This is the third part of a series called The Story of Us. Follow the link to find all of the posts in the series.
So, last time I left you in my story, I was about to become seriously, depressingly, heart-and-bank-breakingly underemployed. But it was only going to last for a couple of weeks.
Ten Months. Ten months is how long I had to work at just above minimum wage and not make my bills.
The first week that I started at the news stand, Mr. Thor trained me one night.
He was training me how to close the store, and we almost didn’t get out on time – because we talked so much. We talked about astronomy, computer programming, grilled cheese, and everything in between. I never once felt nervous or judged, I never second guessed any word that came out of my mouth.
That night, I google stalked Mr. Thor and realized that he had graduated from Cornell with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
He was a real dork. Brilliant! Not just one of those guys I always seemed to meet in Ithaca who seemed freakishly intelligent but have approximately 5 minutes of intelligent conversation saved up. I swore that very night that Mr. Thor would remain in my life. This guy was seriously cool. Great to talk to. Funny and kind. I desperately wanted, no – needed, to be this man’s friend.
Over the next few weeks, I realized what a nerd Mr. Thor truly was. He walked 20 minutes across town to work, and he carried a duffel bag filled with books and notebooks so that he could read and take notes during the lulls in the night shift. He read books on physics and language and astronomy. He ate PB&Js and drank coffee.
Over the course of November and December, Mr. Thor and I started to develop what felt like a real friendship. We talked about movies and books and asked each other how our days off were going. We went out to coffee. He came over for dinner. Near the middle of December, we went to a concert together.
By the way, I consider the concert our first official date – he paid and I left my glasses in the car and was blind all evening so that my brown eyes could steal his heart.
The night of the concert, I drove him home. We had just enjoyed the type of wonderfully weird evening that only Ithaca can provide. As I idled on the street outside his house while we said goodbye, I had no idea that something magical was about to happen – something that would change the course of my life forever.
Right after he hugged me? Mr. Thor asked me for my e-mail address.