It’s kind of funny that yesterday I wrote about being fearless and taking chances, yet I clammed up like a shy two-year old and froze, like always. It was not planned, actually I kind of had my fingers crossed it would not happen, but it did. My best friend and I took my kids to dinner where a certain someone works. I was really hoping I would not see her, but I wanted to see her so bad at the same time. Leading up to the events, I did not even realize all the emotions that had been stirred up throughout the day. The whole day had been conspiring against me, and I was completely blind to the fact. The morning started with me getting in my truck and driving to work with the first song on the radio being “Austin” by Blake Shelton. Basically the song is about a man who never gives up on his love for a woman, very sweet and heart felt song. Then later in the day writing about my “near-death experience”, I wrote a brief bit about taking my GWB to my senior prom, and about the emotions involved for me there. As far as I was concerned, they were just little things and had no effect on how I went about the rest of my day.
That was until my buddy and I met up early in the evening to go to dinner. We ended up going to a newer barbecue restaurant here in town, I knew she worked there, but it did not bother me. The chances of running into her were slim in my head, and I had not thought in depth about things in awhile. I was way off. We walked in and I started paying attention to the menu right off the bat, and trying to ask my two year old son what he wanted to eat. That’s when my buddy pointed her out to me, she was behind the counter working, and she saw us. Her big blue eyes lit up, huge beautiful smile covered her entire face, and she was waving at us. Immediately my heart dropped to my stomach and I started having cold sweats. It had been a long time since I had seen her, and even longer since I had seen her when I was single and sober. I tried to avoid eye contact as I knew I would get lost, as always, so I continued through the line until we got up to the ordering counter. Holding my son, and trying to get my daughter to tell me what she wanted, I started placing their orders before I got to myself. Then she came walking up to us, and grabbed me and gave me a hug, of course I melted. What else was I to do? I started fumbling for the words to say, and I’m sure whatever had came out of my mouth sounded completely incoherent and like a bunch of rambling muffled words. She reached over and smacked one of the girls working on the shoulder and said “This is the guy that took me to my Junior prom”, apparently they had been talking about prom earlier in the day, and little did she know I had literally wrote about that prom date earlier in the day.
A little back story probably seems necessary at this point, since this whole blog seems to be about my GWB. She was a freshman and I was a sophomore in high school when we had first met. I had always had a thing for her, but one of us had always been in a relationship while the other was single, and we never really had gotten to know each other that well. My senior year, her junior, we became really close, we had photography together, and of course my best friend was in the same class with us. Being that we were in the advanced portion of the class, we had a lot more free time than other students and would spend time in the dark room office just socializing and goofing off. Her and her on-again/off-again boyfriend were having troubles at the time, and she was still holding onto the fact that he may take her to prom. He ended up asking someone else, which completely broke heart. I still had no plans for prom, and of course I wanted to take her to my senior prom, just was not ballsy enough to ask. We ended up talking about it, and agreeing to go to prom together, much to my delight. That night crept closer and closer, and I grew more and more nervous as to make the best impression I could. I went to pick her up from her home that evening, already dressed for prom, met her parents, and then we returned to my house to meet my buddy and his girlfriend (future ex-wife) before heading off to prom. When I saw her in her prom dress the butterflies started flowing like you would not believe, I was in awe. I knew I had feelings for her, but I did not know how strong they were as I had avoided it for as long as I could.
Still to this day, I do not think she has the slightest clue how much she really meant (and means) to me. Of course, high school ended and I moved on, and we lost touch, only talking here and there. I was too stupid to get out of my own way and pursue something, so I avoided it. We spent many nights over the years hanging out and just talking, but we always lost contact because life just happens. Most of the time it was me disappearing with my tail tucked between my legs. I just could never bring myself to it, she was too good for me. She always had the biggest heart, the sweetest personality, and was (and still is) an overall amazing person; she has the most beautiful blue eyes you have ever seen, a smile that could have brought the Mongolian army to their knees, and she’s just perfect. So what happened?
I was not at the restaurant to bother her by any means, or even see her honestly, so I did my best to not pay any attention to the fact she was there. More often than not though, I caught myself tossing backward glances in her direction just to see if she was acknowledging the fact that I was even there. When we had finished our food, I kept stalling, finding things that needed to be picked up around and on the table, drinks that needed refilled, anything I could just to catch eye contact one more time, or the opportunity to walk up to her when she was not busy just to say “goodbye”. It never happened. They were far too busy for me to even attempt to get a word in edgewise. So I packed the kids up and told my buddy it was time to go, and we left. The whole walk to the car, the drive home, and the hours following all I could think about was her. I tried to avoid doing it, I did not want to be that guy, but I did it. I shot her a text just to try to make small talk and say that it was good to see her, and throw out the hopes of trying to see her again. As per her usual amazing personality and genuine kindness, she replied. I was at a loss of words on what to say back, even through a text, so I just played it casual and left it at that.
Even while writing this blog, I am fighting the urge to send her a text just to say “Hey”, I’m too nervous to do it. We have both grown so much over the years, and I honestly thought I was passed all of this. It has been twelve years since I was 18, almost thirteen years. Twelve years! I am not some 18 year old kid anymore. I am a 30 year old man, I have children, I have been married, I own my own home, I have faced my demons, I know who I am now, I know what I can and cannot accomplish…but I cannot do this. I cannot muster up the courage to try to initiate conversation with her and try to even see her more often. I am petrified of her because of how amazing she is. That is the most ridiculous thing in the world. People are usually afraid to pursue something because it may not be the right decision in their life, but I am afraid to try to pursue something because it would be the most amazing part of my life (even if nothing came out of it.) Yet, here we are. I am writing this blog, fantasizing about a love that never was, and she is just living her life and has no idea how deeply I truly feel about her.
Last night was about the time that I realized that “Austin” was Blake Shelton’s version of how I felt about this woman. Now I can never listen to that song again without her coming to my mind, and I have no regrets whatsoever about that. Long story short, the song is about a man moving on and living his life as normal as can be, but always has a place in his heart for her. His voicemail tells how he is fishing, or bowling, or out of town, but his heart still belongs to her; however, the girl in the song knew he cared about her. Every bit of it is worth it though. My friends and family always knew I loved her, even if I did not know it, as I have been called out on it several times. I finally accepted the fact that she was indeed my Great White Buffalo, but that is all.
I’ll continue living my life as normal, and I will keep on keeping on, but chances are there will always be a part of my heart that belongs to her. While she may never know that she has that part of me, it’s there. I’ll probably end up married 20 or 30 years down the road to an amazing woman, and see her at the supermarket with her husband, and the butterflies will come back. It’s just a part of life I suppose, and I have grown to accept it. As always, I just write these blogs to vent and let out frustrations or emotions that I find harder to speak. Hell, she may even read this blog, and if I muster up the courage I may even send the direct link to her, but don’t count on it. I’m stuck again, I found my way back to the quicksand, in fear of actually telling her how I feel. But who knows, I may bring myself to telling the truth one day, telling her that I am still in love with her. Until then, keep on reading, after all; this is my adventure. Live your life, be carefree, love often, and dream without boundaries!