It used to be that we’d chat for a few minutes before class began, and that would earn me the privilege of staring at the back of his head for 50 minutes. Then after a week or two, our talking progressed to after class and walking to our next classes. It was cool. I was actually making a friend from a class, and sure, he’s a guy and I’m a girl, but we talked to each other about dates he’d been on or guys I despised, and he even said the perfectly right thing when I told him someone stood me up. Relative to each other, we seemed to be on pretty neutral ground.
Then for a couple weeks, it got a little weird. I’m a girl, and he’s a guy, after all. Maybe I clammed up, because I do that sometimes. And he started arriving to class just before the bell, then he’d run off before I had a chance to catch him. We’d normally talk about our weekends or interests or the kinds of friends we keep, usually after class. There’d be a little snarkiness but always some laughing. Then we’d split off to go to our respective classes, and I’d be feeling extremely dandy, thinking I was making a real connection with a human being I don’t live with or see at church.
Of course I stalked him. I found his phone number from the online student directory. Way too easy. I texted him once – just to make sure it was really his number – at least a month ago, and that probably was a little creepy, but he took it well. Also, if I really wanted to freak him out, I would have battered him with texts. Seeing him in class was enough for me. And, he’s only a friend.
He’s talked to me since the texting, but that doesn’t explain the avoidance, so maybe I was emitting some repulsive vibe, which, considering my disposition the last couple of weeks, is completely plausible. Seriously cranky. Seriously whiny. I definitely didn’t want to be near me, and I didn’t blame others if they felt the same way.
Outside of church, I spent most of Sunday writing a paper which happened to be for the class this guy is in. And it wasn’t like I was thinking only of him, because I was pretty focused on the paper, but it was probably the association that made me grab my phone and text him. I was tired of feeling like my relationships were crumbling, and this was a last ditch effort to salvage what I could. The worst that could happen would be awkwardness for the rest of the semester, which, if you’re me, is mostly how normalcy feels. The text said something like, “Hey, this is May from class. I’m a little sad we don’t talk as much anymore. I feel like I’ve been a poor friend. Anyway, I’ll see you tomorrow, and I hope you’re having a good Sunday.”
No reply. And that was fine, because I was too busy pulling my hair out about the paper. I went to bed without giving the text a second thought. Out of my hands, anyway.
The next morning, he was late, just like a third of the class who were probably printing their papers to submit. I was relieved when he showed up; I wasn’t even nervous. And he seemed rather chipper. He commented more than usual, and I took brilliant notes of the class discussion.
Then the dismissal bell rang. I gathered my things, and he slung on his backpack. I’m not sure how it started, but we left the classroom and walked down the halls talking to each other about our weekends. He let me talk more, like he always does, and he laughed at my wise cracks. [Ignore this tangential and inappropriate question: Is it fitting that wise-asses have wise cracks? Is it bad manners to tell someone her wise crack is showing?] I tried sharing my umbrella with him, because Provo apparently needed a pre-winter washing. Then before he shot off to his class, we said goodbye to each other.
That’s a start.
For the rest of you, I have a whole lot of undoing to do. Please be patient.