Wednesday, February 1, 2012
Nathan and I met in the fall of 1996, he was preaching a sermon at Gardiner Lane church of Christ. After the sermon, he came up and introduced himself to me. He was wearing a green toned suit that made his eyes look like they were going to explode green. We actually got dinner together that night, along with about 20 other people. We sat together, he bought my pizza. He has said he left that night thinking, "She's cute, but I will never date her, we have nothing in common." I left thinking of the college boy who had my heart.
That December, we had a college and singles Bible Study. We sent invitations to churches all over town. Nathan and I were the only ones who came. We sat and talked for a few hours. We didn't study the Bible, we just talked about music, movies, church and people we knew in common. When he left I was glad to have a friend.
Weeks passed before I talked with him again. I was visiting around churches and traveling with friends. In January of 1997 I went to Illinois for the month to train for my job. I had made the decision to move on from that boy who had my heart and had started to date my dentist. I had also started to regularly attend Gardiner Lane. Nathan and I met for lunch when I returned home from claim school. He asked me,"Have you been somewhere, I have not seen you?" I remember being a bit bothered by him not noticing I was gone, but was still going on dates with my dentist and I had met a man in Illinois who also had my attention.
From that lunch on we began to hang out more frequently. Usually with a group of friends. We would have dinner together here and there, go to meetings together. All along enjoying our friendship. He had become my best friend in Louisville. As is the case in small churches, the fact Nathan and I were spending time together created a wave of conversation. Soon I heard little else but Nathan this and Nathan that. I heard "You should just go up and kiss him." I heard, "He had his heart broken before." I found it very amusing how we had cheerleaders rooting for something, I know we were both thinking about but not quite ready to pursue.
In April, I was invited by my now mother-in-law to go to Thunder Over Louisville. This would be my first experience with the Derby celebrations. Nathan would join us only for the fireworks, he would be sleeping from working the night shift at UPS. I enjoyed visiting with the Joneses, talked a lot with Trevor and enjoyed people watching. As the sun began to fall, Nathan joined us. We sat together and watched the fireworks and something changed. A small change, but still a change. The next evening, we were leaving church and I said to Nathan, "I have not a dollar to my name, where are you taking me to dinner?" He said, "I have five dollars, I guess it is Taco Bell." We sat at Taco Bell and I bemoaned the fact that I could not get a moment's peace about him. I mused I would need to write a book, 100 Ways To Get Nathan Jones To Ask Me Out On A Date. We laughed and talked about the most ridiculous things said to us about the other. We ate a hearty dinner for 2 on $5.00 and left for him to drop me back off at my car.
As we said our goodbyes, he said, "Do you have plans for tomorrow night? Do you want to actually try out a date?" I was so excited. How strange to be going on a first date with my closest friend in the city, whom I had spent hours and hours of time. Monday night he picked me up and took me to dinner at the Italian Oven. I remember thinking how odd it was to be nervous, but I think we both were. Not so much because we were nervous with each other, but instead in the idea we would blow a great friendship by pursuing something more if it did not work out well. It was a long dinner, full of laughter and drawing on the paper table covers. Nathan took me back to my apartment. He walked me back to my door and we lingered saying goodnight. He began to walk away and turned and asked, "Want me to bring some pizzas and movies tomorrow night?" I smiled, agreed, turned into my apartment and may or may not have done a little happy dance. (to be continued)