This is the second part of the story of how Stacey and I first got together from my (Carley’s) point of view. If you’re looking to read the first installment, take a look at Our Love Story: Part One. As I’ve mentioned before, when I first met Stacey she was already in a relationship. M, her then-girlfriend studied incredibly hard and was always involved in something; this meant that Stacey spent a lot of her time hanging about in the St Andrews Maths building, or heading out to events with her flatmates. It was these two things which meant I started seeing her more often.
One afternoon just before Raisin Weekend (a much loved St Andrews tradition), I was wandering my well-known poster run, putting up posters for an event in the union. I did poster runs on a semi-regular basis, and usually, it was a case of ‘stick headphones in and ignore everyone’ – until I saw someone waving at me in the foyer of the Maths building. When Stacey came over for a chat, and then accompanied me on the second half of my poster run, I was pleased with the company but really, she was still just a girl from a couple of years below me that I knew through LGBT. I can’t remember what we talked about in the slightest, but I do know that Stace was hanging around because she was waiting for M to finish her classes.
It was only a few days later that I saw Stace again – this time I was giving out the wristbands for an event in the union. (I volunteered a lot in my final year…) Stacey came to the event with her flatmates – dressed up, but still with that trademark black and red hat… She came and said ‘hi’ when she got her wristband, and I noticed her lurking around the foyer a little, whilst she came and went for cigarettes – but I didn’t really pay any attention to her. My night was spent with two incredibly good friends as we all volunteered together, and the idea that Stacey, with her girlfriend and charm and cute hat was interested in me? Crazy.
I spent a lot of time in the Union – mainly because I wanted a position there the following year, but also because being there made me feel included. It was only when I started seeing Stacey there more often – in the bar at lunchtime, wandering to the general office in the afternoon, grabbing a beer after class – that I started to really pay attention. And then, somehow, for some reason, we started talking.
It was the fact that I kept bumping into Stacey in the union that made me think that maybe (just maybe) she could be kinda flirting with me. We’d swapped email addresses and we would sit on different floors of the union (me, in the office of the boys that I spent all my time with, her in the bar, pretending not to be looking for me) talking to each other on MSN.
It was in that office that I was sat one day when Stacey send me a message which really made me feel certain that she was flirting with me. Unthinking, I said as much to the people in the office – completely forgetting that one of the girls there was a friend of Stacey’s girlfriend. That comment, and my holding my tongue afterwards as I realised that I had to be careful about what I said and who I said it to – that was the beginning of the next two months.
I still have some of the notes that Stacey wrote about me over the course of the next month or so; the time where Stacey and I were trying to be friends and ignore the huge pull that we both felt towards one another. Stacey didn’t live in the centre of St Andrews, whilst I both lived and worked in the middle of town – and a couple of times, she came and met me after work, or when I was pulling an all-nighter in the computer lab. Each time, we’d chat as though we’d known each other forever, and every time she said goodbye to me, usually as the sun was beginning to rise when I eventually left the computer lab – her hug was just a split second too long.
You know those hugs? When neither of you want to let go, when it just feels so safe and right and yet also… so awful, so wrong? I realised quite early on that I wanted this girl, with her cheeky grin and the way she’d glance at me, so adorable. But, I was also super-aware that she had a girlfriend, that I’d never actually seriously been involved with another girl before – and that I didn’t know what exactly Stacey was feeling – I was so, so confused.
Next time… the first kiss!Carley