Samantha, or Sam for short, wound up being a very good friend of mine during our college days. We weren’t the closest in high school, but having a familiar face in a new college and sharing a few classes drove us closer together.
Though, full disclaimer, I didn’t witness this in person, Sam shared a great story with me.
I know I will date myself with the reference, but during my college days, everyone was using MSN Communicator as the preferred means of communication. Facebook had not taken off yet and data plans on cell phones were either non-existent or too expensive to make sense.
Sam and I were carpool or bus buddies. Meaning we would either drive to school together or take the bus together. Whatever conversation we didn’t finish during the ride would then be resumed in our online world.
During our car ride home, I decided to test a topic, just to see if this whole shoe loss thing was something only I would encounter because I would purposely find situations for this to occur in. I didn’t want to give anything away, such as my fascination in the topic, but I wanted Sam’s honest thoughts.
“Sam,” I started as I sat in the passenger seat of Sam’s car, “have you ever been teased or bullied in high school?”
“Me?” Sam replied, surprised at my question.
“Yeah,” I continued, “I know we weren’t always close in high school, I just wanted to know how it was for you.”
“It was generally good,” Sam said, “I don’t think anyone would really mess with me. I mean, my cousin and brother would have probably gotten to them if they ever did anything with me.”
“Okay,” I replied, trying to recalibrate the question, “maybe not that intense. But were you teased by guys who liked you or anything?”
“Yeah, like, would they call you stupid names?”
“Oh,” Sam replied, “yeah, most would say that ‘Sam is a boy’s name,’ but I prefer it over Samantha. Samantha is too proper.”
This conversation wasn’t going as well as I had thought and sadly I had run out of time.
At night, when I saw Sam online on the proper chat forum, I continued the conversation on MSN.
“Did guys ever tease you by stealing things from you?”
“Hm,” Sam started her reply, “there was a guy who stole a pencil from me.”
“A pencil? And you remember that?”
“Yeah,” Sam said, “I really liked that pencil.”
“Did you get it back?”
“I wanted to, but I saw him in class chewing on it.”
“I know, right?”
Perhaps Sam was the wrong target, but I had to take a leap of faith in my questioning to see if there was going to be anymore substance that I could pry out of her.
“Any other stories?”
“One of my new friends in my Literature class said that a guy once took her shoe.”
“Yeah,” I replied, hoping this would stir something up.
“Actually,” Sam started, “that has happened to me before as well.”
“Yeah,” Sam said, “it was in my Intro to Business class.”
“We always had to start the class off with a typing warm up,” Sam started her story, “and I was always one of the fastest typers.”
Sam then explained that there were two guys in the class that always wanted to race her. She never really thought of them liking her, but more or less, just wanted to get into a friendly competition with her.
The class would always start with the typing warm up where everyone had the same script to type, and finish as quickly and accurately as possible. The faster you finished, the better (of course accuracy mattered).
The guys, tired of always losing to Sam seemingly devised a plan. Sam said she was wearing her white Adidas superstars at the time, wasn’t aware of the plan and wasn’t sure what to make of the situation when it happened to her.
As Sam was typing, one of the guys went under the desk, grabbed her foot and pulled her shoe off. Not only did he grab her shoe, but he ran out the door with it.
“What did you do?”
“I chased after him.”
“You didn’t finish typing?”
“No,” Sam said, “I ran after him to get my shoe back.”
“Did you win that day?”
“No,” Sam typed, “the guy who wasn’t involved won.”
“Did you get your shoe back?”
“Yeah,” Sam replied, “it took a while, but I got it back.”
“He ran through the hallways with it.”
“Did your sock get dirty?” I asked.
“Probably,” Sam replied, “I don’t remember, but our school was pretty dirty.”
I couldn’t believe it, but these events occurred in my school, right under my nose, without me ever being involved.
Sam was now more interested in the topic than I had actually planned for and left me with one final question.
“So,” Sam started, “do you think they liked me?”