So I thought today I would tell you my love story with Kevin Andrew. It's not a special day or anything today, but he looked charming in his suit as he was leaving this morning, and it made me reflect on the fact that I still like him.
We met in college, Eastern University in PA - although at that time it was Eastern College, a small school. It's still small and that's such an integral part of its charm. I actually hope my girls will attend there someday - and if one of us work there, they could go for free....
As I've said before, I write as I talk.
Anyway, we were in choir together, and many of my friends had become friends with him, but he seemed a bit aloof to me and he wore a Goofy baseball cap. Now, if you're wondering if I capitalized "Goofy" by mistake because I couldn't possibly mean the Disney character - oh but I do. The Disney character was on top his head.
Let's take a moment and try to get beyond that, because I had to.
Well I saw more and more of him, because of the friends we had in common. He had this habit of making "rounds" every night and visiting his friends - which after awhile I really enjoyed, he was so intentional about his friendships. We started saying hello around campus, eating together at the cafeteria with other friends. He redeemed his Goofy-cap-ness by being on the baseball team and looking cool in khakis.
I love me some khakis.
But....he had a girlfriend. I remember him calling her one night from my room, making plans I think for Valentine's day, or something. I thought she has such a treasure in this boy, I wonder if she knows it.
I had dated a boy very seriously throughout most of my high school days, and he and I had finally ended our relationship for good before I left for college. My first year I enjoyed being with friends, and I didn't have a desire to look around for dates. So freshman year we were friends, nothing more, and I just had a blast with these people that I now felt were family.
The summer before sophomore year Kevin and his girlfriend broke up. I remember hearing about it from a friend, who pointedly told me with a lift in her voice. We really were nothing more than friends, but she knew I had a softness for him, a teeny crush if you will. Maybe more than a crush. But he had a girl, and even if he hadn't, I never thought he'd go for me. I didn't look or act anything like his girl from home, and he was friends with EVERYONE.
So returning to school sophomore year, I started dating a friend of one of my Eastern friends. He didn't go to the school and he was a bit older, both qualities I liked. He was cute, funny, and really sweet with me. I dated him because I was ready to date, he asked, and I really liked being with him. But I knew I'd never love him, I figured that out early on. I just didn't. We had fun, and I was starting to question what to do because I could tell from how he was talking and acting that he wanted to get more serious. And I still had this teeny crush on Kevin -- I didn't want to, but he just made me feel something every time he entered a room.
On Nov 3, 1998 my soph year, my dad died. I was awakened by a phone call from our neighbor at home telling me my dad was ill, I had to come home. He had died already but she didn't tell me that. My friend Brookie drove me home bc we took my car and it was stick shift - she and I were close friends and I was comforted to have a friend with me. Once home and finding out he died, she called my roommate who told our other friends and a few hours later a few carloads of my friends arrived.
I can't begin to tell you the comfort they brought me. They stayed the whole week. I will never forget that feeling of protection and love they gave to me. Kevin was one of those friends.
My dad died on a Tuesday, we returned to Eastern Sunday night. On Saturday night, I remember all of us were watching Sat night live in the family room, piled on the floor and the snuggle chairs (my mom has a couple of these oversized chairs just the right size for snuggling. It's where Kevin and I had our first kiss but I am getting WAY ahead of myself),
Anyway, I was laying on the floor and Kev was on a couch above me. He was playing with my hair, rubbing my shoulders. Over the week he brought me immense comfort - treating my friends to dinner, being a driver to the funeral, sitting with me and not saying a word. This was the one time in my life I went days without eating, I just drank hot tea, and he said if I ate a meatball he'd drink tea with me.
Thanks a lot Kev, I jumped back on that eating bandwagon and never got off.
So he was playing with my hair and I laid there, frozen. I didn't want to move a single muscle. But all feelings aside, the fact was I was still dating someone else, and my father had just died, I knew he was just being nice to me.
Shortly after returning to Eastern, my boyfriend and I broke up, we just weren't meant to me. He was such a nice boy.
So the rest of that year was spent grieving my dad, worrying about my mom and brother, and getting through classes. Some of my friendships took a beating, no one knows what to say when someone's parent dies, and I didn't know how to act. With some friends I distanced myself, and with others I clung too tightly - now I know how scared I was, how sad.
Kevin was such a wonderful friend to me that year, we got very close. He would lay with me and watch movies, he would take me out, he would offer to pick me up dinner from the cafeteria, he would hold my hand in classes we had together. He was funny, but so soft-hearted too towards me. I had such strong feelings for him but I truly thought his feelings for me were out of pity, and just being a good person. I thought he'd do the same for anyone else.
In the springtime of our sophomore year, both of us wanted to be RAs our junior year, so we went on a "RA weekend" with other new RAs to get to know the RDs and other RAs. It was campy, outside, and a lot of fun. Near the end of the weekend, we were told to write something we wanted to give over to God on a rock, and throw it into the creek. I wrote, "my feelings for KG" because I didn't want to feel this way for someone else's future husband, and it was getting very difficult being around him, loving him so much.
So I threw the rock and prayed. An hour later, we were told to gather in a circle and hold hands - the person across from us was to be our prayer partner now and into the following year. Who was across from me?
I was really mad at God. I remember telling my roommate all about it, and she just smiled - she was always convinced we'd end up together.
Holding hands with a khaki-wearing boy who loves Jesus and praying in secluded areas around our beautiful campus did nothing to "take away my feelings" for him. hmmm.
Summer came, and I returned to my summer job of working at a photo stand at Great Adventure, which I loved. I worked there for several summers with great friends. He didn't have a job, and we had begun talking on the phone almost every night - so I said, come work at GA - it's 45 minutes away but that's what I drive too, it's not so bad and the money's good.
So he did, and the "uniform" for our photo stand was khaki shorts and a white shirt.
You know by now how I felt about that.
We would go back to each others houses after work and he became friends also with my "work friends." One night he went with me to one of our friend's houses for a get-together, and then he slept over my house. There I was again, sitting on the floor with him on the couch above me, and he was playing with my hair.
What's UP with that?!
So I just let it all go. I told him how I felt, I went on and on. I told him I was honored to have his friendship and I didn't want to lose it, but I just had to tell him. He didn't say a word until the end, where he said "ditto." And then we said good-night.
If you've met my husband, you are sitting in disbelief that he was speechless. It was the one and only time.
I woke up my mom and told her all about it. She was happy and went back to sleep. I didn't sleep.
We started dating a few days later, which is where I will pick up this story next time. I have written enough for a book and I have the feeling I have given anyone who has actually read the whole thing a headache.