I met Jake on the second day of school during our freshman year at Syracuse University. He lived right across the hall from me, literally two feet away. I was instantly intimidated: he was six-foot-four with the broad stature of a football player (I wasn't surprised to learn that he played center and defensive tackle on his high school football team). We were also complete opposites. I was a shy girly-girly who loved anything creative, and he was a friendly, outgoing, sports-obsessed man.
Nonetheless, we had an instant connection. We were attached at the hip for all of the "new student" orientation activities, like ice skating and parties on the quad. When school started, we did homework together, ate meals together, watched TV together, went to a concert together. He was my best friend, but nothing more since I had a boyfriend back home. I realize now how completely cruel the situation was – I friend-zoned him so badly that I'm surprised he stuck around. But he did stick around, and he was persistent without being pushy. I knew he liked me, and eventually I realized that I liked him, too.
Here's the tricky thing: I wasn't sure how to handle this unwelcome romantic drama. I had a couple of boyfriends in high school, but I certainly didn't expect to be involved in a love triangle merely weeks after coming to college. College is full of new and exciting guys – ones who didn't watch you go through puberty – and the situation was honestly quite confusing. Should I stick with a guy I'm comfortable with, or take a chance with this extremely social, super friendly football player? I even surprised myself, because I never, ever thought I'd consider dating someone who liked sports so much. Jake was even planning to study sport management!
The weirdest thing is, I knew we would be chosen. As soon as the Kiss Cam was introduced, I had this feeling that the camera would turn to us, and I was even preparing for the moment it did. But my intuition didn't stop my heart from jumping out of my chest when I saw the side of my head appear on the big screen over the orange-clad football fans in the Carrier Dome. Wide-eyed, I turned to Jake, who also looked like a deer in the headlights. And then we kissed. In front of 50,000 people. I remember looking back at our friends when the kiss was done and laughing – half of them were screaming and cheering, the other half just stared with their mouths open in shock. We were definitely popular on campus that night, considering we were stopped a dozen times by people who recognized us from the Kiss Cam.
And now here we are, almost two years later. I'm headed to Germany for a semester and Jake is staying back at 'Cuse, but I know we'll be ok. I guess the moral of the story is that when things are meant to happen, they happen. Or maybe it's that floorcest isn't always bad, or that the "unbreakable" friendzone can, in fact, be broken? Either way, my story is one I love to tell.