By March of 2005 I had done more stupid things and said more stupid things to Ana than I care to admit. After the chocolate incident I had mostly given up and was content to have an uneasy smile and an awkward "hello" at passing. I figured the semester would end soon, and with it my crush on the cute Chilean girl.
After class I would sometimes sit out on my bench finishing up homework in to the wee hours of the night. On one particular evening I was surprised to see Ana walk by. She seemed kind of out of sorts. As she passed by I asked, "How's it going?" expecting the normal, "Fine". She was on her way out of the building with her hand on the door when she stopped, turned to me and said, "Its better now, I think." When you've struck out with a girl as many times as I had with her you reconsider any kind of personal inquiry before you let it come out of your mouth, but by this time I figured I had nothing to lose, and she did seem upset.
"Something wrong?" I asked.
"Well, this C++ class I'm taking is really hard, but I think I'm finally catching up"
It should be noted at this point that I've been a professional programmer, mostly in C++, for about 6 years, but before that I was a C++ programmer as a hobby for a good while. Telling me you need help programming is like telling Keith Richards you'd like some help getting wasted, or Andy Dick you need help making your sexuality a little more ambiguous. A girl couldn't possibly give me a better "in" unless she added, "I also need help finding the princess in this Mario game." to the end. But, with my normal level of smoothness, I froze and let her walk out the door.
Later that evening, after kicking myself in the butt a few times I decided I should send her an email offering my help. I was surprised a few days later when I got an actual email back saying she might have to take me up on the offer. I didn't expect another email, but it came the next day. We agreed to meet after class the following week so that I could help her with a project.
It went well, and in no time we were getting together once or twice a week for C++ studying. I had a hard time keeping focused on the work, but she didn't seem to mind too much. We joked around a lot and had a good time usually. She'd give me a hard time for being so white, and I'd give her a hard time for being such a princess. I brought her a tiara one day and insisted she wear it while studying in the library, and she would send me emails in Spanish and make me translate them. All in all, things were going quite well, but on an outside of school level not much was happening. We'd often stay till 8 or 9pm, and I'd invite her out to dinner, but she'd always decline. She made it quite clear that she had no intention of giving me her phone number or calling, so while I always had these amazing 3 or 4 hour study sessions with her, that was it.
As I got to know her, it became kind of apparent that her and I probably weren't a good match. She's an amazing girl, but she's also very Christian, and very strong in those beliefs. While that's not a deal breaker for me, if the crusades have taught us anything, its that heathenism is frowned upon by the Christians. Aside from that, she was home schooled, and raised in a South American type household while I was raised by rednecks. The saying opposites attract is quite true, but they don't always make for the best match.
Our differences aside, I think we made a great pair, and since we're both fairly laid back and able to listen to the others opinion without getting heated, we got along well. The semester continued, and our friendship did too, but as the semester started to wrap up I was getting quite worried that when it ended, so did our "relationship"....