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He Texted Me. He Loved Me. Then, He Disappeared.


Photo by Kathryn Rotondo / CC 2.0

Our story started out like any other. It also ended like any other. Regardless, it was special.

"U [sic] up?" he texted me one warm Wednesday night at 1:32 a.m.

"Yeah, why?" I responded.

"Was just thinking about you. Wanna come over?"

And so I did, but only because I had not yet changed into my pajamas. Who knows what would have happened, had I made the fateful choice to change into my pajamas earlier?

We had met freshman year in Math 114 recitation. Although I dropped the class almost immediately, we maintained a friendship based on running into each other at Commons, acknowledging each other on Locust, and being left-handed. Although we kept each other at a distance, I always felt something electric between us. Once, I lost my PennCard and he walked to my room to hand-deliver it to me. I still think about that.

When I arrived at his messy Rodin apartment, he greeted me with a tender smile and held open the door. He was wearing pajama pants with green polka dots on them. They were adorable. He was adorable. 

His roommates weren't home, so we were free to talk as loudly as we desired. At first, our conversations were about the mundane: school, friends, clubs. But then, we veered toward deeper subjects. Soon we were discussing our futures, our families, and yes, even saving the bees. He wasn't like the immature boys I had liked in middle school and high school. He knew that honeybees and bumblebees were distinct species. I think I fell in love right then and there

One thing led to another; we had sex. I could feel his affection in the way he held me. We had the start of something beautiful.

Still, I chose not to stay the night, because I hadn't yet flossed, and he didn't have any floss. "Flossing makes my gums bleed," he said. So he wasn't perfect. But he was mine.

On the walk home, I listened to "Crush" by David Archuleta and fantasized about leaving a packet of floss in his room permanently. When I arrived at my messy Harnwell apartment, I texted him, "Just got home - had a great time tonight. You are amazing. Want to grab dinner this weekend?"

He never responded. That was the last text I ever sent to him.

I saw him on Locust a few days later, but as I approached him, he somehow seemed to get farther away. Even when I called his name, his eyes stared impassively ahead. Eventually, I noticed his Sperry-clad feet were going in the wrong direction. It wasn't just my imagination that he was getting farther away - he was actually speedwalking backwards.

Despondent, I tried Snapchatting him. When he never opened it, I tried tagging him in a meme about multivariable calculus - a reminder of our history together. Not only did he not love react my tag, he didn't even like it.

It broke me. I had never experienced a pain like it before. Although I had never dated in high school, too focused on maintaining a 4.0 unweighted GPA and serving as president of three clubs, I thought college would be different. My parents met in college, and I had long hoped that an intelligent, attractive Ivy League man would sweep me off my feet. I didn't know a boy who knew too much bee trivia would break my heart.

They say you always remember your first love. It's been three weeks, but know I'll always remember him. Will he remember me?