In college, Stella lost and got her groove back twice. People undermined her potential and underestimated her abilities, but she proved them all wrong. I felt particularly protective of her since the incident that led her to lose her mojo the first time and indirectly hampered it the second time, was my fault.
I knew better than to drink water near her, but we had just pulled an all-nighter together, working on a paper, and I was not thinking clearly. I still see it happening in my mind’s eye in slow motion: standing to stretch my legs, I get a cup of water, only to have it inexplicably fall out of my tired hand and drench poor Stella. An overly bearded, beneficent young man who smelled strongly of patchouli oil revived her when I rushed her to his office, but there was little he could do beyond that and Stella was never quite the same. Although she recovered, residual effects of her ordeal presented themselves about six months later when she had to have some of her parts replaced. She persevered, though, and stayed with me a few more years, before finally retiring.
After watching Stella’s struggle, I learned the importance of investing in a computer warranty. When Ella came into my life, I honored Stella by purchasing a laptop extended warranty to ensure that if she and water ever had an unfortunate encounter, I would be able to properly restore her to her former glory.