no, no, no, no…probably not but maybe

Posted: April 1, 2013 in Uncategorized

Everything.  He knew EVERYTHING about how I felt about him.  Apparently his reaction had been a crazy kind of mixed emotions similar to those I had felt up to now:  instant gladness, surprise, dismay at not having known.  He had communicated to my friend an immediate hope of pursuit.  That was her reason for calling – to confess that she had told him, yes – but also she wondered what I thought about that pursuit.

Oh.  My.  GOODNESS. 

I was flustered.  I didn’t know how to respond.  I would think about it – PRAY about it – but my first reaction was mostly dismay.  Wasn’t it too late for that? 

I got off the phone and wandered into my daughter’s living room in a daze.  she took one look at my face.  “What?”

So that’s the first time she learned that there even WAS a Gary, that I had harbored that long, strong crush and then had to let go and walk away.  I’m sure it was shocking to her – she’s really one of my very best friends and knows all manner of things from my thoughts and emotions that others are never clued into.  But I hadn’t told either of the kids, or my parents or any of my family either, for that matter, about him.  I hadn’t wanted to unnecessarily subject them to processing the emotions related to my possibly entering a relationship.  Why make them consider it, if the possibility was only remote, far away, unlikely?  After all, I had committed to 12 months of no relationships.  And then I had left JPUSA at month 9.  There was nothing to tell, right?  Right or wrong, that had been my perspective.

I won’t pretend to know how Julia felt, hearing it all.  I’ll just say she seemed both astonished and supportive.  Mostly, as I told her, I shot down the possibility.  After all, it was too late.  He was in Chicago, I was in Davenport.  God surely hadn’t sent me home just to turn around and shoot me right back – and I couldn’t imagine Gary EVER leaving JPUSA.  Why pursue it  Why not just let it go?

I only said his first name, as I shared all of that with her.  By later the same day, she had located him on my Facebook friends and checked him out a bit.  That’s my kid!  Just like her mom.  🙂

I handled the news that Gary was “on to me” the way I so often handle things that overwhelm me:  I prayed about it, and mostly tried to pretend it hadn’t happened, other than sharing it with my prayer partner, complete with mostly denials about any possibility that it might ever lead anywhere.  If I remember right, I didn’t even mention it to the grat list at all for a long time. 

I did not message him to say that my friend had told me about their conversation.  Didn’t acknowledge it to him at all.  Purposely did not encourage him.  When he sent me messages, I mostly still tried to keep it short.  Be nice, and then get on with my day.  I couldn’t see my way clear to consider actually pursuing a relationship with him from so far away. 

Never mind.  Why bother?

He was patient and careful.  I’m pretty sure if he had asked me directly about it at that point, I’d have nicely told him to leave it alone unless and until my hopeful someday return to the community.  But he didn’t ask me directly.  Instead he was just friendly, sweet, light…and unwaveringly persistent in his attention.

Soon enough, it was almost time for Cornerstone Music Festival.  I had signed up to volunteer for the week.  I had not mentioned this to him, as I was still torn between excitement about the possibility of seeing him there…and the thought that maybe I’d be wise just to avoid him altogether.

Avoiding him, though, went out the window the day that he looked me up on the work schedule that was being made up in advance and asked me, “Will you save some time to spend with me that week?”

With butterflies storming my insides, though I had no idea yet whether I’d give him a hug or the stiff-arm when I saw him…I said yes. 

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