Friday, March 23, 2012

Tomorrow...

That letter sat on my dining table for the next two weeks. Every morning when I arrived home from work and walked into my one bedroom apartment, it was there. It stood out more than the over sized windows it was situated between. It beckoned my attention more than the 12 foot ceilings I stared up at when I was on the couch. With every glance I took at it, the more I wanted to throw it away. Yet, the more I also wanted to believe there was still hope. So how do you ignore the smallest thing in you life that has become the biggest elephant in your room (literally)? You go out to a club with a bunch of girls.

The director I worked with every morning, Gary, began suggesting to the other ladies at work to invite me along with them when they got together. So after a few days I got phone call from one of the reporters at the station. She invited me to hang out with her, our main anchor, and a couple others. I wasn't really a club person anymore. I'd tried that shoe on, didn't really stick, but I was lonely. It was Saturday night and I wanted to free my mind. So I jumped at the chance to make friends and get away from that CRAZY envelope that was haunting me.

It was a typical girls night out. We danced, flirted and laughed at the men making fools of themselves. The night ended and I arrived back at my apartment around 4am. Since it was so late, I knew I wasn't even going to make an effort to go to church that morning. I made a beeline for my bedroom and was able to completely ignore IT (you know, the "letter").

My phone rang around noon. I struggled to find it in the pitch black room I'd barricaded myself in. When I did, the number shocked me...the caller ID showed Earl's number ...I quickly picked it up and scratched out, "Hello."

On the other end, I heard Jerrie's voice. She was being extremely elusive, speaking in code almost. She asked if I was busy and what I was doing. Told me about them heading to a funeral in Johnson City and then she began to whisper. I could barely make out what she was saying but I did get that they were planning to stop by my apartment, Earl Jr. was with them and I had an hour to get ready. Then she said, "Bye."

I sat up in the bed thinking, what in the world is going on? After a few minutes of bewilderment, I sprang from under the covers and began getting ready.  Was Earl going to be okay with stopping? Was he going to come in or sit in the car? We hadn't spoken in five months, what should I say to him? Do I tell him congratulations? I can't even begin to scratch the surface of all that was going on in my head in that moment. I scurried to make my bed, shower and get dressed. Then I walked into the living room and there it was...the "letter". I grabbed it, for fear that he had some sort of x-ray vision or something I guess, and stuffed it in a book and put it in my closet, where I knew he'd never see it.

Then a knock. I walked over to the door and looked through the peep hole and there were Big Earl and Jerrie, alone. No Earl. Oh well, I thought. I mean, did I really expect him to be with them? After all,  he had made it crystal clear our paths were to never cross again. I guess Jerrie was just wishfully thinking that he would come in with them. They sat down and started talking, not saying a word about him. I was dying to ask though, why all the vagueness earlier?

Then another knock. Again I looked through the peep hole to see who it was, but they had covered it with their finger. So I opened it hoping with everything in me to see his handsome face behind it. And sure enough, there he was. I nonchalantly turned without speaking and left the door open for him to follow. I had no idea what to say honestly. I wanted to make sure it seemed as though I cared less that he was now standing in my living room and my presence for the first time in so long.

He trickled in behind me shutting the door and making some snide, yet nervous, comment about me being rude. It was obvious he was as unsure as I was of how to handle the situation. His mom and dad kept chatting and making small talk with us and the tension slowly eased. He and I began to joke and it felt as if nothing had ever changed. Then he asked if we could take a walk alone and I of course obliged.

My heart was without a doubt in my throat as we started out the door. What were we going to talk about? Did he want to explain why he was getting married? Was he sorry? What was I going to say? After all, I'd done nothing but wallow in misery for the past five months. I couldn't tell him about that! Or even that I was building this great life on my own, because quite frankly, I was so unhappy that even having started the climb toward the dream I'd had of being a journalist for most of my life, felt as empty as Satan's cold, cruel heart. He must have been at as much a loss for what to say as I was because, for the first few minutes we just walked in silence.

As we turned the corner heading down State Street, he began making speaking. At first his words were meaningless fluff. I was only half listening; my mind just kept wondering, why is he here?

Then he turned to me and urgently uttered, "I really need you to pray for me."

"Okay." I said, "do you want to tell me what to pray about?"

"Not right now," he murmured in a subdued tone looking down at the dirty sidewalk, "all I can say is, I'm about to make the biggest mistake of my life and I don't know what to do."

My heart was racing so fast I'm surprised it didn't explode. Was he alluding to his engagement? Did he want to break it off with Amy? Had he realized I was the girl for him now? I desperately wanted to prod for more information, but I knew he'd just taken a huge step in restoring our friendship and I didn't want push him away. I just told him I'd be honored to pray for him and left it at that.

We walked a little further and he began to tell me how much he missed being around me, that no one encouraged him the way I did and that something was missing from his life once he had shut me out. I just listened, not really saying much. I was aware that this was one of the hardest things he'd ever had to do; and as much as I wanted to dance and shout and jump for joy, I knew I didn't deserve the words that were coming from his mouth. My faith had become so feeble and my heart had grown so numb toward GOD that more than anything I felt humbled that HE'd even allowed this moment to happen.

Eventually we turned and headed back toward my apartment. The seriousness of our conversation began to turn to silliness and things felt extremely familiar and just as they should be. As we walked up the steps to my door, I knew GOD hadn't forgotten me, I'd forgotten HIM. He was holding me all this time, trying so hard to get me to listen so HE could explain things to me, but I had shut HIM out. I knew as we opened the door to the apartment, that it was time to open the gates of my heart again to HIS promise and trust HIM for whatever was ahead.

1 comment:

  1. I am loving this. You are such an awesome writer. Keep more coming....I need u to write my life out like this. :)

    ReplyDelete