Once upon a time, I met a guy named Alan at a college retreat from my church in California. He made no impression on me. Another guy who was going to seminary was interested in me, and we walked along the beach. Several months later, the seminary guy said he loved me and asked me to marry him. He wanted to know if I loved him, and I said that he was cute, and that I wanted to love him. I told him I didn’t know him. He seemed frustrated. Later he ended up stealing from the church and landed in jail. He was my first boyfriend. I’m not making this up.
Meanwhile, Alan was my best friend. We bummed around together, zooming around in his sports car. We would park the car at the top of a hill overlooking the city, and we would talk for hours about God. Neither one of us was attracted to the other. He was in love with some other girl. Plus, Alan couldn’t hold down a job, so he lived out of his car sometimes. This didn’t bother me because his soul was gold. I knew we would be friends for life. I loved him. I loved his soul. I wasn’t attracted though.
Then he cleaned up and put on a black button down shirt, and grew a classy, trimmed beard. I was coming back from spending Christmas with my family in Guatemala, and there he was at the airport. It was a complete surprise. A woman was there to pick me up to take me home. I rented a room from her house while I went to college. Anyway, Alan was there, too, and he looked mighty fine. Later when we got home, he accidentally touched my hand, and I was totally frieked out because there was no question in my mind that I was attracted to this man. I was so scared. This had never happened before. Either I was attracted to a guy but never loved him, or I had guy friends that I actually cared about but wasn’t attracted to.
I brainwashed myself that I wasn’t attracted and pretended like everything was normal. We continued being best friends. Then I was accepted to go overseas to England for my senior year of college. My college friends said good-bye. The girl that Alan liked ran up to my car and told me to roll down the window. She asked me point blank, “Do you love Alan?” I looked at her with cloaked jealousy and said, “Yes.” She backed up as I drove off. My heart was pounding.
The year I was in England, Alan never wrote. My feelings were hurt. We were best friends. Never had a week gone by that we hadn’t talked with each other. I knew he was going out with this girl he liked. I closed the door on that chapter of my life. I went out with an American guy who was also an exchange student. He was a jerk. I never slept with any of these people. I believe in purity.
I flew back to California, only to find out that Alan’s girlfriend had stabbed him in the back, betrayed him, and poisoned everybody’s minds against him. She tried to poison my mind too, but I said that even if everything she said about him was true, I still loved him. Even if he started murdering people, I would bake him cookies and take them to him in jail and talk to him and try to figure out what went wrong. But what she was saying was nothing close to that. He was “irresponsible” mostly. He owed people money. So what? He could go get a job and pay them back. But, no. They had all turned against him, and his life was over. Out of desperation, he decided to join the Air Force.
Alan treasured the fact that I never turned on him. And knowing how much he was hurting, I threw caution to the wind and told him I loved him.
(Stay tuned for My Love Story: Part Two…)Tweet