September 21, 2010

The Ninth Day

Learnin' from each other's knowin'
Lookin' to see how much we've grown and
(The only one who could ever reach me)
He was the sweet-talkin' son of a preacher man
(The only boy who could ever teach me)
Was the son of a preacher man
-Dusty Springfield

Day 09 → Someone you didn’t want to let go, but just drifted.

Yes, it's another boy. This time though, it's a much nicer story.

He shall remain nameless, because some of you who read this blog know exactly who he is, but he was a pastor's son; PK, he liked to say, for 'pastor's kid'. We met when he was 10 and I was 11 (yes, I was a cougar). We went to the same church- his father's- and the same school activities. I remember playing dodge ball in the gym one of the first times we saw each other. I hoped he would think I was good at it (and I was).

He had the lightest blonde hair. It was almost white, and kind of translucent. He had slate blue eyes that would almost look sad if he wasn't smiling all the time. I thought he was cute, funny, all the usual things. But this silly little crush lasted until I was 16 years old. I was pretty loyal to him for never dating him.

He won my heart by understanding my favorite movie- It's a Wonderful Life. I remember sitting at his house one day, watching it in black and white after he had turned off the color for me- he knew that was the only way to watch it. Most of it was silliness- we recorded funny tapes on our matching Talk Boys, we put on skits with our siblings, and we played a lot of two hand touch football in my big backyard. I liked going to church to see him far more than I cared about his dad's sermons.

But one time, I felt swept off my feet. It was brief, but beautiful. We were in a class together, and the assignment was to write our own epitaphs, similar to The Spoon River Anthology. I don't remember what I wrote, although I remember thinking my writing was horrible. But, oh, how I remember his. He climbed up on a bright stage and read, like Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas. I thought his opening line was beautiful- "I began my effervescence in 1985." What a perfect word. He described how he became a youth pastor, and how he ended up with kids. His last line said, "Glory to God in the highest." But somewhere in there he mentioned his wife. "I married, and my wife was just peachy."

Peachy? That was my word! I used it constantly (and still say it) , and I was definitely the only 14 year old who did so. His wife was peachy...did that mean...?...!

We never said anything to each other about it, although I swooned for days. Eventually, his dad got a new job in Chicago, and they moved there- an hour and a half away, but it could be China for all I cared. I was so heartbroken, and thought that if we were meant to be together, it was all ruined now. I read Sense and Sensibility and convinced myself I was Elinor. I wrote him one or two letters, one asking for the poem. He sent it; I read it over and over.

The summer after he moved, my mom said something in passing about talking with his mom. He had confided to her that he liked me. I was so surprised, since neither of us were brave enough to talk about things like that, and I thought it was so ironic to find out after he was gone. I cried again that night. I felt like Elinor yet again.

He came to visit only once since that day. I was 16 by then, and our families sat in my living room catching up on everything. I couldn't stop staring at him- now much taller than me, but with the same blonde hair and blue eyes. I wondered if he ever thought about me, and decided he probably didn't.

He is married now, and his wife looks like the perfect match for him. Their wedding pictures were beautiful, and life has gone on.

I still think it's funny that my young heart could pine away so much for a boy. But I'm glad he found himself another peachy girl.

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