To this day, at the age of 30+++, I don’t recall not having a crush on someone. Now when I was married, I only crushed on my husband of course, but even in Kindergarten and up until now there is someone. I don’t imagine that will go away. For one simple reason, it’s fun. To have those thoughts about people that you watch from afar. Passing them out and about and exchanging glances. It can definitely be interesting. And now I know what it’s like to be all grown up and have those school girl crush feelings coming back…or did they ever go away?
I remember the first time I saw him. I was playing kickball with my friends. I believe it was 3rd grade, it could have been 4th. He was so tall and he talked funny. The other boys called him a “Yankee”. As a community, we were just beginning to meet our new friends from “up north.” The Dimple of the Universe, had a major car manufacturer just open a facility in the county and they were bringing what would be thousands of people from the North. Our dimple got a little deeper through the years. Now we are both older and he’s been down here longer than he was up there…so he sounds like us. Deliciously Southern.
When I moved back with my then husband, I ran into him. It had probably been 10 or more years since I had seen him. I could tell from seeing him immediately that he hadn’t changed. Still tall and to the point that “Big”now proceeded his name. We exchanged glances and a hello, met the hubby and so on. There weren’t a lot of fireworks..I was still married you know. But God it was so good to see him. A lot of those thoughts came back. Kickball, 4-H Camp, wishing he would have liked me back or just asked me to dance just once at the 4-H Camp dance. At nine or ten, just getting to stand with a guy was a big deal.
Now, let’s fast forward to post divorce a few years. “Big” is still around here and there, but now…my crushing feelings could come back and out. Through the years, we have developed some mutual friends and I would see him out from time to time. We share laughs, drinks and a lot more laughs. One night we were out and we went to our friend “Canadians” after party. We call that Canada after Midnight. I had a date that night and when we left, I told “Big” bye and gave him a hug. I had spent a few months wondering why he wasn’t more interested. I had kind of spoke to him a few weeks earlier about the possibility of me and him doing something on more than just a friends level. I am not going to lie, I was disappointed. But if you know anything from reading these blogs, disappointment is not something I am foreign to. The following week, I was having dinner with The Canadian, and she explained that after I left, he got upset because I left and who I had left with. It was so overwhelming, shocking and intriguing. I decided to make a dedicated effort again. Is this the relationship I crushed on nearly 25 years ago coming to fruition?
A few weeks later there we were, alone and honestly talking about it… It was one of the most precious conversations I had ever had. I told him about how I remembered him from kickball. “I know”, Big said, “I have wanted to be with you since 4-H Camp. I have never stopped.” Laughing, smiling, all of it. “Big” might make it all worth it. When I looked at him and he looked at me, it was like 4th grade all over again.
Now, we hardly speak. I don’t know what happened. One night, one great night and one morning after and he was gone. I called him on more than one occasion to find out why. He didn’t respond. The level of frustration I felt when he disappeared still causes me to feel deep emotions of sadness even now. The Canadian and many friends who also know him well have tried to rationalize his behavior. I still think he is keeping me from something. Even now, I would appreciate and listen to his explanation. I have to wonder, was he protecting me from something? I don’t think for a second, that he’s one of those guys. Not the boy I met and became so fond of at age 9. I’ve now accepted not ever knowing, but if “Big” were in front of me right now, or if he ever reads this I’d like to say; I still think you are one of the nicest, friendliest and caring guys I have known and I am not mad at him because of the way things ended. When I see you, I think of you when we were young. I’m still open to talking about kickball or 4-H Camp whenever you would like. Take care “Big” and your big heart.