Friday, December 16, 2011

the story of the boy (part 2)

About three months ago, I received a Facebook message from a mutual friend of Heath and me.  He told me that Heath didn’t have Facebook but wanted to get in touch with me and catch up. He gave me Heath’s number and said that he would just let me take the next step if I wanted.  I was excited and incredibly nervous. Getting in contact with an old friend! After all this time! This is going to be so much fun! …or what if it’s like one of those bad movies where the person rejected in high school tries to get in contact with the person who rejected them, only to tell them how awful they are!  “Surely Heath wouldn’t do that,” I thought.   I was incredibly nervous to text him but ended up texting him on the way a weekend getaway with my family (sister was driving…safety never takes a vacation, y’all—even if you do).  I texted something silly like, “Heath Ring?!?!”  And proving true to form, he knew it was me. We played a quick game of catch-up. The usual: where we lived, what we did, where we worked, etc. Gradually in the days after that, I would hear from him every couple days. Small conversations but fun stuff like favorite movies, books, music, etc. I found myself pleasantly surprised that we had many similar tastes.  I was also pleasantly surprised to know “grown-up Heath” and realize how he’d matured into such a great man.  After a few weeks of catching up, I realized how much we had in common and our conversations turned into marathons.  I never even entertained that anything would happen romantically but was happy to have an old friend back in my life. As days went by, the more we caught up, the more I realized I really enjoyed him, and he was just as sweet as he was before.  Could I like him now? Was I allowed? What if he didn’t feel the same way? All these things started building up inside of me, and the Enemy tried to rob me of the joy I had found in Heath.  I never verbalized these thoughts but looked forward to any contact I shared with him.  
One day,  I told him I would be coming home to visit my family and asked if he would be interested in grabbing a bite. I tried to keep it casual in case he wasn’t thinking anything with us was headed down a romantic road.  His response, “I’d love to :)” A couple of days before we planned to have dinner together, Heath sent me this text: “Can we call this a date? I’d really like it if we could call this a date. I mean…it has been a dream of mine for a long time to take you on a date”  My response (you know, because I’m Joe Cool over here): “I already thought it was a date…”  (smooth, Jordan, real smooth…) But I was so very happy! I was so delighted! He DID feel the same as I. We were going on a date! Then there came the overwhelming task: WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I GOING TO WEAR?! Anyone who knows me knows that fashion is a huge part of my life. It is a way I love to express myself. Now, I am not the same girl that Heath knew in high school, and I was nervous about showing him how I had changed, as far as style. I used to be the queen of all things Abercrombie and Fitch/GAP/ and American Eagle. Now, I usually wear things that are homemade or vintage from a thrift store/flea market. Would he think I was silly? Would he want to be seen with me? I was full of nerves. I have since then told Heath that I think I HAD to be more nervous than he was because I had more at stake (he heavily disagrees). He didn’t know that I had developed a crush on him…but I had.  And on top of it, I am the one who turned down his romantic advances 8 years ago, and now I was going on a date with him. My feelings had changed. So, October 22, was our date.  I spent most of my time trying to find something to wear. I took advice from friends. Jeans? A dress and cardigan(my go-to)? Ah! So, thank you, Jesus, for smart phones. I took a photo of myself in an outfit I had thought about wearing and texted it to my friends for feedback (fashion is serious, my friends). They gave me the thumbs up. Cute but casual.
the first date outfit winner
`Heath had asked me if I would like to come to his house first, seeing as we were going to end up there later, and then ride with him to the restaurant. I was so nervous walking up and knocking on his door. I knocked twice. Then he opened up, and there was Heath…a grown man version of Heath. We both just looked at one another for a moment, soaking up the changes that 8 years make. We were fresh-faced kids the last time we saw one another. Now we were muscle-man Heath and curvy Jordan. After a few seconds, there was the bear-hug I was promised. As he held me, he let out a sigh and said, “It is so good to see you.”  After that, we smiled really big, and left his house for a little Italian restaurant in town.  We sat and talked and ate and talked more. Heath told me that he was incredibly nervous and had spent about 45 minutes trying to find something to wear. I was so happy that he had spent time preparing. Not only had he done that but he cleaned his house top to bottom. I remember sitting there thinking, “what a precious man he has become.” He has always been precious, but the older you get, you realize what you want.  And sitting there in his company that night, I knew I wanted him.  After dinner, we went back to his place to watch some movies.  I found out that he is extremely OCD and I was sure to let him know that I am his worst nightmare. Truly. I can make a mess like nobody’s business. Another sweet thing about him is that while we sat watching the movies, he on one side of the couch, me on the other, he would pause the movie any time I said anything. It was nice that he made me feel like what I had to say mattered to him because he didn’t want anything to distract from it. He sure knows how to make me feel special.  We spent that first night staying up reminiscing about high school and I thought I would surely have internal organ damage from laughing so much. When it reached the wee hour of the morning, I left for my family’s house in Searcy.  As he walked me out, I said, “This was really fun. I am so glad we finally met up. Wanna do it again tomorrow night?” His response, “Absolutely.” So, the next night we grabbed a pepperoni pizza and came back to his house to watch a movie. I didn’t have to be at school on Monday till 12:45 because of Parent Teacher Conferences, so I had planned to stay an extra night.  As we were watching the movie (on his very uncomfortable couch),  I was having a hard time getting comfortable. I had pillows and was propped up on my side of the couch. I felt Heath studying me and he quietly said, “ummm…you can come over here if you want to. (pointed to his side/shoulder, indicating a perfect snuggle position. Woo!) It will probably be more comfortable for you.” I smiled and said, “okay.” A big smile came over his face, “yeah? Okay.” Then enter awkward movement by yours truly in order to get to cute boy. I like to think that if we had been taped, it would have been the funniest/cutest thing ever. Once my head hit his shoulder and my body spooned to the side of his, he let out a big, nervous sigh, kind of like, “okay…she made it. Good job.” Later that night he said, “I have a surprise for you!” He went to another bedroom and returned with all of our yearbooks from 1st-12th grades, our class photos, and his senior memory book. We devoured them, laughing at our outfits, how my signatures were always the same, and remembering “that one time…” The last thing we looked at was his senior memory book. As he flipped, I learned that gas was 1.59 a gallon and other fun facts. I noticed, though, that when it came to the graduation page, he nonchalantly flipped it. I told him to go back, I wanted to see! He got nervous and said he was going to get us some bottled water. As he did, my eyes scanned the pages. Who are you going to miss the most: “Josh Edwards and Jordan Simmons”. “How sweet!” I thought. Then my eyes caught, What was the most memorable moment of graduation: “Well, this isn’t my favorite memory, but I will never forget seeing Jordan cry because her grandmother had been able to come, when she didn’t think she was going to.” OH.MY.WORD. No one knew about that, but he did for some reason. I had forgotten all about that memory until reading it at that moment, and as he shyly came back with the bottled waters, I wanted to kiss him right on the mouth. But I didn’t :)   

