Our Story: Part V

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Part V:
Stalled Hearts

Summer hung on the trees, dripping humidity and sunshine. I frittered away my days like any normal high schooler, stopping occasionally to make sure the image of that boy was still in my mind. He had sent me a couple emails, peppered here and there with mis-punctuation and poor grammar, but even that didn't bother me.

"Who are you inviting to Worlds of Fun?" my sister asked, slurping on a popsicle. "I think you should invite Brent."

"Ha. Yeah right," I chuckled. "That would be a real great boost for my ego."

"I'm serious," she prompted. "I think you would have fun. I'm sure he'll go. He's a nice guy...he wouldn't say no."

I mulled it over...and over...and over in my brain until all that was left was mush. Kali's pep talk had given me something I had been warned about: hope. So one afternoon I brought the cordless phone up to my bedroom. Sitting on my quilted twin mattress I dialed the number-- his number. Hearing a ring in the receiver, I checked the number that was scratched on the scrap of paper in my hand.

"Hi...is Brent there by any chance?"
"Sure..." Just above the beat of my own heart I could hear his sister lay the phone down and yell for him.
Please don't tell me no...please don't tell me no...please don't tell me no...this is so out of my character...please don't...
"Hello?" his voice felt funny in my ear.
"Hey! This is Kelsey," I tried to nonchalantly pipe into the receiver. "Well, my youth group is going to Worlds of Fun next Saturday and I was wondering if you'd maybe want to go with us...or something?" I saw no reason in prolonging my agony by creating small talk.
"Oh...well...I'm mowing lawns that day." Apparently neither did he.
"Hey, well. Sure. Yeah. That's fine. Totally. I understand..." Kelsey, just SHUT UP!
"Yeah. Sorry."
"Yeah. Sure. It's cool," I continued to stammer at him. "Well, I guess I'll talk to you later."
"Okay. Bye."

It took about 1 minute and 37 seconds for me to get the point; this boy was not interested. I set the piece of paper with his number on my night stand, wondering why I ever let myself do such a foolish thing... And then I remembered why...

I shuffled down the hall, shouting, "KALIIIIIIIIII!!!!"


I hopped in my sister's car, book bag slung over my shoulder, juice precariously sloshing in one hand, folded homework papers in the other, and slammed the door behind me.

"I told you to hurry up!" she yipped, "What in the world were you doing?!" She peeled out of the driveway and I turned my arm and hand at an awkward angle to keep my jeans free of grape juice.

"I was looking for bagels," I lied. I shoved my homework into my bag, trying to conceal the truth. The truth? I had been checking my email for the second time that morning just to see if there was a new one in my inbox from m0nkey21. I sipped my grape juice carefully as we bounced down the street towards school, thinking about the boy who, even after rejecting my invitation to Worlds of Fun a year and a half before, captured my attention. A boy who, even after not really talking to me on our last summer mission trip to St. Louis, still made me feel nervous and sweaty. A boy who, even after "dating" and breaking up with someone else, did made me want to be the datee. Would he keep emailing me if he weren't interested? Is he just a nice guy? Will he ever get around to...

"Don't forget that mom needs us to clean the upstairs bathroom when we get home today," Kali interrupted my thoughts. It was just as well; I'd just ask the same questions 20 more times that day.


"This summer we'll be heading to beautiful Colorado!" Immediately our group of mission trip goers began to murmur about how this trip was going to be so much better than the last two. We were actually going to leave the state!

"My sister actually used to live in Colorado," the boy next me said. Immediately my heart fluttered and I tried to compose myself.

Still, Kelsey? Really? You've known him for TWO YEARS now...get a clue and get over it.

Willing my knees to stop trembling and my thoughts to stop racing, I nodded my head cooly. I would NOT play the fool this time. He would have to come to ME.