I sat wet and uncomfortable on Paul's couch with my legs curled underneath me and a green afghan. Natalie sat on the opposite love seat alternating between giggles and shaking her head at me.
"Seriously, I have some pants. Do you want to borrow them?"
At 16, no phrase could have been more awkward.
I was soaked from the knees down waiting for friends to arrive for a party and a friend's much older (so that's what college boys look like!) and incredibly intimidating in an every-glance-reeks-of-superiority-kind-of-way brother was asking me if I wanted to borrow some pants.
The decision to go outside was probably a bad one to begin with. It was the middle of January. It was freezing. Why on earth did we ever leave the warmth of the house anyway?
"Hey guys!" Paul invited. "The swimming pool's frozen over. We never drained it ... come look!"
"Can we walk on it?" Natalie asked.
"Why not?" he answered.
"You guys are dumb," I said walking to the other side.
I was a Red Cross certified lifeguard. No way would they be catching me on that ice.
"I'm not going in after you if you fall in!" I protested.
Three feet into the center of the swimming pool they were still upright and laughing. My resolution to stay poolside waned. I took a step onto the frozen chlorine.
And another step.
I freaked out and jumped back to the side, laughing.
Wait, I thought. What's that?
A chunk of ice caught my attention. I began digging for it with my shoe. I lost my balance and WHAM! -- right through the ice.
A few minutes later my face was flushed and I repeatedly denied Mr. I'm Cool's requests to take his pants. An hour later, however, I was still in wet denim and still very uncomfortable. I took the green sweats and then horror of horrors the college boy grabbed my pants and walked into another room.
"I'm throwing these into the dryer. I'll bring them out when they're dry so you can change," he said.
Three things flashed through my mind: back pocket, lip gloss & tampon.
I flushed harder and spent the next half-hour plotting reasons I needed to get into the laundry room. Some plausible explanation for why I was on the other side of the house and not with the rest of the party and wearing her son's pants when Paul's mom came in to change a load. Nothing came to mind. It was clear, however, I needed those items. Ruining the dryer with melted lip gloss was not the way I wanted to be remembered around the Davis home and if I could have chosen jumping into a volcano or having Danny hand me my dry jeans with a tampon neatly placed on top, I would have chosen the volcano.
Overcoming every ounce of intimidation and insecurity that had bottled up in my 16-year-old self over the last half hour I bravely walked through the kitchen and into the laundry room. I breathed a HUGE sigh of relief.
Purse, I thought. That's where I can put everything till I have pockets again.
It was back in the living room.
I almost died that night ... twice. First the ice and then the laundry room.
Being 16 was hard.