Thursday, October 30, 2008

how i met your father: our love story, part v


if you're joining us for the first time, catch up with us.
part i

part ii
part iii
part iv

and, visit mary to read other love stories. mary was only writing for october, but since i got behind, i'll continue to post chapters of our story throughout november until it's finished. enjoy!

the following semester, we emailed quite a bit. in the late winter/early spring, i made my first trip to purdue, where michael went to school. as a freshman, he didn’t have a car, but invited me to come spend the weekend in west lafayette; quite a difference from my tiny school! we attended his christian fellowship. played cards with his friends. cheered in the stands at a big school football game. hung out in his tiny dorm room. played ping pong at the co-rec. almost 11 years later, i still have vivid memories of that weekend – and so does michael.

i was mesmerized by life on a big campus. and by the man i was with.

despite the distance, we spent time together when we could. michael came to visit me one weekend over his spring break. and, one snowy weekend, i even drove two hours to pick him up so we could drive back to indianapolis to hang out with our friends. we were so engaged with each other that it never occurred to us that our parents might be worried about us driving all that distance in the snow. and they were.

though he never said it, i knew he liked me. and i liked him.

as the summer approached, i decided i was going to spend the summer at noah’s ark whitewater rafting & outdoor adventure company. in colorado. over 1000 miles from indiana. the night before i left michael came over to my parents house and we sat on the front porch after everyone else had gone to bed. he had decided tonight was the night to tell me a story.

his story was an analogy of our relationship. and, looking back, it was a creative attempt to express how he felt about me. but, he never actually told me he liked me and so it fell woefully short of communicating what he intended. his story left me confused about our friendship.

in fact, when he drove away that night, i was pretty disappointed. what was that?! i remember thinking. and then, i decided if he could spend a year with me and still not tell me he liked me, i wasn’t going to hang around anymore.

i spent the entire summer around really cool christian guys – handsomely rugged men who loved the outdoors. michael was faithful to write me letters. but when i responded, my heart wasn’t in it. at one point, as i watched one of my co-workers wrestle with a golden lab, i specifically thought, michael’s not the only cool christian guy out there.

i was ready to move on and keep looking.

if only he hadn’t asked to see me when i got back from colorado.

my dad picked me up from the airport and i was devastated to see amber waves of grain and cornfields in place of purple mountains majesty. i was also dreading the pending conversation with michael.

dad dropped me off at michael’s parents’ house and we sat on the swing on the back porch. he wanted to know about my summer. but, even more important, he wanted to hear my response to his declaration of like back in may. i don’t remember much of our conversation. but, i do remember my response.

no, michael, i said curtly. you told me a story. you never told me you like me.

and that was it. the energy and investment we’d made in our friendship for a year was gone. whatever our relationship had been, it was now over.

1 comment:

Sarah Martin said...

I'm glad I know how the story continues! Way to build suspense!