“People, who need people, are the luckiest people in the world” she sang silently to herself sitting in the cafeteria watching the crowd. It was her first day at university and only her third day in the metropolis known as Vancouver. Home to her was a ranch outside of Dawson Creek, BC. She didn’t know anyone here, a thousand strangers and her.

She watched the other girls, they were cool and she wasn’t. They were confident and she wasn’t. To her, they were almost shameless by their actions. She was Terry Dinsmore an 18 year old cowgirl and as far as she could see, the only cowgirl in the room.

They all seemed older than her and more mature. They were far more traveled as her trips were to Ft. St John and Grand Prairie. She had been to Abbotsford for the rodeo and finished 5th in the barrel race. And now here she was at the University of British Columbia, enrolled in science and beginning the long road to Dr. Dinsmore.

School was easy because she worked hard at it. Outside of that she struggled being the tall, awkward girl trying to find herself. A cowgirl who loved show tunes. All during high school she lived on the social fringe with the exception of Carrie, her one true friend. It started in grade one and worked its way through to graduation. She graduated, Carrie still needed credits. So here she was, alone. She didn’t want to be alone, but like most of her life the initiative was always left to someone else. She surveyed the room, looking and hoping to find that one person who would take the initiative and free her from loneliness, then there he was and he caught her looking. She jerked her head away and just as quickly blush covered her. Head to toe she was neon.

“Oh my god, he saw me” was the only thought that came to mind. What to do? He seemed nice. She lifted her head pretending to look at the ceiling and then let it roll down and back towards him. He was still looking, but this time she didn’t turn away. She couldn’t look away as a smile swept across her face. She felt brazen and for the first time in her life, she felt attractive. It was such an invigorating feeling. She slowly dropped her gaze to the open book lying in front of her. She felt impulsive and equally unsure. She started to look up again, she saw him stand. Her heart sank as her first thought was of his leaving.

“Damn it, do something” she told herself still holding her look. He looked back and turned towards her.

“Oh my god, he’s coming over here.” The thought terrified her. She would have to respond and that was always the hard part, the engaging in conversation. She talked endlessly with Carrie, but this was a boy, a boy she was attracted too. The moment came so quickly, in an instant there he was, standing in front of her. There was that uncomfortable pause. She looked up at him, waiting for him to do something, but nothing happened until she realized he was just as awkward as her.

She stuck out her hand “I’m Terry Dinsmore!”

He reached for her hand “Nice to meet you Terry, I’m Dylan Tyson from Cranbrook. Well, actually a small ranch outside of Cranbrook.”

She could see the beginnings of a blush around his collar “Me too, small ranch just outside of Dawson Creek” she said.

Both were now blushing, and both were undeterred by it.

“Would you like to sit down” she asked gesturing to the chair in front of him.

“Sure” he said pulling the chair back to sit down.

Carrie was right, she did meet someone.

A short story by David Hutchison100_0036hobn (4)