Remember this? Yep. Here's part 2... finally.
So, junior year passed, and with the start of my senior year, I had lunch with my best friend. I didn't have lunch with my usual group of lunch friends, so I sat with my best friend and her "weird" (or so I thought) friends that I didn't know so well.
One of whom was my housband.
He joked a lot and had big (BIG) hair. I didn't take him very seriously--I had too many experiences with teenage boys that embittered me, and because I didn't think he could be serious, I was more harsh than I should have been.
I remember very vividly days in the lunchroom, bright yellow lunch trays (which he got in trouble for "stealing" over 100 trays, though they never left school property), talking with him and other friends, laughing and joking about our future plans and college applications, things like that.
We became ok friends; that year, we went to a football game with some friends and I remember feeling a sense of security with him and those friends, like maybe we'd be friends for a while. I felt good about the idea, and felt comfortable about hanging out with them in public. (Ok, so I was weird in high school. Who wasn't?) Later in the year, I wished that I could go with him to senior ball--there was a lot of drama surrounding the dance for me, dumb stuff--he went with his girlfriend at the time--and I boogied with him and his girl that night, and had SO much fun. He was very sweet to his girlfriend, and I admired that. He held her hand in front of all of us, which is a big deal in teenager-dom, and I distinctly remember feeling a bit of jealousy about their hand-holding.
Eventually, school ended, and his relationship did, too. I saw him one or two times that summer.
That fall, we both went to school at the same University, as kids from our town tend to do since it is a college town. I was pretty overwhelmed with the whole concept of COLLEGE, but when I went to my last new class, there he was. Sitting alone. Looking ornery. I found out his e-mail address and told him via msn messenger we should sit together in Psychology. So we did, and we doodled together, laughed at our professor's weirdness, made jokes, and generally had a good time. He walked with me after every class to the bench where my sister would pick me up after her class. We'd laugh and talk, and he'd make excuses to go the direction I needed to go next. Once, after a psychology study session, his longboard got ran over and broke in half. Later, he told me he was thinking about something I said, which caused him to hit a crack and bail on his board... but all I got from his story was wondering what I could have said that would stick with him. He was thinking about me? On his own time? That was interesting.
I kind of liked him, but I didn't want to admit it--like I said, I didn't really trust him, or most boys in general. We did things outside of class, too, like bowling and watching movies on Fridays with friends, and I grew to really enjoy my time with him.
One day, he asked me on a date, mostly because his friend needed someone to double with. It was extremely awkward. But we ended the night at this certain park, and I doubt I've ever laughed harder. After the date, we went to my house and he helped himself to apple juice in my fridge--perhaps the first time he ever did that. I liked the familiarity of the gesture. We decided that night that we were best friends. Even if we really weren't, we decided it anyway and it sort of became reality after a time. We made it some sort of ritual that we'd go to that park, sit on the lawn in the dark, and talk that fall semester.
After that semester, he prepared to leave on a two-year religious mission for our church. I knew he'd probably be going all along, but what I didn't realize was how much I'd grown attached to him and his friendship, and how much I'd miss him.
The morning he left, I went with my best friend (who is also one of his best friends) to say goodbye to him before he reached the MTC (or, Missionary Training Center) with a care package he could have, but we accidentally slept in due to staying up late the night before getting the package together.
We missed him--he'd already left. I felt sick to my stomach that I'd missed him, because who knew where I'd be two years from then?
To be continued...