Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Stories no one wants to hear, pt. II

She was a law student. I watched her cry and I couldn't understand how it could be that in her world of cold analysis and cynicism, a traditional ballad sung by a beardy Irishman could still touch her heart. He crooned passionately through the lyrics and I felt that this could be it. We could work.

Just because the bullet didn't fire this round didn't make the game any less of a dumb idea.

I was frustrated with her bleak outlook and the way she mocked me in front of my friends. She couldn't understand why I would put my trust in a God that made her feel like that- like she wasn't worth it. She didn't want to see her inadequacies as clearly as I saw my own. It was my appreciation of how far short of God's Will I'd fallen that made me ever more grateful for God's Grace on my life. I didn't put her down or criticise her way of life, but when she saw the things I loved, she couldn't help but hate how different we were.

In the end she told me our friendship couldn't work- I made her dislike so much of what she strived for. She didn't want to feel guilty any more. She mocked my dream of a family, and how little importance I placed on having money.

I'd put so much effort into our relationship. Most days ended with exhausted tears. Friends who'd seen our relationship grow, began to stay away. They were afraid there would be another screaming match, or that I'd go off and sook in a corner, bringing everyone down. Some arguments ended with locked doors as we cried ourselves to sleep, taking turns on who would be the one inside the room and who would be slumped against the door, craving resolution. She broke a broom handle on my door, I left crockery embedded in the plaster. In the end, every word was taken as a personal attack.

When we decided to put an end to all the nonsense, we began to function again. There wasn't the same investment so we could converse without tearing each down.

God began to open my eyes to people around me who were fundamentally more compatible- people with the same mild temperament, the same geeky habits and the same desire to seek the Creator. I became aware of how single I was and the learning, growth and fun that was ahead of me. Two girls caught my attention for very different reasons. One had a manner about her that seemed contradictory- there was always a smile, and always a put-down that showed her affection. She wanted to be further along in her spiritual journey before she considered dating.

Her sister is a dear friend of mine, and I was wary of the strain that might occur should we actually become romantically attached. But her sister was cool with it and helped me at every stage.

The other girl was so incredibly strange. She loved picnics in the sunshine and choral music. She was enthusiastic about our friendship, but was far too beautiful for me to believe we could be together. She was accomplished, talented, fit and confident.

And she was after someone else- someone who was nothing like me.

She'd never really been without a boyfriend, and her last relationship was intimidatingly long. I wanted a girl who sought commitment and looked to the future, but not a girl who already had one.

All this time, the law student conspired to help me in my romantic endeavours. She watched as I nervously messaged each girl. She told me her bets were on my friend's sister. It was only later that I realised her choice was made on the basis that one was clearly more intimidating to her.

Then came the camp. “Sex Camp” we called it. Each year our church congregation has a camp where we focus on a major issue that people in our stage of life are dealing with. That year it was relationships. The law student was glad that I'd have the chance on this camp to spend some time with the girl on whom her money was placed. But I had a different idea when I returned. I was glad to be single. I didn't want to chase anyone, and I just wanted to concentrate on study. And this made her very happy, indeed. In fact, when I started dating again, she referenced this often, and how she felt betrayed because I didn't stick to my decision.

But my decision wasn't not to date. It was not to chase. Nothing could prepare me for the excitement of My Love, though. She was that girl who introduced me to her collection of choral masses, and I took her on day trips in the sunshine. With every outing, she dared me to reach out and connect with her- and I was terrified. A girl like her was irreplaceable. If I was to date her, how could I go back to someone who, well, wasn't her?

She was well-read, she sung in the church choir, she bought her clothes from opportunity shops, she didn't wear make-up, she was into comics and the first time I took her out to a party, she wore a lacy, black and purple dress, a lace choker, ornate silver earrings, deep purple lipstick- and she had piercings. Boy, did she have piercings. But there was nothing about them that wasn't stylish. There was no eye-brow ring, no bull-ring, just elegant piercings that made her another dimension removed from any image I had previously constructed of my future love interest. For a time (further down the track) she and I would sport matching dyed patches in our hair.

After that party, I kissed her, and because of that kiss she lost one of her earrings. I returned in the sun light the next day to see if I could find it, and partly to relive the moment.

This girl had captured my attention, so that there was little else I could see. I took the risk. Moreover, I took the invitation she wasn't sure she was giving. I asked her if she'd join me and see where this journey would lead.

The law student was unhappy.

“But you said you weren't going to date! After that camp, you came back all prepared to focus on God, or something. What about that decision?”
“Well, I didn't say I wasn't going to date, I said I wasn't going to chase those two any more. And you were helping me, anyway. What's wrong.”
“I guess one of us had to date first. I was just ready for it to be me.”

One of my biggest fears is losing friends. I don't know why. Every time I've lost a friend, it's felt like a kick in the guts that won't go away.

The law student made me get down on the ground and beg for her friendship. My Love waited until I had a diamond in my hand before I got down on my knees to ask her anything. I still wish we could all hang out together, but there's always so much to be thankful for.

I'm writing this from the train, and my platform's approaching. I enjoy revisiting these places in my memory, so the stories no one else wants to hear will continue. Adieu.


  1. A much better read then my legal theory readings :). Law students are funny creatures, no?

    Here's to more stories!

  2. Thanks, Ames :). But something tells me that's not saying much...

    They certainly can be :).


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  4. Thank you for reminding me that not all memories are bad.

    Seems like a long time ago. Glad it's working out for you :)

  5. It does seem like along time ago, Miss Friend-Whose-Sister-I-Was-Interested-In :).

    It really is working out well for me. I'm very happy :).

    I have so many happy memories that I like to dwell on. They weren't happy for a time, when I thought I'd lost My Love forever, but now they remind me of where I've come from, and the excitement of dating.

    Although I much prefer the joy I have in a life shared. The initial spark was fun, but it really can't compare to where I am now.

    I always feel odd when I rejoice out loud in the happy situation I find myself in. It seems socially wrong. But I do get very tired of people who never talk about their partner, and never get excited. It's an exciting thing, people!

    That was an odd tangent.