I’ll never forget the first time I saw him. It was Sunday night youth group, we were 15 and he was wearing a Marvin the Martian hat. I thought he was hilarious.
I talked about my lack of date for an upcoming school dance; secretly hoping he would offer himself as a solution to my problem. He didn’t. Instead, we talked about stupid, teenage things; all the while I grew aware of the impact he had on my heart rate.
Over the next six months I took every opportunity to learn more about this new boy with the startlingly blue eyes. New Year’s Eve found me sitting next to him in a dark theater, introducing ourselves to Buzz Lightyear and Sheriff Woody for the first time. All I could think about was how much I wanted him to hold my hand. It never happened.
Months went by and despite scattered rumors, the romance I dreamed of between us never blossomed. We became friends. I was the first in our group to drive, enabling me to make sure that Josh was always the first picked up and the last dropped off. I shoved down my feelings for him; resigned to take what I could get.
Two years later…
Another dance, another wish that he would go with me, and again it wasn’t to be. Enter one of my favorite pictures of us ever!
Although we did not go together, that night was one of the happiest of my life. That night I knew Josh liked me.
Over the next month our friend played go-between, since high school romances can never begin in a straight forward manner. Finally, our go-between arranged a date that was to end in an official relationship. Arriving at our friend’s house, Josh stopped me on the porch so we could talk for a minute. Although the November air was chill, I knew my hands were shaking from more than the temperature.
“Melissa, I like you.”
Fireworks began going off in my brain! The words I’d been waiting to hear for two years were finally spoken!
“I like you too, Josh.”
Slightly embarrassed at the bluntness of the statement, I couldn’t wait for him to ask me to be his girlfriend.
“I’ve never done it like this. Come on, let’s go inside.”
Um…that’s not what I expected to hear. What was he doing? Why didn’t he ask me out? So, he likes me, but not enough to be my boyfriend? I’m confused.
While I was out of the room, our friend asked Josh if he’d asked me out. Josh said yes.
When Josh left the room for a minute, our friend asked me the same question. I said no.
I learned later that Josh’s thought was that we were too old for the silliness of asking me to be his girlfriend, and for him to say he liked me was enough. Regardless, something needed to be said.
An hour later, at the local grocery store, my friends distracted me as Josh picked out a giant (I’m talking tree trunk stem) single rose. Sensing something crazy, I was a little apprehensive as I rounded the corner of the building and found him standing there with his mighty rose. He said, “I guess I was supposed to say, ‘Will you go out with me.'”
Never were more romantic words spoken.
This week Josh and I celebrate our 10 year anniversary. It’s made me slightly nostalgic. I appreciate you humoring me as I share stories from the past decade here over the next few days.
Josh & I now say that it was God’s hand that kept us from dating in those first few months we’d met. Apparently he did like me! We recognize that the time we spent waiting enabled us to build a solid foundation of friendship in our relationship, getting to know one another without the drama and temptation that comes along with teenage romances.