I stood up and hoisted my heavy blue jansport backpack, with dangling stuffed Winnie the Pooh characters hanging off each of the zippers, onto my back. I walked down the hall with Rob to the room at the very end of the second floor that was set up as sort of lounge for off-campus students. It was the most likely location to enjoy a bit of privacy on campus, and I was grateful that we likely wouldn’t be spotted by too many other people.
Someone was already in there, so we poked our heads around the corner then began to excuse ourselves when she started to pack up and say, “No, it’s okay, I was just leaving.” Rob and I stood outside of the door for a few seconds and waited for her to make her exit before we entered the room.
I knew without a doubt that I was going to have an impossible time holding back the tears since that week had been such an emotionally charged time of my life.
And when I cry, or even get nervous, my whole face neck and sometimes even arms begin to turn a splotchy red. There is no denying it when the tears have fallen from my face. Sometimes it takes quite a bit of time for my face to return to its normal state after a good tear-fest. As I scoped out the room I was hopeful that I could regain my composure in privacy after our talk in this random secluded room in the middle of a bustling campus.
I took up a spot on a golden colored couch and Rob sat in a chair across the room. Behind him was a wall of windows, offering a view of many of the beautiful Spring colors that adorned the campus. Along with the privacy this room afforded, I was also grateful that it offered some scenery for me to stare out at, making it less noticeably awkward that I was having an incredibly difficult time looking Rob in the face.
I was on emotional overload at that point. In five short days I went from feeling the slight hope that maybe this man who captured my affection from day one (okay, really it was day five—but that story will come later) might be developing an interest in me as well, to the realization that he was actually doing his friend a favor by spending so much time with me. Then I went on a couple of dates with his friend only to realize that while my admiration and interest in his friend was growing by the day, I just couldn’t shake my strong feelings for this guy who was now standing in front of me, wanting to talk.
As much as I wanted Rob to return my affection I even more desperately wanted what God wanted for my life. I knew His plan was so much better than mine. So what if I found this guy, sitting five feet away from me more attractive than I had ever found any other man in my life? So what if his personality attracted me to him like a magnet whose force was so strong that I automatically began walking in his direction any time he was around? So what if he had already taught me so much, and raised the standard so significantly of what I wanted in the man I was going to marry? So what if he consumed so much of my thought-life those days?
If he wasn’t the man God had for me, than I knew He was preparing me for something better; something even more suitable for me. Something God could use for his glory. In my heart and soul I wanted nothing more than what God wanted for me. In the flesh, however, I wanted that to include this man settling into his chair just a few feet away.
But why, oh why did I have to be experiencing this moment right here? Couldn’t he have been a coward and written his explanation of severing our friendship in a letter that I could read (and cry over) in the privacy of my own dorm room? We had become friends to this point, but certainly not good enough friends let him see me cry. His determination to do the right thing by talking about it with me instead of just ignoring me or writing me a note made me admire him even more.
So, I bit my cheek and blinked my eyes rapidly trying to keep the tears from falling as long as possible. Maybe he’d make it short and sweet and I could hold back my tears until he left?
The conversation started out exactly as I had rehearsed it in my own head over and over again for the last hour. “Robyn, I just wanted you to know that I think you’re a great girl. And, I’ve really enjoyed getting to know you…”
I bit my cheek even harder, waiting for the magic next word, but…
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