There are things in life that you always remember---the way your favorite flavor of ice cream tasted on a warm summer day, your mother's chicken soup on a cold winter day, the thrill you felt when the team you loved won, and so on.
What I'll never forget is the way I felt the first time I saw -her-.
It was my senior year of college and like many university students, I'd avoided taking my least favorite general education requirement until one of my last two semesters.
So it came to pass that in September of that year, I found myself walking into History 103: Survey of European History and slouching down in a chair near the back, where the professor wouldn't see me.
I looked around the room, sneering at my fellow students who were already there. Most of them were wide-eyed freshmen who looked either eager or terrified to be there. You could always tell the freshmen, because they were the ones actually fully alert and ready to go at 7:45 am the first day of a semester. Not like the old hands like me who knew better than to take a course that early. Hell, I only got stuck with a class so ungodly early in the morning because it was the only one that met three times a week. 50 minutes three times a week was a lot better than twice a week at an hour and 20 minutes a piece.
Professor Morengay was the instructor, fortysomething with the bushiest beard I'd ever seen on a man. My fraternity brothers who'd had him before said he was a great lecturer, a real storyteller who made History at least a little less boring than it actually was. Since they were usually right about that kind of thing, that gave me another reason to put up with the hassle of having to wake up at 7 am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
Anyway, there I sat, not really paying attention as Morengay started going through the roll in his deep bullfrog's voice until the door creaked open, drawing everyone's attention.
Heh, typical freshman, running late and lost, I thought.
And then all thought went out of my head.
Standing there, blushing under so many eyes on her, was the most beautiful girl I'd ever seen.
The first thing I noticed was her hair, so light blonde it was almost white. I swear, when she moved, it looked like it cascaded and rippled like sunlight dappling and sparkling the surface of a stream. You know the kind of sunlight I'm talking about. The kind that turns this more than pretty white when it hits the water, no longer yellow.
She was dressed in a plaid grey and white skirt that ended just above the knees, so cute I wanted to rip it off her with my teeth along with the simple white blouse she wore.
Her eyes I couldn't see too well, because I was at the back of the room, but her lips were pink and soft and just the perfect shape for what a girl's lips should be doing to a guy.
After a moment of silence, Morengay gestured with a grin, "Well, come on in. History 103? Is that the class you're looking for? Cuz if you are, this is just the right spot."
She nodded, doelike, and quickly found the nearest seat, busying her hands with her backpack while the professor took our attention from her by resuming the roll.
Once we'd gotten through with that tedium, he handed out the syllabuses and prattled through all the rot I'd heard in so many other classes throughout the four years I'd been there.
"Since it's the first day of college for so many of you, I'll let you go early today", Morengay said, "We start on Wednesday with a look at a time when a real bastard took over England."
The class laughed and the noises of leaving started up.
Me personally, I could've cared less about whatever cheesy jokes the prof was making.
My eyes were on her.
She quickly got her things together and left, no doubt to avoid the embarrassment of coming in late.
Suddenly I found myself looking forward to 7:45 am Wednesday and all the 7:45s thereafter those three days a week.