Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Memories

I remembered something today that I haven't thought about in eons. I'm working on a short story. In the story, the narrator sees a friend from college that she hasn't seen in several years. He was someone she always had a thing for but never had the guts to tell him. It wasn't until I was re-reading the story this morning that I remembered my college crush.

So here's the story. The crush sort of started when I was a junior and he was a senior in high school. He was on the soccer team and I was a pom pom girl. (Ok, MIM, you can stop laughing now.) We would dance during the half-time of soccer games so we'd watch the first half and talk about the boys on the team. I thought he was cute but I never hung out with him and we didn't have any friends in common so I never actually met him until much later.

Fast forward to senior year and our so-called Penguins water ballet show. Yes, my high school had a water ballet club and yes, I was in it. No, I wasn't a total geek. Anyway, after the show, I saw him in the lobby talking with some of his friends. College boys! My girlfriends and I huddled together and giggled. I just remember seeing him and thinking damn, he's really cute.

The next year I went to the college where he was a sophomore and ended up in the same dorm. The first day I was there, he came to my room to say hello. He knew we were from the same high school and figured I might want to see a familiar face. It was then that the crush was official. Not only was he cute, he was thoughtful and friendly. In the next couple of days, he introduced me to his group of friends. They became my friends and although they were decidedly anti-"Greek", they still let me hang out with them after I joined a sorority. The group of us went through a lot together, including the death of a friend as a result of a stupid, beer-fueled stunt after a football game.

Through it all I carried a torch for my crush. All of our friends knew. I imagine that he knew, too although we never, ever talked about it. He just wasn't attracted to me, it's that simple. I wasn't his type and I had that figured out before the end of my freshman year. And yet the crush continued.

Now I realize that my crush on him kept me from developing feelings for anyone else during college. It protected me from taking the risks that come with seeking a deeper relationship. I knew all along that he and I would never be anything more than friends and, deep down, I probably liked it that way. I could live with the pain that caused me. It was the fear of really getting my heart broken that I couldn't deal with.

College ended and we didn't keep in touch. I don't remember thinking about him much at all after that. Other than our mutual college friends and growing up in the same town, we didn't have much in common. Our relationship, such as it was, had run its course. It's a weird feeling, being taken back so many years. I was a different person then and it's hard to put myself in the shoes of that person again. I know this, the current me wouldn't be interested in him - cerebral and quiet, lacking in passion. Rather boring, now that I think about it. But, as a friend, I think he was a comforting, stable presence in a time of emotional turmoil and growth.

It wasn't until I was ready to take the necessary risks that I met my husband who, in addition to being a comforting, stable presence, is also a passionate and enthusiastic person who loves me fiercely. My love for him often leaves me breathless and dizzy, something I never felt around my crush or any of the few "real" boyfriends I had over the years.

When I realized that I was in love with my husband, Elton John's song The One was playing on the radio. (Had I thought about this earlier in the week, this might have been my B4B entry!). This is the part of the song that hit me one night soon after we started dating.

In the instant that you love someone
In the second that the hammer hits
Reality runs up your spine
And the pieces finally fit
And all I ever needed was the one
Like freedom fields where wild horses run
When stars collide like you and I
No shadows block the sun
You're all I've ever needed
Baby you're the one

The day I met him, the first time he touched me - just an innocent pat on the back - I felt as if I knew him. As if the pieces finally fit. And I knew that he was the one. Given that we are both possessed of passionate natures, the part about stars colliding fits, too. It's a powerful love that we share. I'm glad my college crush didn't work out. It helped shape me into the person I am today, the person my husband loves. And for that, I'm wildly happy.

4 comments:

Lilly said...

A beautiful story - this really could have been your B4B entry :)

I had a longtime crush like that. I had such feelings for him that every tiny thing marked time in my day - walking past his locker, seeing him sitting with his friends at lunch, & on. By the time he came around to the idea of me, I was past him and dating my first serious boyfriend. Thanks for kicking my memory into gear!

landismom said...

Wow, that is a great post--especially the contrast between the crush and meeting your husband. Thanks for sharing.

cmhl said...

great post. I can so relate- when I was in college, I spent so much time obsessing about this one guy, I closed my eyes to all of hte other wonderful guys that were around me.

and I know that "pieces fitting" feeling.. good for you.

MIM said...

I . . . I wasn't . . . Okay, HOW did you know I was laughing?? And, I wasn't laughing at you. I was laughing because (read in sing-song voice) YOU HAVE A GIRLIE SIDE! I knew it!