Continued from here. Other participants are here. This is supposed to be about a first kiss. I jumped in at such late notice I only had time to lay the beginning of the groundwork in a quickie post, so now I'm trying to backtrack and organize this unruly story so as to make it to the kiss in time for the deadline.
Ahem! When we left off, I was being looked over in church. After the meeting ended, I waited to see what would happen. Would this Chocolate Boy approach me, or was he another wimp? My friend, Conchi's mom, started introducing me to people who stopped to speak to her on the way out. She had just returned from Conchi's wedding a week before, so there were a lot of congratulations. All the while, I observed the Chocolate Boy eying my position as he talked with one person then another, working his way to the door as well. As we approached the door, he broke free from the person he had been speaking to and came over to greet us. He asked my friend how Conchi's wedding had been. She told him it had been wonderful and asked him when he was getting married. "Who me? Never!" he answered. "Oh, really?" I said, "Me neither!" You could literally see the wheels turning in my companion's brain. "Oh, why don't you marry each other then?" "Or not marry each other together," I corrected her. She introduced us to each other and told him I had been a missionary in Chile. I had spent 6 months in his hometown. A conversation ensued in which we discussed all the people we knew in common. It turns out that I had been to his house and met his mom. I remembered because his house sits on the edge of town, up a hill where two streets intersect, and on the other side of the street, there is nothing but a canyon. At the time I thought I had found the edge of the world. So, after a lively discussion about home, where we realized we had been in the same place at the same time on at least 3 occasions, he asked me for my address and phone so we could correspond. Then he excused himself to go meet with someone and as he walked off, I noticed he had a pretty cute backside too. We continued out the door, where I agreed to meet Conchi's mom later that evening after meeting my dorm friends at the art museum.
I didn't make it out the door before some other guys approached me. One of them might have been planted by Chocolate Boy for more reconnaissance and to stall me, as he turned out to be his best friend. By strange coincidence I had met best friend in the missionary training center a few years earlier. He and some other guys started asking about BYU and drilling me on what all went on there. Eventually, Chocolate Boy joined them and the others started leaving. I was left talking with him alone now. He asked me why I hadn't been snapped up by someone at BYU yet. Lots of quantity, little quality-I explained. Pretty soon we found ourselves discussing every frustration a single person has. All the reruns, the meat market, the fakes, the extremes, the weirdos, the disappointments, etc. etc. Then we moved on to talking about all the things we really wanted out of life- what kind of people we really wanted to meet more of, how we wanted to live, all about our families and what we wanted to do in our future families, all the yearnings for something better, all our goals. Somewhere in the middle of all this, he offered to drop me off to meet my friends at the museum. Late again. We kissed each other on the cheek as we promised to stay in contact. This doesn't count as a first kiss, people! It is standard Latin custom. I spent the rest of the day in a fog, bumping into walls and spacing out on my friends while passing by some fabulous paintings I couldn't focus on because I had just made a great friend, and he was hot too, and now I was leaving the next day. Not only that, I think I just agreed with him on everything I wanted out of a relationship. Why was I leaving the next day? That nagging still small voice was telling me that this was one of those guys I'd asked to meet. True to myself, I went back on my word and told God he'd better just work on the guy then, because I wasn't going to chase some man long distance. I tried hard to forget him.
Fast forward to a few weeks later. I'm back at school in Provo. I'm still pretending nothing has happened. I still haven't extricated myself from three of the relationships I had started before leaving for Canada, because it just wasn't over yet. I'm lousy at breaking up. Maybe I'd better explain myself about the 4 guy thing. There was one guy I was dating and another guy I had started dating about the same time. I told him about the first guy and that I was trying to sort out my feelings about first guy before getting really mixed up with someone else. At the same time there were two guys who were making it clear they were waiting for me to break up with guy #1 so they could step in. That probably had a lot to do with my hesitance to break up with #1. It stalled having to deal with 2,3, and 4.
On this particular night, I went to a wedding (a popular activity at BYU) with #1 and we got home really late. I think it was close to 1 a.m. I find a note from my roommate on the table: There's a guy in Montreal who wants you to call him. He's been calling all night, and he's really anxious for you to call when you get in, no matter what time. I didn't know what to tell him, because I don't know what is going on. What were you doing in Canada, Shellie? Followed by a name and number.
