To my readers unaware as to why I am doing this, it is to give my take on the picture (which is the cover photo for this blog post on my home page) in the “Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 words, take two” hosted by WordPress. The link to the challenge will be posted at the end of the post.
As a 21 year old college junior, Jesse was a guy with not much life experience to speak of. Lately people were pushing him into doing Study Abroad.
“It will be the highlight of your college career” said Luke.
“You really need to study abroad to get a feel for how much college life has to offer” said Jesse’s academic advisor.
Due to the fact that Jesse was not raised in America his whole life, he was unfamiliar with some things but thanks to Luke’s help he was able to adjust to an extent. In high school Jesse was a studious guy who made good grades and was accepted into a prestigious university.
In college, he didn’t have many meaningful relationships because he found them to be a waste of time. As a student in a fraternity, Jesse managed to get a lot girls for short term relationships but he never found joy in long term relationships.
“When are you going to get yourself a girlfriend?” asked Jesse’s dad
“Dad, relationships are a waste of time, don’t even see the point in them” he replied
“One day son you will understand the beauty of them” his dad replied
Being pushed into the study abroad by his parents and peers, Jesse decided to get into the Summer Study Abroad Program that would send him to Barcelona, Spain for a month to complete his Spanish credits. Being a pessimist, Jesse didn’t expect much out of the trip.
Initially when he arrived in Barcelona, Jesse was greeted by a lively crowd that he was never really a fan of. Upon arriving at the university he was assigned to, he was forced to meet people in his classes as a part of his assignment, what a nightmare for Jesse!
“Hola, mi llamo Esteban” said a Dark haired Spaniard to Jesse
“Hola, mi llamo Jesse” replied Jesse in a monotone depressed voice
Esteban gave Jesse a strange look and then walked away from him. The assignment was not too fun for Jesse who only cared about grades.
One day when walking to class Jesse had his coffee in hand but some girl who wasn’t watching where she was going bumped him and his coffee fell.
“Nice going princess!” yelled Jesse
“Sorry sorry I am sorry” replied the girl, a beautiful curly haired brunette
“Oh you’re sorry how sweet” replied Jesse sarcastically
“Please, it is just coffee” said a Brown eyed Blonde who was walking with the brunette
“Ya, and I hope you aren’t as dumb as you look because I have to buy another one” replied Jesse
“What is your problem?” asked the Blonde
Jesse gave them a mean look and shrugged it off as he walked to class. When arriving in class Jesse noticed that he forgot his pencil and had nothing to write with, a girl sitting behind him let him borrow hers. Much to his surprise, it was the blonde he shouted at in the hall. After class was over Jesse gave the pencil back.
“Thank you and I am sorry for my behavior, Jesse is my name and this was nice of you” said Jesse
“Ingrid, and you are very hotheaded man” she replied with a smile. Ingrid was from France and had a French accent that was quite distinguishable.
Jesse walked off.
For weeks Jesse was going through his academics with good grades but no stories to share. One day Jesse was at a restaurant eating alone.
“Having fun?” asked a voice
“You again?” said Jesse as he looked at Ingrid
Ingrid replied with a smile.
“You must not be making many friends to be following me around” said Jesse
“Why are you so upset all the time? Don’t have any friends?” asked Ingrid
“Why are you so nosy?” replied Jesse
“Can you be a little bit nicer to a 22 year old woman?” she asked
Jesse got up and walked but stopped for a second and turned around to see Ingrid smiling at him. Looking at her he walked over and told her his story.
“I was not born with a stable life, growing up I only had one friend who looked out for me but I am not a friendly guy. It was nice of you to do what you did but I don’t deserve it. Never had many friends growing up and the friends I have in college are drunks who use women, abuse drugs, and ones I will probably never see. So there is all you needed to hear, have a great day!” said Jesse as he left
The next day when Jesse was free from classes and studying on the grass, Ingrid joined him. Jesse acted like she was not there, Ingrid laughed and threw a paper ball at him.
“Do it again and there will be consequences!” said Jesse
Ingrid threw another one at him. Jesse got up and tickled her. Ingrid laughed and tried to get him off. After a few minutes the two talked.
“What country are you from Jesse?” asked Ingrid
“United States but I was born in India, consider myself an American, you?” he replied
“France, born and raised in Paris!” she replied with a smile
After relaxing on the grass for a bit, Ingrid called Jesse over to her apartment. Jesse agreed.
Upon arriving at the apartment, Jesse and Ingrid talked and then made out except this time it was different. Jesse was developing feelings for Ingrid that he had never developed for any girl. Ingrid was more than a one night stand to him.
The days were flying by. Jesse and Ingrid were going on dates, having deep connections with each other, seeing new sights together, and even went to an FC Barcelona game to see Messi perform. Time did fly by and it was the last day of classes.
Jesse had added Ingrid to his facebook and even had her number, but he knew things won’t be the same. Ingrid would go back to France and Jesse would go back to America.
“It was nice to have all of you students in my Spanish class, have a great summer!” said the professor
Students were leaving and Ingrid followed Jesse, the two looked each other in the eyes and kissed. Shortly after, Jesse took Ingrid to his apartment to spend some time with her and then walked Ingrid back to her’s.
“Guess you’ll come to America and visit me one day” said Jesse
Ingrid smiled as a tear came out of her eye when she realized the value of this moment.
There, they exchanged hugs and kisses. Knowing that after this moment in their lives nothing will ever be the same even if they did meet again. Jesse realized that this girl had changed his life more than anyone and that his dad was right.
As Jesse arrived back to his university and headed into his final year, he was a changed man. Jesse gave up his promiscuous lifestyle and quit his fraternity, in the hopes that one day he will have more moments like those with Ingrid. It took one girl to change a man who had a promiscuous lifestyle influenced by friends, fraternity brothers, and college culture. Jesse knew that he would be too busy in the future to see Ingrid anytime soon and judging by his experience in Barcelona who knows how their lives might change till then.