t’s a little ironic that we decided to meet in the middle o a school park-ing lot, considering that school would later be our battleground. He wasthere to save his ass. I was there to make some sense o it all. I was 18 and just graduated rom high school, still young and incredibly naive.A little aer 8 a.m. on June 23, 2008, I pull my black Sunre into SouthElementary School’s empty parking lot. I wait with my heart pounding anda mix o emotions rushing through me. It doesn’t take long or the sexy,little, red Mustang to pull up next to me. In it is my 28-year-old cross-coun-try coach. He steps out o his car, and I do the same.“Sunglasses o,” I tell him.He whips them o and replies, “I’m not going to lie to you, Laura.”* * *wo years beore I met Drew, I was an awkward 16-year-old sophomoreliving in a suburb o Cincinnati. Like just about every other teenager in thecountry, I went to school and immediately began to count down the min-utes until I was ree again, which arrived at exactly 1:52 p.m. Aer the nalbell rang, I rushed to my locker, grabbed my books, and made my way tothe locker room.Since I’m a runner, reedom didn’t mean heading home. It meant goingto the locker room to meet my teammates, change clothes, lace up my track shoes, and head to practice. We would pile into our cars, crank Kiss107, andswap stories about boys, dreams, and the day. We lived in our little world,and it was bliss.