Although Jan had helped me more than I could ever describe, someone else had come into my life. I did not trust men. It is quite understandable, yes, but something changed my heart…or someone. God needed to put him in my life at the exact moment that was perfect for me. At first we all thought it was for my mom. Turns out, it was for her…..and me.
The YMCA has always been another safe place for me. Lot’s of crushes were made there, (don’t get me started on that!). I made lots of friends there, sometimes with guys. I’d flirt around the gym, while getting really good cardio in….from my heart pounding of course. I didn’t like to work out at the time, I was always so tired from not sleeping.
Keep in mind I knew everyone in that Y very well. One day, a new person caught my attention: One I’d never seen. Or maybe that day I had just noticed him. And he scared me. And he was eying mom with a strange look which really pissed me off. But the worst part was he wasn’t Mr. Sunshine with me.
I’d be listening to my iPod playing some obnoxious Nickelback song that everyone else hated and this guy would look at me like I had a potato growing out of my head. Or sometimes he’d be bold and glare at me What the hell is his problem? I remember thinking to myself
All I knew from what I’d gathered over the next two weeks or so that he was smart, in shape, and….weird.
Mom had been pissed with Jack and I so she went to the YMCA. When she didn’t come home my first thought that the man had kidnapped her and was holding her hostage for x amount of dollars. Finally she comes home with a head ache. I conjured the poison theory. She said she wanted to tell me something via text. Finally,
“I met someone that you’re going to like.”
“Yep, do you remember that guy that always works out at the Y?”
Somehow I knew exactly who she was talking about
“Yeah,” I said timidly
“I met him.” she grinned.
I sat up and raised my eyebrows, a little concerned.
“He’s really nice.”
I had the same expression on my face: concern
“So is he nice?” I asked, disregarding the previous statement.
“Yes, honey he is very nice, you’ll like him a lot! Do you trust me?”
“Yes,” I murmured
After a pause,
“He wants to meet you.”
“No, no, there’s no way! He scares me!”
“Honey, he’s really not scary I promise! He’s so easy to talk to!”
“But I’m not good with people! Like, at all you know how much a hate strangers!”
Was she insane?
“Honey, he is so easy to talk to. I promise! He’s fun to talk to. Come on, it’ll be fine!
I knew that fighting was pointless so I was stuck… I had to meet him. ~*~
So there I was the next Monday devising of ways to escape. Like maybe the fire-escape into freedom. But I knew that mom wouldn’t let me out of this, so I had to go through with it. I remember walking the track and saying to myself,
Oh, God, please don’t let him be here!
He showed up a few minutes later, and I can remember trying to smile at him.I caught his eye and his eyes were much kinder than they had been before. Good.
We continued walking the track until Mom started asking me when I wanted to meet him.
“Hailey, you have to meet him sometime!”
“Come on, how about three more laps!”
We walked three more laps, watching him work out.
“All right, come on, do you wanna go now?”
“I don’t want to bother him!” I tried that as an excuse. “One more lap until he stops working out.”
This continued for about fifteen more minutes until I finally gave in.
As I remember, I walked behind mom, deliberately hiding behind her. I remember S striking up a small talk conversation. He was staring at her, but not like she was something he could eat.
I remember feeling left out, and again looked for an escape route, dying to sneak away. I was looking back and forth between my escape rout and this weird guy, and I happened to be looking at him when mom said,
“Well, this is my daughter, Hailey.”
My stomach went down to my feet and I gulped as he smiled a wide perfect smile at me and said,
“Nice to meet you,”
Well that wasn’t so bad! God did he have a smile!
After about three weeks Jack finally met him, and I was quickly becoming more comfortable with him. He was just so easy to talk to and I loved that feeling. Jack instantly like him too. From here, maps and lines are drawn, and decisions are made, that I make, and define me.
It was after he had met Jack when he invited us to go to his Church. So that Sunday, after timidly telling Dan and Jack that I was going to Church Sunday I went. And of course it would be on the one Sunday when he wouldn’t be there. But I instantly took a liking to people there. They were all really different but somehow united. I found old friends and felt very much at home and comfortable.
