met one of my best friends.
I could go on and on about her, (really, she’d just love the gushing spotlight of compliments to her greatness) but I’ll just get on with the story.
I worked in a lab, and every year they go on a summer lab retreat, all expenses covered! Which was awesome because I was broke. But also, yayy coworker times! This year, the destination was Crescent City, CA with a day trip to the Redwoods. The first obstacle was how the entire lab was going to get to our vacation house in Crescent City. We split between 4 cars, mostly pairing with the coworkers we hated the least. Some cars were more lucky than others.
Unfortunately for my friend, let’s call her YC, she had grad school classes to get back to on Tuesday and unfortunately for me, I had to be back on Tuesday to work since everyone else was still going to be out.
So YC and I were designated to roadtrip together. Mind you, we maybe had a total of 3 conversations prior to this trip.
So the lab set off, making bets as to who would arrive first. YC and I stopped for coffee and a smoothie on our way out, then again an two hours later for chips and snacks, so we were not strong contenders.
At the house, which was gorgeous btw, dividing up rooms turned out to be harder than a bunch of scientists imagined. Then again, we all know scientists are never right on their first hypothesis. SUPER long story short, YC and I ended up sharing a room with a King sized bed and private bathroom. I mean, yeah, we had known each other for like 5 hours, but it had a private bathroom and a tv and honestly YC was a lot funnier than me so I was trying to pick up on a few lines anyway.
Skip forward to bedtime, we settle into our respective sides, say goodnight, and fall asleep.
Sometime around midnight, the sound of my own whispering voice stirred me back into consciousness. My hand was tensely rubbing something warm, but firm, my arm bent into an uncomfortable position. My eyes fluttered open, YC’s face resting peacefully with my hand tangled into her hair. SCRATCHING HER SCALP.
Horrified, I tried pulling my hand out, but it was EMBEDDED in her long black hair. The more I struggled the more it pulled me in.
YC opened her eyes, quickly accessed the fact that I was profusely stuttering with my hand caressing her head, and said, “Um. What?”
Something along the lines of “Sorry I don’t know I am so sorry I promise I’m not weird sorry” made its way out of my mouth as I finally wiggled my fingers free.
“Oh,” she blinked. “Okay.” She turned over and went back to sleep.
See. I told you she was cool.
In a strange awkward way, it paved the way for our friendship, and for that, I am thankf–mmmm….nah, actually I wish that had never happened. We would have still become friends eventually. I STILL don’t know what I was whispering while I stroked her head, and I don’t think I want to know.