Monday, August 23, 2010

Chapter Nineteen: It's All Fun and Games Til Someone Gets Hurt

Our flirting became even worse now that we both knew where we both stood. I grew to like him even more every day. I continued trying to keep my heart at a safe enough distance just in case the unimaginable happened. The school year seemed to fly by and Darin and I continued our Bible studies each week. We were growing more in love with the Lord and more in “like” with one another….and we were doing it together. It was one of the most challenging and best experiences of my life.

Prom was coming up and I desperately wanted him to ask me. I went with a big group of friends the year before and it was so much fun, but I wanted to be alone – with Darin – on my first REAL date, for my Senior Prom. The problem was, he wasn’t allowed to go to the Prom. His youth pastor parents thought it wasn’t a good idea and so he had never been to a dance in his life. Darin begged and pleaded with them to let him go because we were ALL going. Finally, they broke down and told him that he could come with us. And to make things easier and less awkward for our group of friends (and because Darin was broke and couldn’t afford to take me), we all went together.

The Sunday before prom, Darin had a soccer game. My friends and I always drove to wherever the game was to watch him play and we always had a great time. This particular Sunday afternoon was cold and damp. We arrived to the game and watched Darin do his thing. He was so good. I had a tendency to talk during games but when I heard a scream and everyone yell “ooooohhhhh” in unison, I looked up.

There was blood everywhere.

Darin went to head bunt the ball just as another guy jumped up to do the same thing. You can imagine what happened next. They collided and Darin’s nose was literally on the side of his face. It was unbelievable. We jumped in the car to race him to the ER and he got his keys out to drive. I grabbed them from him and yelled, “What are you doing?! Get in, I’m driving!” I took over and sped him to the Emergency Room with my heart racing. I could not look at his face. It looked absolutely awful – like he was in SO much pain.

We waited and waited and waited in the ER and they said he would need reconstructive surgery if he ever wanted his nose to look the same. They did it then and there (without meds) and Darin walked out swollen and black and blue – with a nose cast.

A week before his first and only Prom.

I felt horrible for him. Absolutely so sad. I wanted to go back in time and re-do that game. He was very discouraged and told his parents that he wasn’t even going to go to the Prom because of the way his poor nose looked. I went over to his house to try and encourage him and talk him into going, and he kept his face covered with a notebook the entire time I was there.

I got him laughing a little bit and I told him that it wasn’t an option – that he was going to the Prom with us no matter what because it just wouldn’t be the same without him. I even told him that we would ALL wear nose casts if he wanted. A few days later he came around and decided that he would go.

I was thrilled. After all, I wanted him to see how pretty I looked in my sparkly gold dress.