AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: Heather DATE: 3/18/2005 09:12:00 AM ----- BODY:
No word of a lie: the first room I walked into on the UMass-Amherst campus would contain two out of the three most important people I would take from it when I graduated. One of them was Heather. I forget the exact first moment I met her, but I vividly recall sitting next to her in our Arts Majors orientation meeting (I entered college as a Music major) in the summer of 1998, giggling about "anal-retentive euphonium players"--namely, the senior student leading our orientation (who is now my boyfriend of five years). She had very tan skin, brick-red lips and curly hair tossed with blonde highlights. She wore a blue jacket. After splitting us into groups by intended major, the new freshmen were herded back into a lounge area to play an icebreaker game. Think of a number between one and three, then turn to the person next to you and shake that person's hand the number of times you think of. If you match, stay together. If you don't, move on to the next person. Heather and I turned toward each other automatically. She smiled and held out her hand. We shook one, two, three. I only mention this because I've been getting a lot of questions lately as to why I would not mind driving six hours each way and carefully navigating her insane family situation in order to be the maid of honor for her wedding. Anyone who asks me that has never met Heather. Period.