The next weekend, I surprised him.  Well, Lucy and I both did. I was nervous surprising him with my dog with his OCD (btw. Our first date, I rearranged some of his alphabetized books/DVDs while he was in the bathroom…and about 30 minutes later, he figured them all out!) He thought I was out of town for the whole weekend, but I cut it short and sent him a text when I hit exit 48 that said, “oh boy, you’re in for it now. I just took Exit 48.” He was so excited, and we stayed up watching Conan O’Brien reruns. Lucy (I’d only had her for a week) left a couple presents in one of his extra bedrooms. I freaked out when I realized it and said, “umm…heath, there is a situation in one of your bedrooms…where are your cleaning supplies?” He told me they were in his laundry room. I go in…do a clean up, get it looking nice…then I took back the supplies. He was in his bedroom and didn’t see my next move. As I returned the stuff, I noticed he had Febreze Air Effects and Extra Strength Febreze. Thinking I could take it to the next level, I used both. I had the Air Effects in one hand and the Extra Strength in the other. I went to town on the whole room. Covered every surface. Well…the next day, I hear back from Heath. “So…you used the extra strength Febreze, huh?” me, “Yes! I wanted to make sure there wasn’t a trace of Lucy smell in there.” Heath, “umm…well that wasn’t Febreze…that was bleach solution that I use for my vents. I had ran out of Febreze not too long ago and used the bottle as a spray bottle for my solution, and seeing as I live alone, I knew it and didn’t label it.” Y’all, he could have performed surgery in that room, I had used that much. I thought I was going to pass out, and I thought, “oh. my. goodness. he is going to stop seeing me. I FRIGGIN BLEACHED THE WHOLE ROOM. BED. CARPET. COMFORTER. AHH!”  I have still not seen that room. But…he was so sweet about it, “you didn’t know! It is ok. It isn’t  a big deal.” It was then that I thought that this boy was absolutely a keeper.
Anyway, throughout the weeks that followed, we shared our first kiss, and it was sweet and precious, just as I expected. What I appreciate so much about him is what a gentleman he is to me. He has shown me so much respect when most guys try things right off the bat. It is refreshing. We also have been going to church together when I come home. This has been a great thing for both of us. I have enjoyed going to church and then talking about the sermon in his truck on the way to lunch. It is such a special time for me. On November 25th (my birthday) he turned to me that after noon and said, “Hey, Jordan. Will you be my girlfriend?” It was asked in such a precious way that is uncommon to our times. Of course I said yes. Later, I texted him something like, “Hey, Boyfriend.” He replied, “Oh, I like the sound of that. I’ve been waiting for that for 20 years.”
So if you’re wondering why I refer to him as Boyfriend, now you know why :)

…and the story continues…



ChristiJ said...

Sweetness. <3

Quinn said...

Is it okay if I live vicariously through you?? :)