It was odd for me though because he was in on almost the whole story on my father and we had multiple talks on this. He found that I was not too fond of my Dad and that he would often say things that would be hurtful. I found he didn’t appreciate it that much.
So, about 3 months into this relationship, he had managed to find out about my haptiphobia (fear of being touched) and ever since then did not touch me. He had a few times without knowing I hated it, but with him it wasn’t as intense. He also used to do this arm thing where he would put his arm around me, but he wouldn’t touch me, his hand would hover over my waist, inviting me to come closer if I wanted. I love him!
So, by this point I’m desperate for a hug. All week I had been itching to hug him. I found that was the best way to get any kind of contact because he was never going to invade my space. He knew that something had happened to make me not like being touched abut he didn’t know what exactly.
Sunday before I leave to go to Church, mom had dared me to hug him…that day! I protested, but when she heptagon-dog-dared me to hug him I was stuck…again. All through the drive to Church I’m nervous and shaking and just wishing that I didn’t have to do this now. But the other part of me knew I just wanted to do it. I wanted to throw my arms around him and hug him. He was great to me and my family. Also, I knew I’d feel so much better once I did hug him.
I get there and I am freaking out, but calming down more when I don’t see him right away. I feel like about a thousand ninja’s are gonna come after me and kill me when suddenly….Oh, crap.
“Hey, Hailey, how are you?! So no Mom today?”
“Hey!,” I replied, my heart rate at about 150 BPM’s. “And no, she’s not here.”
After it is all said and done, finally we are left alone, just him….and me.
We smile at each other and start to go over to our cars that are right next to each other. We are side by side, matched paces – as always, and maybe that’s on purpose so he can walk beside me. He doesn’t let me ahead, not making me feel better than he. (Or because he doesn’t want to make me feel like he’s looking somewhere he shouldn’t be). But he doesn’t walk in front of me. I swear my heartbeat is so loud that he can hear it. With shoulders almost touching he leans slightly over to ask me how things were going with my family as we close the distance to our cars.
We get closer and closer to the cars and then he starts on his tangent about my mom. He then said to me about how he was meant to be in moms life. I wanted to throw my arms around him right then and there but I didn’t. I was missing my chance. Another week was going to go by and I’m not going to get to hug him.
So, finally we are right near our cars. He checks out my car and smiled at me. I slowly follow him to his car and he smiles at me curiously, like a what-are-you-doing look. Trying to break the now awkward atmosphere he makes a little more small talk.
That was the last straw. He didn’t have his glasses on or anything like that. *the glasses always were an element because I didn’t want to smash his glasses*.
Here’s how I did it: I looked him in the eyes, which was different for me. I said, “Thank you,” and then I threw my arms around his neck. Looking back on this I was way too far away for a proper hug. I literally fell into his arms, expecting him to catch me. He did, but…
He was shocked. He honestly did not know what to do! He hugged me back a little with one arm and patted my side gently. I remember feeling that his arms and his chest and his back were like rocks under his skin! It felt weird because I hadn’t hugged anyone like him before. He patted my side again, twice as gently and then we pulled away.
I felt a release go through me of, “now I had done it.” I can stop thinking about it. As I looked up from his foot to his chest to his face he had the biggest smile waiting when I did. I grinned and my whole lower body shook. My knees were shaking and my hands were sweating and shaking. I could barely unlock the car and almost dropped my keys twice on trying to open the stupid car.
The last time I did that was with Sam….an old crush.
I would get it out of my head, I thought. I was wrong
The next day at school, I was a wreck with nerves. If I see him will he be awkward? Did he not like it? I didn’t know and I wouldn’t know until Friday I thought. W-e-e-e-l-l-l-l that’s not entirely true because I saw him that Tuesday; and God was I nervous. I didn’t expect to see him at all so I had another heart attack when I walk up the stairs and round the corner and there he is. He was staring at me kindly with a smile in his eyes. I wanted to go back down the stairs and just avoid him, but I don’t and I face him and whatever he has for me. Surprisingly he wasn’t nervous or weird around me or anything I counted on. Nothing! I could relax a little bit and talk a little more comfortably.
