09 September 2014

Our Story -- Part 4

PART 4, AKA "IT GETS REAL."  This one is also kind
of short, but the next one will be longer, I promise!

I had no intention of striking back up any sort of friendship with Drew.  Somewhere along the line over the last month or so, I had decided that not only did I not like like him, but I also just did not like him.  I hate to admit this, but I'm going to be honest... the first couple times he tried initiating a conversation with me, I discovered that I found his incessant friendliness irritating.  

So I resolved to avoid him.  

Over the summer, our church had moved from meeting at a small elementary school to a large high school, so it was relatively easy to evade him in this new environment.  (And no, I didn't have to resort to hiding in bathrooms this time!)

It was harder to dodge the guy at youth events, though.

One of my favorite parts of high school was being a part of our youth group's drama team.  We ministered at our church, at homeless shelters, on retreats, in children’s church, and at other youth groups and churches.  And somehow Drew was getting invited to chaperone these outreaches.  Ugh!

One night that September, we were serving at a church about an hour away and presented our drama after the worship set.  As we left the stage to find our seats, I was less than pleased to discover that Drew had taken the empty seat next to mine.

Oh, great!  I thought, making a face.  Apparently he hadn't realized that we were incompatible as friends yet.  As if to reinforce my opinion of him, Drew leaned close to me to whisper something.

“My gum is stale.”

“So spit it out,”  I whispered back, hopefully sending the message that I wanted that to be the end of it.

“I don’t have anywhere to put it.”  A pause, then:  “Can I put it behind your ear?”

What?”  Y'all.  I cannot make this stuff up.  I don't know where he came up with it!  Was being annoying just something that came naturally to him?

“Can I put it behind your ear?”  He grinned knowingly, unrepentantly.  I hated that look.

No!”  I felt like telling him to grow up.  I didn’t.  Instead, I threw him a withering look and turned my back to him.  He didn’t bother trying again.

At the end of the message, an altar call was given and Drew, being a youth leader, went to pray for some of the kids from our group who had responded to the invitation.  I took advantage of his absence by making myself more comfortable in my chair, in order to pray.

You are going to marry Drew.

The thought came out of nowhere and I nearly laughed.  I might have, if my stomach hadn’t been sinking through the floor.  I knew the Voice that had spoken.

I could think of a million reasons why we wouldn’t—couldn’t—work.  I mean, hadn’t God been listening earlier?  Was this some kind of sick joke?  I had standards, after all!  I had plans!  And Drew was not in them!  Maybe at one time he was, but that had been months ago.  Now I just found him annoying.  

Anyway, I was seventeen - way too young to be thinking about marriage!

Impulsively, I turned to one of my friends who was sitting on my other side.  “I think God just told me I’m going to marry Drew,” I blurted.

It was a statement I immediately wished I could unsay.  Saying it out loud didn’t make it sound as silly as I’d thought it would.  If anything, it sounded more plausible.

“Seriously?”  She asked as her eyes lit up.   “That’s so awesome! Drew’s a great guy!”

I simply nodded, miserable but unable to find a voice for my protests.  No one would appreciate them anyway.  Everyone loved Drew.  Finally I said, “But I don’t like him!”

My friend smiled.   “Maybe you will.”

Her casual attitude toward my potential future bothered me, but I shrugged and let it go.

Maybe, she’d said. But maybe not.

I was pretty confident I wouldn’t change my mind.  Even if I did, Drew was eight years older than me.  Practically impossible.  With resolve, I put the words out of my head.  

I’d been mistaken.  God hadn’t said anything.

. . . continue to part five . . .

1 comment:

  1. I know the end of the story but you left us hanging!! This is great stuff.....hahaha the ol' stale gum behind the ear trick! works every time :)