After recovering from what was a moment of shock over our age gap, my next thought was, “Oh boy, what would my parents do if they knew how old he is? Doubtful they will let me go out with him again. They have always told me to watch out for older guys!” Surprisingly, when I did return home later that night, I climbed into my mom’s side of the bed and told her all about my evening. Her response? “You are going to marry that boy!”
Our first date led to a second. This time we went to the beach on a blustery fall day. We talked and talked and talked some more. Then he took me to a lovely dinner at the Cheesecake Factory overlooking the Marina Del Rey harbor. I tried pinching myself because this seemed like something from a dream. He was way too kind and godly. He treated me like a perfect gentleman- something I had never experienced before in my short dating life.
I was scared. He was “too good to be true” kind of a thing. After a month, I felt myself falling for this guy, badly. He invited me to our school’s Christmas musical and that’s when I dropped the “I just want to be friends” bomb. What else could I do? I wasn’t prepared for these kinds of feelings and I wanted to run away from them. Besides, falling in love didn’t fit into my career future.
I figured with that declaration, he would move on. His friends told him to be done with me. But (the little problem was) I still had to see him everyday- in class, in the library, all over campus. And here is where the story changes: in every encounter after that fateful evening, he was STILL kind, STILL thoughtful, STILL a gentleman, STILL forgiving. He didn’t shun me or give me the silent treatment. He didn’t shoot me hateful looks or send rude notes.
My heart was in angst. I wanted NOT to be attracted to him, but I found the very opposite happening. His character and godly attitude in the face of my selfish immaturity literally stunned me. Is he for real? I mean, who does this when a girl has written him off? Sure, maybe he was just being a persistent guy, but it was more than that. He showed me how to behave when someone treats you badly. He exemplified love in a way that no one else had ever done.
In the weeks that followed, I found myself inexplicably drawn to him. I slowly began to relish every moment we were in the same room. I hoped we’d “bump into each other” so we could talk again. Before he left for home over Christmas break, he slipped a flower and card into my on-campus mailbox. My heart went pitter-patter again- this time for all the right reasons- all the reasons that go beyond physical attraction or first date “schmooziness”.
And as they say, “The rest is history”.
Well, not really because this is real life and not some pie-in-the-sky fairytale romance. Yet, despite all the complexities of human relationships (and trust me when I say, we’ve had some VERY MESSY, stinking rotten, sinful moments), twenty two years later, I am still in love with this “for real” guy. He has proven to be a friend that loves in all times- good/bad, happy/sad. He STILL charms my heart with his thoughtful character and he is STILL pretty dang good-looking too! 🙂