Dilemma. It is close to 3 a.m. in Montreal. Guys 1, 3 and 4 suddenly don't exist in my mind anymore, and I really want to talk to Chocolate Boy again. My heart is racing. Why did I stay out so late? Why do I feel like I got caught cheating? If I don't call, he'll think I'm not interested. I don't want that. So I start to dial. I hang up. It's nearly 3 a.m.! But, how will I sleep if I don't talk to him? I start to dial. I hang up. It's crazy. He's probably not too happy that I didn't call and now I'm going to annoy him by waking him up in the middle of the night. I'm starting to break into a cold sweat now. My hands feel clammy. My mind is racing. How do I fix this problem? I could call first thing in the morning. That would be the sensible thing to do. Except it suddenly seems urgent that I reach him. What if I call in the morning and he's already gone to work or something? What if we play phone tag for days? I start to dial again. I hang up again. What am I going to say? Whatcha doing? I'll just call in the morning. I'll call at 8? Or 7? What time will it be there? Will he be home? Or will he be asleep and I'll wake him up. Ugh! This went on for a while. I finally decide to just call and say, "I'm sorry it's so late, but what time should I call you in the morning?" I dial. I won't let myself hang up this time. My stomach is doing flip flops. Ring-"Hello???" Barely one ring and he answers. "Were you still up?" I ask. We talk for an hour and agree on a time to talk again. All is right with the universe as I drift off to sleep that night.
This was before the days of e-mail (gasp!) So every Sunday night we racked up a phone bill and we wrote and sent cassette tapes and little gifts during the week. About a month or so into this, he lets me know that this isn't a casual relationship for him. He isn't asking me to marry him, but he is planning on eventually convincing me that I want to marry him because he already knows what he wants, and he's praying to be worthy to get what he wants. Admittedly, the wanting to be worthy of me was corny, and kind of cute, but the sure he wanted to marry me thing was sort of gag me typical BYU romance. A series of exchanges ensued that went along the lines of:
-You can't possibly know that you want to marry me, for all you know I'm a psychopath.
-No, you're not a psychopath, I'm sure you're not.
-You can't know that. You believe I'm not a psycho, but you can't know that. I know I'm not, but you just think I'm not.
-OK, whatever you say, but I know you're not.
-No, you don't know. You know, you just can't pick out a wife like you pick out shoes at the store, it takes a little more consideration than that.
-Oh, believe me, I'm considering more than that.
-Ugh. You realize you are going to have to take a number while I figure out what to do with the guys here.
-I can wait, I'm patient.
Dutifully, I did not run away. I called my friend Conchi and asked for her opinion of this guy. Surely she would talk me out of it and I would have my out. "He's a nut, right? Flaky, weird, somewhat unstable?" She laughed, "No, he's a really neat guy, you should give him a chance." "Thanks for your support, Conchi." Then again, she's married and probably this has marred her judgment. She probably wishes everyone could be all gooey and happy like her in her newlywed bliss, and she'd set me up with a horse. But, now I'm pretty sure he's not secretly an ax murderer or a pedophile or anything. I continue my correspondence. I get even more air headed than normal. My mind keeps wandering in class.
While things are getting ever more interesting with Chocolate Boy, homeboys are clamoring for my attention. I'm getting confused. Then one day a light bulb went on in my head. This light bulb should have gone on before ever leaving for Canada, but sometimes I'm slow. What in the heck was I doing dating homeboy#1? A friendship might be fine, but one or the other of us would have to have a frontal lobotomy for us to ever become a real couple. I swiftly did a 180 and confused #1 by dumping him squarely. Now, why not clear up my whole lineup? I realized with stark clarity that there was nothing happening on the home front worth pursuing, so I scratched 3 and 4 off my list. After all, that had been my intention all those months ago back in Canada. How had I let these guys suck me in again? As for Chocolate Boy, Canada was a very long ways away, we grew up in separate hemispheres, he obviously was making rash decisions about me, so what were the odds things could possibly work out? It would be better to just nip this thing in the bud too while I was at it. Clean the slate. I started to compose in my mind what I would say to him, and that nagging still small voice interrupted me again, saying "NO! Don't do it!" This was getting annoying. I'd made my plans. Why was God favoring this guy over me anyways? I decided I'd better get to the bottom of this. I was going to have to go back to Canada to get to see this guy in person. I mean, things were great as pen pals, but what if he was a real pain in the neck to live with? Chocolate Boy had already invited me to come visit over Christmas break but I had declined. What if I just came up the next summer instead? At this point, I thought better of that idea. What if 2 weeks into my summer I couldn't stand him anymore? Better to find out what direction this whole thing was going to go sooner instead of later. If things went well, I would go back for the summer.
I called him up. I told him I had changed my mind, would he still like me to come over Christmas? I heard a crash and some clunking and he finally answered. "I was leaning my chair back and I fell over. " He was more than happy to have me visit over the break. What had changed my mind? I frankly told him what I was thinking. No pressure, or anything. I agreed to go up after Christmas with my family.
Sorry guys, this story is too long. You'll have to tune in next week to get in on the lip action!