How Do You Know?

I was 19. Bryon and I had been dating for 2 weeks. He was a senior in college struggling through a physical chemistry lab. I was in the middle of my easy freshman classes.

Each morning we would meet each other in the dormitory cafeteria for breakfast. Our usual custom was then to watch television for half an hour on the tiny black and white set in his dorm room before heading out for the day. I thought the date was sacred. We were watching Inspector Gadget, for crying out loud! This particular morning I was told that Bryon had to meet his lab partner Dave for homework.

I liked Dave. Bryon had been seeing Dave a lot. Physical chemistry lab is a tough gig, and there had been a lot of obscure references to look up in the library stacks. Dave and Bryon would often take me for pizza with them after lab sessions.

That morning, I felt neglected. I’d watched our time erode as more demanding homework took hold. I wanted to hang out with my new boyfriend. I was outraged that he didn’t seem to feel the same. The frustration came to a head, and I decided we were finished. I yelled at him. He yelled at me. I stormed back to my room.

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