Saturday, October 1, 2011

So far.

It wasn’t your standard boy-meets-girl rom-com. It was more like this:

Girl decides to attend small liberal arts college in the Midwest. Boy decides to attend the same small liberal arts college. Said small liberal arts college randomly places Girl and Boy in the same orientation group for the first weekend. The first evening, Girl writes in her journal, “Boy is pretty cute, but probably thinks I’m weird.” Boy and Girl develop a friendly acquaintanceship based on their classmates’ absurdities. Girl thinks Boy is a run-of-the-mill frat boy. Boy thinks Girl is nice, but otherwise has no opinion.

In the winter of their sophomore year, they go on Outward Bound. Boy is in the same group as Girl’s mentor, and afterwards, Girl’s mentor mentions to Girl that Boy is really cool. Girl is surprised to hear such an evaluation and starts to wonder if she’s misjudged Boy. That spring semester, they have almost every class together. They sit next to each other, passing hilarious notes at inappropriate moments. They talk about deeper issues. They discover an uncanny amount in common. Sometime around Spring Break, Girl realizes that not only has Boy unexpectedly become one of her best friends, but she really likes him. The mental checklist of standards she’s always held is slowly being met, box by picky box. He reads books-- big ones, and fast. He makes her laugh, catching her off-guard with his wit.  He’s undeniably good-looking. They have the same faith and the same taste in music. He is indefatigably kind. He’s taller than her. He likes manly things-- knives and fishing and dressing well.

Then Girl goes overseas for junior year, and Boy goes to Officer Candidate School the following summer. They don’t see each other for eleven months. They talk frequently, and so their reunion the next fall is surreal-- they’ve both had some of the most significant experiences of their young lives, but it feels as though no time has passed. A few days later, they finally discuss the possibility of an Us. Boy says maybe. Girl assures him of her friendship, regardless. A couple months later, Boy says no. That he doesn’t think they’ll ever be more than they are now. Out of his sight, Girl cries. But she reminds him of her promised friendship, and they continue on. During the next semester, Girl’s head moves on, but her heart still regrets a lost chance. She has trouble believing that she’ll meet anyone like him ever again-- someone who also checks all the boxes-- but she tries to trust that God has it under control.

Toward the end of March, Boy and Girl are studying late. Boy gives Girl a ride back to the dorm, parks, and asks if he can talk to her about something. Girl freezes, convinced she’s about to be friend-dumped. Instead, Boy starts telling her about his trouble sleeping, that he can’t stop thinking about their relationship, that something has changed, that they’ll always kick themselves if they don’t give it a chance. Stunned, Girl asks, “So, what do you want to do?” Boy replies matter-of-factly, “Well, I think we need to go on a date.” And as a slushy, late spring snow falls from the sky and piles up on Boy’s windshield, Boy slowly leans over the center console and gently kisses Girl. All she can think is HE’Skissingmehe’sKISSINGmehe’skissingME.

Their first date feels the same as every other time they’ve hung out, except completely different because he kisses her again and she gets to intertwine her fingers with his.

A week later, they realize that the terms “Boyfriend” and “Girlfriend” now apply. They change their statuses on Facebook, and fifty people click the “like” button. After graduation and a long month apart, Girl moves back to her college city, three hours from Boy. They see each other as often as they can, and never seem to get bored of each other. They realize This Is A Big Deal.

Sunday will mark six months together. Girl knows it’s love because she finds herself wanting to employ all the cliches normally applied to these situations. Boy makes her want to be a better woman. She believes in his dreams, and she feels safe in his arms. Together is default; the rest of the time is spent in countdown. Girl still has moments of shock, of astonishment that this boy loves her back. And for that, she loves him all the more.

5 comments:

  1. Awwwwwwww!!!!!!!!

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  2. The most beautiful thing I've ever read.

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  3. C'mon Melody--there are worse things in life than cliches! They can even work best. Nice writing...happy story! Sorry I have grown out of touch with your blog. Will be good to see you at DNA.

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