We ended the small talk with me being awkward as always and I got to the bathroom. I call mom, completely in a panic because I’d seen him and he in no way seemed weird around me. I was so relieved that I just wanted to cry and then laugh and then probably scream.
After I think I’m good for going back out there, I get back on the track. I was so awkward around him and that was what I was afraid of: that he would notice that I was nervous and walk away because he didn’t need to deal with me like that. Or he would think that I was mad or upset or scared of him. We cleared the air a few moments later.
After I hugged him it was a very easy time from that point on… for a while. I had always had doubts about how much he liked my company and if he would wait for me. Just how long would he wait around for me to start acting like a normal human being? I didn’t know if he was annoyed with me because I would swing between hiding and shivering in a corner to very comfortable with him in just a few times talking to him.
So it came to a point eventually where I was almost obsessing over what he thought. At one point I thought I had almost ruined the relationship with him, but I didn’t. I thought I’d said something that had made him upset one time in January, but I was wrong.
I said something about trust, and I remember instantly regretting it. So I wanted to clear the air on that Sunday, but never got a chance and I thought for sure that he was ignoring me. Usually he would look and smile at me and this time he didn’t. He didn’t even look in my direction. I didn’t understand it at the time. So I went home in a hurry.
The next day on Monday we see him again and Mom got a chance to talk to him because they had not talked in a while. When they finished their conversation I got a chance to ask him if he would talk with me sometime. She had nearly pushed me into him but she missed her timing with pushing me so I practically trip into the railing We talked just a little bit but not about anything important like I needed to talk about. He helped me find mom because he didn’t know where she was and wouldn’t leave me until I found her.
He finds her and walks me over to her. I’m three feet behind him, trying to look anywhere but in my crush’s direction, who was there that day. We were almost to where he could return me home.
“Well, there’s your mom, Hailey.” smiling at me and then turned around, still upset (I thought)
I waited and I felt like I was running out of time so I say,
“Yes!” He turned around with a smile
“Um, can I talk to you about something sometime soon about something that’s really been bothering me lately? I just…feel like I need to tell you about it.”
A long gasp and a huge grin and as sincere as Id ever heard anyone say,
“Of course, Hailey! I’d love to talk to you! I’ll be here at the Y tomorrow so just come and find me. I’ll be on a machine where I usually work out so you can find me there. But yes! absolutely just come and find me so we can talk!”
However, life would have it that he was out of town and forgot to tell me about it so he wasn’t there until Sunday. He was much friendlier and almost apologetic that day.
Well, I finally get a chance to talk to him that Tuesday at the Y. After some humorous small talk he sits down and gets ready to listen. *This small talk gained me that A in my Psych paper*
“So, Hailey,” he said slowly – fatherly, sitting down at the bench. “You wanted to ask me something a few days ago. Do you remember what it was?” He was acting as if he were gauging my reaction and trying to see if I actually wanted to talk about it.
I gulped. “Oh! Yes, um, ha, um yeah, right, um, God, oh, did I really phrase it like a question? I can’t believe I said it was a question, ‘cause it’s really not a question!” I said quickly.
He looked at me surprised
“No, I think you just said that you wanted to talk to me.” He said kindly, as always.
Anyways, we talk about everything from my father when I was 8 to my grandfather when I was 13 I told him about the money down the pants incident. I remember him cringing. We then talked about how inappropriate my father was to me as a little girl. He was very surprised but I felt that I cleared everything up and he promised me that he would never ever be mad at me for not letting him touch me. He said a couple times never to worry about how he feels, he will wait.
I…think this is love. What love really means. Few people know, less people show. This kind of love, not him loving me and I loving him in particular, but…the relationship. If you find something true like this, where you feel your life would be drastically different without the person…keep them.
He is far to special to me to let go, slip through my fingers if I can help it. He’s not perfect, he annoys the hell out of me other times, he doesn’t always listen, he’s sometimes hardheaded, but aren’t we all? I love him…love doesn’t hold grudges and it looks past imperfections.
So, sorry, Superman….just a little bit late. Just stay stuck in the five and dime savin’ the day…this guy’s got you covered.