Thursday, April 21, 2011

HIDDEN AFFECTION

Debbie and I were considered a couple during my Freshman and Sophomore years of high school.  I wouldn't look at it as a full blown romance where one or the other of us felt like we were madly in love with each other but rather an intense very close friendship that crossed a couple of friendship lines.  We would hold hands and share a kiss every once in a while.

The best way to describe it I guess is that we were best friends who acted like we were a couple and possibly believed that we actually were a couple.  She was my preacher's daughter.  She was petite and very skinny.  She had a great sense of humor but it did not match my sense of humor.  Every now and then I she would think maybe I had gone a little far with a practical joke.  She had braces and a smile that the braces could not distract from.  Her eyes always had a sparkle to them and she laughed a lot.

We went to rival schools whose districts backed up to one another.  Still while I was seeing her I spent more time at her school games than I did at my school.  She played flute in the marching band and I would be at her house in time to walk over to the school with her.  I would watch the game and at halftime would watch her march and play her flute.  Then we would walk back to her house and spend some time playing ping pong or cards and generally just have a good time.

She had one sister who liked me and did not give me or Debbie any trouble.  We went to a couple of dances together and went out to the movies pretty frequently.  We both loved movies and we would spend time talking about  movies we had just seen.

Looking back on it, I followed her likes and dislikes more than she followed mine.  We would spend most of our time together over at her house rather than actually going out.  That was fine with me because I didn't have a lot of money to spend.  When my sense of humor would cross the line of what she considered appropriate she would call me a silly goose, which was a signal for me to back it down a bit.

Her parents liked me and I was welcome in their home almost anytime.  Everything seemed perfect with Debbie except for that deep feeling of affection and love that neither of us had felt yet.  We did not know if we were a couple because we hadn't been hit by the emotions that constitute a real romantic relationship.  We had a friendship that couldn't be beat but the romance was absent.

Debbie was the one who figured out that the romantic affection was missing between us.  It was getting towards the end of our sophomore year and I was over at her house spending time with her.  We had been in the basement playing ping pong with her sister and one of her friends.  Debbie and I won the games as usual.  Then her sister went upstairs and so Debbie and I sat down to talk.

That night has faded a little but how it went hasn't left my mind.  We sat down on a couch in the basement next to each other, my arm around her shoulder and her hand on my knee.  We talked about topics that I can't remember but probably had something to do with movies or books or music.  I remember the talk lasted about an hour and it was getting close to time for me to go home.  I leaned over to give her a kiss good night and I felt her hand on my chest.

She stopped the goodnight kiss and then said that she wanted to talk about something.  She explained how during the whole of the school year she had been thinking about us and our future.  She had been looking for that special feeling and in the end, that night, she decided she could not find it.  The feelings, the romance the love wasn't there.  What was there was a friendship that could last a lifetime but there was not that romantic love.  I sat back and listened to her thoughtfully.  As she talked I knew that she was right.  I had never felt anything but a fun close friendship with her.  A close enough friendship that made it seem like there had to be something else but something else was absent.

It was probably the nicest breakup in history.  She didn't want to play me and I sure didn't want to play her.  We both decided that night that what we did have was a great friendship and there was no reason why it couldn't continue.  We hugged and walked up the stairs.  I told her mother goodbye and I left Debbie's house for the first time as a very close friend instead of a boyfriend.  I felt good about our decision.  We had been honest with each other and I feel had done the right thing.  So as my sophomore year entered it's final months I became free to see and date who I wanted.  The trouble was there was nobody I really wanted to see or date.  I had grown accustomed to spending all that time with Debbie.  I decided to lay low and learn how to be me alone instead of half of Bill and Debbie.

While Debbie and I were spending a last few months as a couple, a girl in her senior year had been keeping an eye on me apparently.  My friend Val was my locker partner at school.  she knew this girl very well.  Val had a circle of girlfriends that she use to hang out with at school and at church.  Her friends were generally older than me because Val was a senior while I was only a sophomore.  According to Barbara she had seen me and thought I was okay.  Val and the other girls explained to her that I was not Bill but half of Bill and Debbie and that she would Never see either me or Debbie without the other.  Still Barb decided to keep an eye on me.

To be honest I had not really noticed Barb except when Val would point her out  to me which wasn't very often.  I think Barbara held a hidden affection fro me, or at least a curiosity about me during that whole school year.  When Debbie and I decided to call it quits, Val began questioning me on a lot of different things.  Was I interested in anyone else?  (no, not really) had I thought about taking anyone else out on a date? (no, not really)  If she introduced me to one of her friends would I be interested in a date? (probably)  This went on for a few weeks after Val had learned the fate of Bill and Debbie.

Then one day in school Val pointed Barb out to me and asked me what I thought of her?  Well, she was cute.  She was short but she was cute and looked to have a nice smile.  Val began to push me for answers on whether I would go out with Barb.  I really had no idea.  I didn't want to go out right now and I really just didn't feel like asking a girl out.  Part of the reason was that I was shy but truth be told, I felt like some time was still needed to establish who Bill was.

Val began to get slightly irritated with my lack of commitment on whether I liked Barb or not and so one day the question came tumbling out of her mouth.  If Barb, that cute senior, asked me to go to the SENIOR PARTY with her after GRADUATION would I go?  This made me stop and think.  Me, a mere sophomore going to the all night senior party with a senior who wanted me to go out with her?  If ever anything would make the guys envious it would be this.  I was sure that my mom and dad would not allow me to go out with a senior on an all nighter, but if I could pull this off, what a coup.  I spent the day at school catching glimpses of Barb.  She was cute.  She had a wonderful smile.  She was short.  VERY short.  But then again she was cute.  She apparently liked me a little bit at least.

I decided to check to see if I even had a chance of going by approaching mom and dad on the situation.  They were all for it.  I think they would agree to anything that would get me out of the house since Debbie and I split.  Go for it was the message I got from them and I decided to follow that advice.

I went to her graduation and then piled in a car with some of her friends and went to the senior party.  We had a good time and I decided that I definitely wanted to see her again.  I won't go into detail of that first date as I plan on writing about it later, but let me say this about it.  It was fun.  All the guys were indeed envious.  And as I got to know Barb better, it became apparent that she had held a hidden affection for me from a distance for little while because I was part of Bill and Debbie instead of just Bill.  Now I was just Bill and she could bring her affection out of hiding.  I am so glad she did.

2 comments:

  1. And a very good decision it was. I don't think that your life could have been happier with anybody else.

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  2. While I feel like the article could be interpret me as somewhat of a stalker... It was truly our friends Val and Sheryl that put the wheels into motion. Ultimately though it was God that made this plan for us. I am so blessed to have Bill in my life. We may have been young when we were married but I never doubted that he was and continues to be my heart then and forever.

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