I’m Happy (and Lucky) To Be Back Folks

By now many some of you may have heard about the what happened at UCF. If not (or you’re scared of hyperlinks ) here’s the short version. A student pulled the fire alarm in one of the University of Central Florida dorms around 12:20 on March 18. Shortly afterwards the same student went back to his room and tried to kill his roommate with a gun. Luckily (biggest fucking understatement  of my life) the roommate was able to lock the bathroom door and call the cops. I don’t even know their name…..but I owe them my life. The alarming pulling, gun toting, bomb making college student (yes I said bombs) had a plan. The fire alarm was to draw all 500 hundred residents myself included out into the open. Whether he was going to use one or all four of his improvised explosive devices or the hundreds of bullets for either of his guns, the intent was to harm. And a scrawny young lady in a bright pink robe with little sleep, terrible cardio, and voted most to get trampled by a crowd via the voices in her head was probably fucked.  His brave quick thinking, running, and door locking roommate’s call caused change in plans. The would be terrorist shot himself.

Of course none of us, the 500 temporarily homeless knew this. All we knew was that we couldn’t go back to the dorm and cops showing with M4s means shit is going down.  It wasn’t until 2 am that we were given any information about what was going on. “*UCF Alert* Tower One evacuated due to suspicious death. Police on scene. Councilors on way.” Speculation immediately begins between my two roommates, a new friend, and myself.  I tossed up “Well maybe it was a gas leak. That sounds suspicious and would explain why the evacuated the building”. “Okay…but why was a cop carrying a  gun bigger than he was”. I had no explanation, making my theory invalid. Someone else suggested that maybe the guy died from alcohol poisoning, it had been St. Patrick’s day a few short hours ago. This theory was just as quickly picked apart and disregard. All the while in the back of my mind I’m regretting what I said earlier as we were leaving the building. “I’m going to kill the bastard that pulled the alarm”. Really regretting actually, I felt like shit. 

Around five my roommates, a friend, walked a to a friend of one of my roommates. The idea was very appealing because a) He probably had heat, b) His dorm was on the other side of the campus, and c) it was something do. I managed to get a hour’s worth of sleep on the floor. On a side note, somehow the guy’s tile floor was more comfortable than his wood table, maybe I’m masochist.

My phone woke up around seven. It had going off constantly from all the texts I’d been receiving. Everyone wanted to know if I was doing okay and UCF had made a temporary set up for all of us Tower 1 folks.  I replied to all texts(, expect UCF’s) all with a variant of “I’m still homeless, but please don’t worry”. I was really touched by the number of texts i received, people I thought only considered me a acquaintance or normal enough to trust with their cell number, really did care. I wanted to tell them more but….it would be a few more minutes before I used twitter to find out had happened. And even if I did knew that guy killed himself or that he had explosive devices in his room….it wouldn’t have changed my response. I’m not the kind of person to just dump unpleasant or heavy shit people for no practical reason.

While my gang of lady chums and I walked to the arena I learned the main campus was to be closed until twelve. This was almost as wonderful as waking up to love and concern of my friends and family. I had a particularly difficult class at nine thirty, it’s not always taking notes in there. Even if class hadn’t been cancelled I probably would skipped. I had no pen, no notebook,  no sleep, and I’m not a wizard folks.

It wasn’t long after we got to the arena that we found that the nearby campus buffet was opening and letting people eat even if they didn’t their wallet. I’m pretty sure I ran. Of course I still had to pay, I had a wallet,  but I really didn’t care. My roommates did though and went back to the arena. After my friend and I found a booth I ran for the chocolate milk and doughnut holes. When came back two guys were in the booth with my friend, one of them had the dreamiest blue eyes I’d ever seen. Can you still use “dreamiest” if you’re not thirteen? Fuck it.

Of course I sat next to blue eyes while my friend grabbed something to eat. Blue eye’ friend explained they needed a place to sit and things were kinda crowded. I just smiled and nodded, at both of them of course.

I found out blue eyes had seizure earlier thanks to a combination of stress, exhaustion, and lack of medication in the student union, not long after I had left it. The cops had to relent and let the poor guy back  in for his meds. I was disappointed to learn the cops kept from learning anything like…are the cops searching our bedrooms? 

After breakfast the four of us headed back to the arena, but managed to  I lost my gal friend thanks to the crowd. However we did  find my roommates outside the arena. One of my roommies said goodbye because she called her mom. 

The rest of us headed into the area and given pillow and blankets. It wasn’t long after we found a nice place within the black and gold chairs that my roommate left for a nearby friend’s. That’s right I was alone with blue eyes and his friend.

We all shared some weird awkward stories. Such as blue eyes seriously injuring himself with a machete he was trying to clean. Or the time my mom gave me a tube top. Eventually the guys fell asleep awkwardly on the stadium chairs. Call me weird but I couldn’t sleep with  two guys  literally inches away.

After some time passed I gave blue eyes my number and asked if was doing anything on Wednesday  he wasn’t. Although begun to suspect that this we’d have problems when I saw his purity ring. I can respect people who choose to wait, but…Two problems I’m a secular humanist and I’m not waiting until my wedding night to determine sexual chemistry. Still when asked if I wanted to join their bible study I knew I had come clean. I did leave out my feelings on premarital sex though.I could tell it was  a turn off for blue eyes, but his friend really enjoyed contrasting Humanism and Christianity.

A few hours later and the school buffet was giving free lunch for tower 1 residents. By this point I’d changed into a shirt and pair of short’s they’d given out. I still had to wear my unflattering pink robe because…let’s just say it was very cold, okay? At least now I had pants  shorts. I also had the option to shower, but I hate using strange showers.

We parted ways after lunch. I desperately needed to get a notebook and pen for an upcoming class, yeah classes kept happening after twelve  After I’d gotten the cheapest school supplies Barns and Noble had, I still some time to kill. I went back to the arena and made it just in time to watch a press conference about what happened.

I learned…everything I told you about the situation back in the the first paragraph. I knew that if that guy carried out his plan, I’d be dead. I’m not one of those people who imagines all the different ways life wants me dead and fucked. When I see an escalator I don’t think about the time I nearly lost my shoelaces and shoe. I think “cool now I don’t have to walk up stairs”.  In that moment all I could think about was the possibility. How my life was nearly ended……and so scared and panicked, but I have never felt so lucky.

The press conference was ending and I had only ten minutes before my class started, but  the was now open dorm. I hated going to class in my pink robe, but it was better than being late. I got several questions about my appearance. Luckily “I live in Tower 1” was good enough, I still hated the pitying looks.

I got through the class, after nearly falling asleep several times. Dim lights and one hour of sleep will do that. I just went back to my, crawled into bed, and cried. Because I was so happy to be alive, but thinking back on it….I think I also cried because I was afraid. This wasn’t first I’d cheated death. I once caused a car accident that should have two people, including myself. All of us came out without a scratch, because I got lucky. If someone had been the other lane or if I’d hit the palm trees, which basically trees with spikes on them…I’m really worried what will happen if my luck runs out.

p.s The date happened and it turns he’s also super right-wing conservative. Guess what am..? Ten points and an imaginary high-five to anyone who said “filthy bleeding heart liberal”. I’m not even sure it was a date, we just walked around the school and did some Geocaching.

p.p.s He never texted me or anything after the date. Neither I, but I asked him if wanted to do something and gave him my number. I’m not crazy for expecting a little initiative if the guy like’s me. So it’s looking like friend zone… I had high hopes for a guy that agreed to go out with despite not showering for 2+ days, the pink robe, no sleep or make up. Oh well.


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