The first time we met he looked at me and said in his yet to be manly voice:
"Hi, I'm Chris. Pleased to meet you."
His name could've been Dick; I was just so happy to see a friendly face that could speak. We were 14 and just started high school. Add to the fact that my family had recently moved to this town and you have a recipe for desperately seeking acceptance and fitting in. Isn't that what all 14 year olds want? To be part of the group. I was new and didn't fit in. I didn't belong anywhere. Except with Chris.
He didn't mind my unflattering uniform, my awkward movements to hide my boobs from drooling boys (I didn't know any better back then), my love for all feminist and strong female writers while we both shared a hatred for our pimpled faces. He quit playing rugby and football during breaks with the boys to sit with me in the shade of the oak tree and share sandwiches. He'd eat the one half of my peanut butter and syrup and I his tuna and onion. After a while we discovered the onion wasn't such a good call as one can only hold a fart for so long.
Year after year we would hold our breath hoping to be in the same class again and was never disappointed. Year after year we'd find a way to sit next to each other; ways that often included bribing others with lunch money. We could've been brilliant politicians.
I would cry on his shoulder when a crush didn't want to return the courtesy and he'd make me feel better by threatening to rearrange the boy's face. Whenever the girl who was the 'love of his life' didn't return the favor, I'd comfort him with bad impressions of Girls just wanna have fun (replacing the girls with boys) by Cyndi Lauper and I wanna rock and roll all night by Kiss. He preferred the latter. I'm not sure why.
And now it feels like we have come full circle. It had to be now and not last week or last month or last year. The time wasn't right. We weren't right.
Our first official date was on Friday night. It felt strange to dress up for my best friend, but Mary hasn't claimed her little lamb yet and it went rabid when he gave me a lingering kiss at the door. Our hands found each other like the ocean finds the beach and it felt ... good.
At least there was no struggle finding appropriate subjects to talk about during supper and my usual I just have to go powder my nose excuse while I sat in the bathroom for about eleven minutes reading blogs was laid to rest for the night.
I think this was the first successful date Mom hasn't sent me on.