Friday, September 9, 2016

We Met

It's time again to peek inside my big, therapeutic project. Soon, I'll be conjuring up a kick-ass query letter, crossing my fingers and saying my prayers that there's someone out there that wants to rummage through these memories and thoughts, love it and try to sell it to someone that will want to print it. In the meantime, let's keep the heat, well, hot. The views on the "I Am Free" post are climbing every single day ... even weeks after. Messages from long lost friends, roommates, strangers and e-mails that have given me so much confidence, I hope it's all a sign that somewhere in the future my biggest dream will come true.

Want to know how we met? It's not exactly serendipitous or magical, it's sweet though and real.

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He: Year 1; We Met


I was seventeen and ready to have a boyfriend. I had relationships in the past but nothing that truly meant something to me, well, except for Phillip. He gave me my first real dose of confidence and I will never be able to repay him for that. Not because he was an adorable, popular boy at school that liked me but when it was just me and him talking on the phone, he listened, he believed and years after high school when I was still in our hometown and he was living clear across the country, we would chat using nothing but kind words and encouragement.

I was looking for a real relationship, or as real as it could get for teenagers. And thanks to MySpace, I got lucky. I’m in no way ashamed of the fact that MySpace brought me to him – let’s be honest, you all did it once. My girlfriend and I would scour profiles of guys from nearby high schools. We’d send friend requests and usually, nothing but maybe a few messages would come to fruition. For this particular profile though, I flipped through every single photo. He had a kindness in his face that I was drawn to and he immediately sent me a message that read, “Has anyone ever told you that you look like Carrie Underwood?” And that’s how our conversation began. One that never truly stopped until February 5, 2016.

MySpace messaging led to text messaging which led to my teammate, Maddie, and I driving by his house one night too scared to pull in his driveway. The night following we did drive up, blaring Lisa Loeb while he leaned up against his clunky suburban and tried to woo me with the size of his subwoofers in the back. Little did he know that nothing of the sort would ever impress me. The entire time we were together he literally had piece of shit cars and I never once gave him shit for it. I didn’t care about his things. I cared about the way his eyes would look at me when I laughed or when he would trace, “I love you,” on my leg while we watched TV.

We flirted and met up a few times throughout the next month. He’d leave flowers on my car while I was at softball workouts, presents in the form of a plush Dory from Finding Nemo on my doorstep while I was out of town visiting colleges or surprise me voicemails while I was sleeping so I had something sweet to wake up to the next day. One time I left class and he had recorded himself singing one of my favorite Dave Barnes’ songs. It was terrible and genius at the same time. I was hooked.

I read somewhere that someday someone would walk into your life and once they hug you all of your broken pieces would fit back together. He hugged me for the first time in the parking lot of my high school and the pieces fit. The softball team had just finished passing out candy to the local kiddos for Halloween and he had drove up to see me in all of my glory – messy hair, sweatpants and Sweetheart candy-covered ballet flats from Hot Topic. I was a mess. But he didn’t care. Although afterwards he did decide to lecture me on what a real hug was supposed to be like – tighter and longer – and we continued to perfect it throughout the next decade.

In November of 2006, he asked me to be his girlfriend. It was one of my favorite and most awkward of moments. Standing in Sam’s Club grabbing supplies for my high school’s snack shop – he would skip his college classes without me knowing to meet up and see me on these every other week outings – he looked at me, eyes peering through his thick, surfer, before Beiber-was-Beiber hair and said, “Hypothetically speaking if I asked you to be my girlfriend what would you say?”

“Hypothetically speaking, I’d say yes,” I answered.

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