We Meet Again
Over the next couple years, we saw each other a few times at camps, youth rallies and other church related events. When it was time to begin high school, my parents agreed to let me go to "GL" in grade 9 (remember, GL is the church run residential school that I mentioned in Part One?). My other siblings had not been allowed to go until grade 10 but I was dying to get out of my town, away from my grade school friends and be surrounded by my Christian friends (ahem, particularly "one" friend of the male variety) who I knew from camp.
I knew the Fabulous Dude wouldn't be enrolling until grade 10 but we were still friends throughout grade 9 when we saw each other at events or when I visited his hometown with his cousin (who was one of my closest friends) on the weekends.
In grade 10, he came to GL and started dating one of my best friends almost immediately. That was okay, I was in a too-serious relationship already and the instant love I had felt for him when I was 8 years old was at bay. Over the next three years, we were the best of friends and the worst of enemies.
We would be best friends one day and then go weeks without speaking to each other until one of us needed the other, we'd cave in and have a huge heart to heart and then we'd start the cycle again. I did a lot of his homework for him, he encouraged me to get out of a not so healthy relationship, I made pies for him, he drove me to McDonald's, we had mutual friends, we had a vast array of inside jokes, we both dated other people and life went on.
Here are a few pictures of us from high school...
It was not until the summer between grade 11 and 12 that anything truly monumental happened. At this point, the fabulous dude was now spending his entire summers at the camp we met at, working as a counselor and lifeguard and I was living at home during the summers working various part time jobs. In the middle of my grade 11 year my mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer. Over the course of that summer, she was in the midst of chemotherapy and radiation. In late August, after not speaking to the fabulous dude since school finished in June, I got a call from him. I cried with him on the phone as he told me that his mother, too, had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
So we started that school year (our final year) as good friends. We had this common experience to share that none of our other friends could really relate to. We both knew what it felt like to watch your mom go through something so horrible. We were there for each other through that. Praise the Lord, we were also able to celebrate as both of our mother's finished their treatment cancer free. Close to the beginning of the year, I had a weekend long birthday party at my house (remember, we're at boarding school). A bunch of my friends came home with me but he couldn't come because it was the weekend of his mom's surgery. We decided he would come to my place for a visit the next weekend. Over the course of the weekend, I thought there were some sparks. He did a ballet dance to "Beauty and the Beast" wearing my Mom's slippers. I thought surely that was a sign.
However, when we got back to school it seemed as though nothing had happened. Just like in the other years of high school, we went through cycles of being best friends and worst enemies. He was struggling with some other personal issues and was very moody at times. He was in a slump. That year, I lived with my two best friends at one of their houses rather than in the dorm. I remember spending hours at home in the evenings with them talking, crying and praying for him because the FD we were seeing was not the FD that we knew.
As the year progressed, I continued to hurt for him and miss my friend. Eventually, he seemed to get out of his slump. He was back to his normal, funny, annoying self as the end of our high school days drew closer.
To be continued...
The Real Life Romance series is being linked up at MM&Ms at Musings of a Future Pastor's Wife