Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chapter Five: 1X6 Feet Fate

A few days later, Mom walked in to the kitchen as I was on the computer chatting with one of my camp friends. “Are you talking to a boy?” she asked me. “Yeah, why?" I questioned. “I could tell by the look on your face," she replied. She seemed to always know what was going on. I guess that’s what moms do.

“Guess what?” she continued.

I told my friend to hold on for a few minutes and I turned around to Mom. “What?” I asked.

“The Gatsby family called the Church; they are moving here in the Fall!" she said.

“Great!!” I was so excited and relieved to get a new Youth Pastor right before the start of my Senior year. What perfect timing! And honestly, that was the first thought that went through my mind. That whole “maybe Darin will think I’m cute” bit that I thought months before had floated FAR away from my mind by then; I could have cared less what he thought actually, and I was excited that the Lord provided for our Church. I was happy to gain a new friend, of course, but happier more for the provision for our youth group.

Darin and his sister moved to our town the week before school started, and his parents were going to move in two weeks later. Darin stayed with his best friend, Rusty and his family. Rusty was the ex-boyfriend from years previous that I mentioned, and one of my best friends throughout the rest of High School and College. Darin and Rusty’s families were great friends and met together every summer at a big week long church event.

From my understanding, Darin and the newest Truth and Peace girl e-mailed all summer and talked quite frequently; they seemed to really like each other. She was going to college, and he was moving to a new town. I hoped that it worked out for them because she was a very dear friend to me; I just loved her. I don’t know that I actually wanted her to date him because of his track record with our girls, but oh well, they seemed to be having fun.

We threw the Gatsby's a “Welcome” party at the parsonage and it was the first time I got to visit with Darin’s mom. She had a picture album stuffed full of pictures of her kids, family, old friends, their home town and whatnot. She was showing them to me and narrating every one. She showed me one and said, “this is Darin’s ex-girlfriend (the diabetic-coma-girl by the way – I finally had a face to put with this poor thing!); we all thought they would get married," she told me. I was thinking, “yeah right – he blew that chance last year when he ditched her for Samantha”. Instead of voicing my thoughts, I simply smiled and feigned interest in his past love interest. Then she turned to a more recent picture of Darin with the girl from town – the new fling. “Just look at how cute they are together! I just know they are going to get married!!” she continued. What was with the parents of my town trying to instill arranged marriages these days? Poor kids. I laughed at her antics and optimism for the two, and continued on with the party. We had a great time, and it was awesome getting to know the family on a more personal level. I knew our Youth Group was about to explode!

School started a few days later, and it was so exciting to be walking in as a Senior. I felt different….older, more sophisticated…like I should be wearing high heels and a pant suit, patting the little Freshman on the head like wide-eyed puppies, and telling them it was going to be okay. I didn’t. I wore jeans, a cute new shirt, sandals and smiled at the petrified Freshman as they roamed the halls searching for their first class. I always loved the first day of school – going to new classes, finding out who has each class with you, and trying to get a feel for what the year was going to be like. I had every single solitary class with my best friend, Amber, as I did every year.

I walked through the front doors, greeting everyone who passed me and smiling from ear to ear. “Oh, Heather, you look fantastic! Have you lost weight?” I lied. “Johnny – hey! I missed seeing you this summer!!” I lied again. Hey, it was always proper to throw out compliments galore the first day, right? I strolled through ready to face the world. I mindlessly went to my locker that I had the year before, because I requested to keep it, and began to put in my brand new back pack.

“Hey! My locker is right beside yours!” I heard someone say.

I turned around to see the 6’4” Darin Gatsby looking right at me, smiling from ear to ear. Literally. His smile is that big.

“And it’s weird – they said this was the only free locker in the entire school!” he said.

Great. “Lucky, lucky me” I sarcastically thought.