Roughly a year ago, we spotted him, The Runner, as he would become known. The chiseled guy with dark hair and bronze body had run straight from his Ralph Lauren ocean side photo shoot into our neighborhood and into our hearts. After a couple months spending an inordinate amount of time tracking his every move, we managed to figure out where he lived and rerouted our jogging paths accordingly. The hope was to orchestrate a chance encounter and get the ball rolling on one roommate’s relationship destiny. Which roommate ended up with him would be left to fate, but until then we would all work together, seizing every opportunity. He worked out with his garage door open, so we jogged past his house enough times to be mistaken as Olympic track stars. We had a problem. Regardless of our frequent sightings, none of us had any idea how to strike up a real conversation. Once when we passed him walking his dog, Trish said, "Hi" and I waved. Waved? Yes, I waved. Not like cute, subtle bar wave, more like fat Tommy waving to his mom at soccer practice. Anyway, weeks turned into months and no actual conversations or introductions ever happened. We lost hope.
A coral snake recently tried to kill us. Trish was on the front porch about 10:00pm when she saw the death coded stripes slither through the shrubs. She screamed that we had a killer snake outside. I had just gotten out of the shower, so I darted outside with wet hair and wearing my throwback pajamas: gym shorts whose elastic died years ago and my oversized pink 7th grade basketball district championship shirt. We had a plan. Trish would keep track of the snake while I got the shovel of death from the garage. Great idea, but we’re a house full of girls who apparently don’t own a shovel. Plan B. The lawn ornament. I grabbed the iron cross-shaped end of the lawn ornament, pulled it out of the ground like King Arthur and tried to use the spikey end to stab the snake to death. Too dark outside, couldn’t see enough to kill. The snake was slithering faster now, we had to hurry. We heard our across-the-street neighbor man on the phone in his driveway. Trish shouted, “Hurry, go get his shovel!” Still holding the lawn ornament sword, I flew across the lawn, sprinted down the driveway, and took two steps into the street when I nearly collided with The Runner. He had emerged out of complete darkness and intercepted my path. We stood in the middle of the street, face to face, him looking like a print model, me wearing oversized pajamas with wet hair, holding a lawn ornament sword. Not sure what to do, but feeling the need to explain myself, I slowly held out the sword and said, “You wanna kill a snake?” Yes, after an entire year of stalking The Runner and dreaming of our future together, I finally made my move. I threw on my best outfit, chased him into the street, and attacked him with a lawn ornament.
He eventually walked to the porch, but the coral snake was already gone. Trish never even looked up from the shrubbery and never saw The Runner standing beside her. She said, “Looks like we missed our chance.” The Runner shrugged, put in his headphones and jogged away. I often wonder what he thought that night running home. I mean, it’s not everyday you meet a sword-wielding Ninja snake killer girl. He’s probably still kicking himself for not getting my number.