I was 15 when I moved to Texas. We joined a very small church south of Dallas and I was miserable.
Jeremy was a 21 year old college student at that time, and part of a singing group. He also became a part of the same very small church that I went to because they were in need of a volunteer worship leader and he was their answer to prayer.
When I met Jeremy I was initially impressed by his sense of style. He had that 1990’s American Eagle look- sweater vest, carpenter jeans, and chunky Doc martins. His hair was parted down the middle and fell right at his cheek bones.
He sang and played guitar, which was cool. He was also sensitive, popular, and most importantly he loved the Lord. The only mark I had against him was his disinterest in punk and ska music. Of course, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t see him as a candidate for a potential life partner. I was 15, and at the time 6 years was the equivalent of 2 decades. I always had some sort of admiration for him though. I even remember telling one of my friends “Jeremy is a really cool guy and if he wasn’t so OLD I’d marry him.”
The next few years Jeremy and I got to know one another a lot more. I was able to open up to him. This meant that I would tell him endless stories about the guys I liked that came in and out of my life. One after the other I would fall head over heals for someone other than Jeremy.
I was never serious with any of them, but I might of fell into the category of “boy crazy”. One time a guy broke up with me and I felt so upset I called my mom from school to tell her I was sick and needed to come home. She was working so she called the church to see if our pastor could help out. Who would show up to rescue the pitiful, broken hearted, 16 year old? None other than her dear friend Jeremy.
I pouted all the way home. Jeremy saw through my performance and said “you’re not really sick are you?” so I broke down and told him everything. Here is an except of a journal entry from that day.
“Jeremy and I talked and it made me feel a lot better. I think that there is much more of an understanding between us now. He has made me realize a lot. We talked for a few hours. Time always flies when I am talking to Jeremy. Except, he thinks I shouldn’t date and I say maybe I won’t date anyone at this moment, but I am not totally anti-dating like Jeremy is.”
I may have had my little relationships throughout high school, but that is not to say that Jeremy didn’t have his own love triangle. Girls flocked to him and he didn’t exactly shy away from the attention. And for someone who had no feelings for him whatsoever, I sure did let it bother me. In fact half the time my feelings toward him were nothing short of hostile. I think you would define what we had as a love/hate relationship.
I don’t think there is any better way to tell this part of the story than to let my journal entries speak for themselves . If they don’t make sense it’s because I was a very confused 17 year old trying to deny the fact that I was jealous of Jeremy hanging out with another girl, who for the purposes of this blog we will call “Christy”. I am well aware of how ridiculous I sound in all of these confessions, but I do appreciate the honesty, passion, and intensity of my emotions back then. Unfortunately it was all overshadow by a heap of confusion. I guess sometimes that’s just the way love is.
“Today we saw Toy Story 2 for the second time and Jeremy came with us. Jeremy is so weird. I love him but sometimes I just wish I could figure him out. He will be really cool to me one day and ignore me the next. Right now he is fine, but he never tells me what he is doing. Not that it is any of my business, but it just seems like it wouldn’t be that big of a deal.”
“Today Jeremy and some other friends were over and I will admit they get on my nerves a lot. I guess because Jeremy and I used to be close but now it’s all just a joke. We make shots at each other and that is like our whole relationship.”
“Jeremy and Christy were over again and they are really close now. I doubt they would ever admit to it being anything more than friends, but I don’t know, either way I say take your flirtyness and get out of my house with it! Okay I understand I am being mean, but I have a good explanation if I could get into it.”
“Today Jeremy was fairly nice to me. He apologized for being rude and it made me want to cry. I still think he hates me though.”
“Jeremy and I are cool now. We went shopping together after school and talked a lot about him and Christy and why they get on my nerves sometimes.”
“On Friday Jeremy and Christy were as clingy as ever. Everything is cleared up between me and them, but I have to admit I still get very annoyed by them. My mom doesn’t understand why I am bitter but she doesn’t see the same side of Jeremy as I do, but don’t get me wrong I love the guy to death and I would do anything for him.”
The next journal entry changes everything! Just to fill in some of the gaps here Craig is a guy that had been interested in me. We had gone out a few times, and he was perfect boyfriend material, but I just never felt connected with him.
“Yesterday was absolutely horrible. I had no valentine and was exhausted from working ALL WEEKEND. I got home from school and I just went in my room and cried. Then my mom came in and told me I had a visitor. It was Craig so I tried to pull myself together and went out there, and we talked for a long time.
You know what? I know I’ve been acting weird and emotional. I’ve just felt different lately. So I am going to leave out all of the details of my lame teenage life for just a moment. I may get to talking about it all sooner or later, but for now I am just going to write.
Jeremy is sick tonight. He just has the flu, but I feel bad for him. I know I have said a lot of mean things about him but he is the greatest guy I have ever known (or at least one of). I love him very much in a way that I cannot explain. It’s not romantic love, or brotherly love, or even friendly love, I don’t know what it is but I care about him a lot and it kills me to see him sick.”
So that was it, that was the moment that everything changed. There I was just scribbling away as usual and suddenly, I just couldn’t do it anymore. Jeremy felt bad and I felt bad for him, deeply.
I would have never remembered any of that or even known that it had happened if I hadn’t written it down. Eventually things came out in the open between Jeremy and I. He proposed to me in the summer and we married in the fall. I know it’s crazy, but that’s our real life story. Four kids and 21 years later, I make no apologies.