Shortly after our initial lighthouse adventure to Discovery Park, Graham decided it was time to kick things up a notch. Prior to this point, he'd always been with me in a group setting, relying on the safely net of the company of others. But if he was going to really, truly get to know me, he realized he needed to put himself out there a little and invite me on an excursion, just the two of us.
One night, he paid me a visit in my dorm room, as he had grown so prone to do. He never gave me any warning that he was coming; he would just suddenly show up. I was hard at work at my desk, pouring over my notes when he arrived that evening. He made himself comfortable and we chatted casually for awhile, me multitasking and studying simultaneously as I often did. We talked for a good 30 minutes before Graham finally mustered up the nerve to make his bid.
"Want to go for a drive?" he asked.
I looked over and gave him my full attention for the first time that night.
"Yes!" I exclaimed.
He was equally surprised and delighted when my answer came without a moment's hesitation. He had anticipated some degree of push back. I was a dedicated student and, with finals looming and the nature of my personality, he figured the likelihood of my breaking away from the books would be slim.
Lucky for him, I was also a bit of an overachiever and procrastination was not a term in my vocabulary. I would receive my syllabus on the first day of class and, after swallowing my initial overwhelmedness, I'd get a jump start on all the projects we'd be assigned over course of the quarter right then and there to get them out of the way. The same could be said for my final exam studying process. I would review and memorize all my notes about 2-3 weeks prior and then, in the days just prior to the test when everyone else was cramming, I would be be bored out of my mind and dying for someone to be free to hang out with me. My methodology was a little twisted, to say the least.
When Graham appeared at my door that night, I'd been pining for a mental break. His timing was perfect; I didn't really care where we were going.
Thrilled and buzzing with ever the slightest bit of nerves, Graham escorted me to his car. "It is finally happening!" he thought. "She is hanging out with me one-on-one!"
He drove me out to Alki, my first time ever in West Seattle. I felt relaxed and happy and thankful for the change of scenery. As long as there weren't any "keep out" signs on the agenda that evening, I was cool.
Graham put the car in park and we began walking on the beach, admiring the amazing views of Seattle along the way. We talked easily; I wasn't nervous at all. I mean, I had no reason to be since we were just two friends hanging out and enjoying the city on a study break.
(I was CLUELESS, Y'all!!!)
After strolling together for about 20 minutes, I peered ahead in the darkness and saw only water in front of us. The sand was turning to boulders and then precarious piles of driftwood. As we drew nearer, I realized what appeared to be the end of the beach was actually just a point. And there on the tip on the point stood a lighthouse. Ha! I was sensing the theme.
Graham forged ahead toward the lighthouse and I followed. We scrambled over the boulders and balanced carefully on the slippery logs. There was a brief moment where I nearly lost my footing. Graham reached back and grabbed my hand to help steady me as jumped down to the firm sand below. He held onto me for only a split second but this memory will be forever ingrained in Graham's mind.
Grinning ear to ear, he led me to the lighthouse where we found a smooth log that doubled as a bench. We planted ourselves there and continued to talk easily, late into the evening, that beacon of light flashing rhythmically above us.
I think it's safe to say Graham's dreams were sweet that night.