College was definitely a lot more challenging and demanding than high school had been. The MBA marketing and financing courses I took over at the business school were extremely difficult, but I managed to do pretty well.
Most people would find it quite boring and stressful, but being the math whiz that I was, I had no problem with all the calculations we were required to do, especially the ones that involved the stock market. My GPA was still up at a 4.0, and I hoped that it'd stay that way. Who knows, I could even get out of college with my Master's degree in four or five years instead of six. It'd sure take a lot of work and effort, though.
The NHL season had been back on ever since last month. Even though Tyler was constantly at practice with the Bruins and away during their games, he still kept in touch with me. I hadn't seen him since that night outside my dorm after the Sox game, and god did I miss him.
Just two weeks ago, the Bruins had a home game here at TD Garden against the Capitals, but I unfortunately couldn't make it. An exam had been scheduled for the following day after that game, so I made it a priority to stay in my dorm and study. I still called Tyler to wish him luck and they ended up winning, so that was good.
When Thanksgiving came, I drove down to Boston to spend it with my uncle and aunt. They were looking forward to meeting Tyler and I told them that he'd be in town soon. The thing was, whenever I had free time, Tyler was somewhere other than Boston. That made it even more difficult to see him.
My parents had found out about my relationship with Tyler just last month when I finally decided to tell them. Like Aaron, my mom had been shocked at first, but in the end, she was happy for me.
"See, I knew guys would be chasing after you over there," she had said.
On the other hand, my dad didn't handle the news so well. He told me that dating someone with a reputation like Tyler was a huge mistake on my part. We argued for what seemed like forever, with me defending Tyler the whole time. In the end, my dad warned me to be careful and not fall too fast for Tyler, even though I'm pretty sure I already was.
It was a cold and snowy Friday evening in December. Savannah and I had been invited to a party over at the boys' fraternity. She had a major crush on Andrew Wendell, a linebacker for the Harvard football team. He was a junior in college this year, along with most of the other people here. There were only a few freshmen and sophomores, including us.
"Hey, Christine," I heard a familiar voice say.
I turned towards the door to see Damon Parker standing there with his friends, Sean and Drew. Damon was one of the few guys I knew that succeeded with both academics and athletics. Not only was he the smartest guy in his marketing class, but Harvard also named him one of the best quarterbacks of the season.
His goal was to take over his father's business once he got out of college, which I thought was pretty fascinating. We had become close friends ever since we first met at a party two months ago. Damon was a sophomore though, so he'd graduate a year before I would. Like me, he was also aiming for an MBA degree.
Being around him felt like being around my older brother. They were both alike in several ways, personality-wise. Their facial characteristics were similar too, but Damon's hair was a more dirty-blondish color.
"Hey Damon, I didn't know you'd be here. How was that test you took the other day?", I asked him.
"I totally bombed it. And I thought four hours of studying the night before would pay off," he replied with an exasperated sigh.
"Hey, don't let it get to you. So what, it was just one test," I said with a reassuring smile.
"True. Man, I really need a break from all of this. Thank god we get a month off after Christmas," he remarked.
Around midnight, the football guys got really drunk and they went insane. Andrew Wendell would not keep his hands to himself and he ended up taking some blonde cheerleader to his bedroom. Savannah had gone to look for the bathroom, but she accidentally walked in on the two of them in Andrew's room. The next thing I knew, she was running down the stairs, crying her eyes out.
"Let's get out of here," Savannah stuttered through her tears, dragging me towards the door.
"Hey, where are you girls going?", I heard Damon call out.
"We're leaving!", I yelled over the loud music.
Damon weaved his way amongst the crowd of people and headed over to us. I quickly explained to him why Savannah was crying and then he offered to drive the both of us back to our dorm, since neither mine nor Savannah's car was with us. Besides, the weather conditions weren't meant for walking in anyways.
I didn't see why she had to go crushing on guys like Andrew in the first place. There were so many other guys better than him, like Damon for example. When we arrived, Savannah went straight inside but I stayed behind to talk to Damon for a minute.
"Could you do me a huge favor?", I asked him.
"Sure," he replied with a grin.
"It's about Savannah. I feel really bad for her after what happened at that party with Andrew, so I was wondering if you could maybe ask her out on a date sometime. Just to get her mind off of him, you know?", I said. Damon's face immediately fell.
"Listen, I think Savannah's a really great person, but I can't do that," he lightly objected.
"Why? I'm not trying to be pushy or anything. I just thought that you liked her."
"I do, but only as a friend. Besides, I like someone else," he admitted, absently drumming his fingers on the steering wheel.
"Really? Who?", I asked anxiously.
"Never mind. She probably doesn't even like me back," Damon said with a sigh. I gave him a weird look, but decided to just leave it at that.
"Ok then. Well, I'm gonna head inside now. Thanks for the ride," I replied.
"No problem. Good night."
Little did I know that the minute I stepped out of the car, a look of sadness and defeat had crossed Damon's face.
Christmas was coming up in two weeks and I sure was looking forward to seeing my family again back in Minnesota. Aaron would be flying in from Indiana after his game against the Patriots. My parents had gone to several of the Colts' games already this season.
College made it nearly impossible for me to attend any of my brother's games, which I felt really bad about. He was growing into a star player and I hadn't even been there to support him through any of it. Rumors were going around that the Colts might have a chance of making it to the Super Bowl in February. I promised myself that I'd be there to watch Aaron play if his team did make it.
Savannah and I were outside putting up Christmas lights on our dorm building to get in the holiday spirit. I only had my Harvard sweatshirt on, which probably wasn't the wisest idea. I would've worn my jacket, but I had misplaced it at the mall last week. Stupid, I know.
"Hey, guess what I have," Savannah said when we were back inside to warm up with hot chocolate.
"What?", I asked. She pulled out a pair of tickets from her jean pocket.
"Center ice seats to the Bruins game this Saturday," she replied, trying hard not to scream.
"Oh my god, you're amazing!", I squealed, giving her a huge hug. "How on earth did you get them?"
"Andrew's mom works at TD Garden so she gets a discount. He gave these to me just yesterday," she explained.
"Wait a minute, are you two going out? Is that why you keep going over to the boys' dorm?", I questioned.
"Yup," Savannah confirmed with a dreamy look on her face. "Andrew's so sweet when he's alcohol-free. Hey, is it ok if he comes to the game with us on Saturday?"
"Sure, why not," I said with a smile.
I was happy that Savannah had finally found someone. What happened between Andrew and that cheerleader at the party last week was probably just an accident. He had been drunk, just like most of the other people there. My mind instantly wandered to that night Tyler got drunk at the club back in August. I couldn't believe that it had been nearly four months since that day already. Where did the time go?
That night in bed, I couldn't stop thinking about Tyler. I kept track of the Bruins' game schedule on my laptop, but I sure didn't remember seeing one scheduled for this Saturday in Boston, which was only three days away.
Tyler always called me before every game his team played at the Garden, but why hadn't he called yet? Was he still out of town? I'd give anything just to have him by my side again. When I finally drifted off to sleep, tears began to slowly fall down my cheeks, but I didn't even know it.
A/N- The purpose of this chapter was to introduce you guys to Damon Parker's character. After reading that car scene with him and Christine, I'm pretty sure most of you already have an idea of what was going on inside his head. He will play a very important role in the story later on.