Riding in cars adjacent to boys

The year was 2008. The setting: Provo, Utah in the fall. I was in my sophomore year at BYU and on my way to pick up my former roommate Kyra for our weekly dinners with Grandpa. The Grandpa was mine but the ability to enjoy hearing the same stories on repeat was hers.

Kyra lived at a sketchy apartment complex nicknamed “Glenn-hood” located on the corner of University Ave and University Parkway. I was stopped at a red light, anticipating the frustrating “left-hand turn on green only” of this major intersection when a handsome stranger in a silver Honda Civic pulled up alongside me. Blaring from his Honda-unapproved speakers was one of my favorite artists of the moment, “Jack’s Mannequin,” a band that wasn’t commonplace in Happy Valley. Convinced that this was a sign from God that the stranger was to be my soul mate and emboldened by veracious youth I beckoned out of my VW Bug’s passenger window.

“Hey! I like your music!”

Jack’s Mannequin Dude looked over, brow furrowed. Beautiful, thick eyebrows, I might add. My weakness.

“What?” he yelled back as he turned Andrew McMahon’s angelic voice down.

“I said, ‘I like your music.’ You have good taste in music.” I shot him the most flirtatious smile I could muster, which, in 2008, could make a preacher-man blush.

Jack’s Mannequin Eyebrows smiled back.

“Really?? What’s your name?”

“Cait,” I said as I checked my rearview mirror. I could feel the drivers behind me growing restless as I missed two opportunities to make my turn.

“Can I have your number, Cait?” JME asked, sensing the urgency of the traffic behind him.

I proceeded to yell out my number while simultaneously turning onto University Ave, praying fervently that he heard enough to make an educated guess. About 20 minutes later my pink Razor cell phone chimed signaling the start of a cinematic romance that would span several years of my life.


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