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thanksgiving and christmas breaks were quickly approaching – the next time we would both be home and have the opportunity to see each other. over thanksgiving weekend, we attended a party at ken & barb’s house, played cards (as barb would have me interject, we cheated and still lost to our hosts), and sat outside under the stars together. we went with our friends to see the christmas lights downtown.
and, we went on our first date.
michael called me one afternoon to ask if i wanted to “hang out” with him that weekend. as it ended up, hanging out involved dinner and a movie downtown, paid for by him. after a very long wait and an awkward conversation with an older woman who assumed we’d been dating for a long time, we had dinner at the old spaghetti factory. i enjoyed dinner, but i’d always enjoyed our time together. and, i love pasta. it was perfect.
the movie on the other hand, prince of egypt, wasn’t so hot. but, we’d been able to walk around the mall and had a great time talking about school and our families and our plans for christmas break a few short weeks away.
as we prepared to leave, michael was pretty distracted. we left the mall and started walking. it was a crisp november night in the mid-west. we walked, away from our car, for awhile before it was clear we were headed into a not-so-nice area near downtown, away from the hubbub of night life. suddenly, michael looked at me sheepishly. i don’t remember where we parked, he admitted.
amused by his lack of directional sense, i told him we’d passed our street a few blocks back.
i found myself quieter than normal with michael, hesitant, at times, to say what was on my mind – something very unusual for me as the oldest born in a family of three girls. but, i wanted him to lead our relationship, whatever it was becoming, and i knew my tendency would be to take charge. and so, even when it meant having to walk a couple extra blocks, i let him lead as best as i knew how.
and as best as he knew how, he did lead. but our fledgling relationship had an interesting semester ahead.