The Girl moved out to the country which meant the Boy had to drive to see her or ride his bicycle an impossibly long way, which he did, when the car was not available. Such was his love for the Girl. He would arrive at her place after an hour and a half of pedaling in the humid July heat on bubbling, tar covered roads and all the way there he’d be thinking about kissing the Girl and the road didn’t seem so long or so tough.
When winter came the Boy drove on his first icy roads to see the Girl. Plows were slower to get to the country roads where she lived than he was and he gripped the wheel with white knuckles and prayed not to meet any oncoming traffic. Less than a ¼ mile from her house he did meet some traffic. A truck was turning on to the slippery road he was on. “So much for a God who answers prayer,” he thought at the same time he recognized the truck. It was the Girl’s father. He gripped the wheel tighter, “I can’t look like a dangerous driver or he’ll never let her get in the car with me.” He stomped on the brake to slow down and immediately went into an uncontrolled slide right for the front of her dad’s truck.
Everything went into slow motion. The Boy looked up into the cab of the truck and the eyes of the Girl’s father. The Boy broke into a spontaneous prayer, “O God, O God, O God…” The truck had come to a complete stop. The back of the car kept trying to pass the front of the car and just before they met the Boy’s car slid into the deep, snow filled ditch and stopped. It was cold out but the Boy was sweating as he jumped out of the car to face the Girl’s dad.
“A little trouble?” her dad asked the Boy.
“A little…” the Boy said.
“Well, let’s get you out of the ditch.” Her dad said. The Boy had never been in a ditch before and so he’d never had to try to get out of one. The Girl’s dad went to the front of the car and told the Boy to get in and put the car into reverse and he would push from the front. The Boy stomped on the gas and the wheels started spinning and smoke came up from the back tires.
“Ease the pedal down!” her dad yelled.
The Boy tried again and the car started to rock. “O God, don’t let me run over her dad!” he thought. But in seconds he was back on the road and stomping on the brake again and the car slid backwards but stopped short of sliding into the ditch on the other side of the road.
“You think you can make it the rest of the way?” her dad asked. The Boy smiled weakly and said, “I think so.” Both of them slowly drove away from each other and when the Boy looked in his rear view mirror he was pretty sure he saw her dad looking in his rear view mirror to see if he made it around the curve.
When he got to the Girl’s house he told her the story of what had just happened. She laughed and tried to convince the Boy there was nothing to worry about, her dad would still let her get in the car with him. And she was right, he did. And they went on dates. A lot of dates. And some times they just stayed in at her place or his place and kissed. A lot. And the Boy was crazy about the Girl and he hardly noticed how his whole world was shrinking smaller and smaller the longer they were together and eventually it was so small there was hardly room for even the two of them in it.
One day, as a sign of the love they had for each other the Girl gave the Boy a gift. On her bed she had a feather pillow. It was soft and thick and when the Boy laid his head down on it he felt like he was resting on a wave or a cloud. He loved the pillow but he wasn’t in love with the pillow, not the way he was in love with the Girl. So after laying on the pillow together one day the Girl gave it to the Boy and he knew that this was true love because no one would give up a pillow like that if she wasn’t deeply in love. And they were both happy.
At school it came time for a new semester of high school and the Boy and Girl sat down together to plan out the classes they had to take the next semester of their 11th grade year. They planned to take as many classes as they could together which meant that the Boy wouldn’t have to run to meet her anymore because they’d already be in the same class. Almost every day the Boy and the Girl were together before class, in class, between classes, at lunch, after classes and as often as possible in the evenings and on weekends. This was a great arrangement but sometimes it also created problems.
The Boy had other good friends, two in particular, that he liked to spend time with and who were even in some of his classes. The Girl would sometimes get irritated that the Boy would carry on conversations with Don and leave her completely out. The Boy figured since she’d never read about Middle-Earth she wouldn’t be interested in the conversation anyway and didn’t understand why she would get mad at him. It never occurred to the Boy that feeling included was more important than understanding or being interested in what everyone was talking about. “It must be that she loves me so much,” he thought. Other times he would talk to his friend Michelle and the Girl would get very upset about that. He would insist they were only friends, that the Girl was the only girl for him, but he was either unconvincing or there was something missing in her that made it hard for her to believe him.
But whenever they fought it always led to making up and they both rather enjoyed making up and in the making up they failed to notice that they were making up more and more and getting along less and less.
To be continued…