“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” -Amos 3:3 KJV
John and I have known each other for over 25 years. We lived and played in the same volatile community as neighbors. For six years, we attended the same primary school and sat in the same classes. However, things changed when we went to different traditional high schools. Even though our high schools were located next to each other, our paths never crossed. We were in close proximity yet distance apart. The English phrase that best epitomized our relationship in high school was ‘out of sight, out of mind’ in other words ‘forgotten like tears in the rain’. He moved away and we never saw each other again until many years later.
In a more distant time when we were innocent and angelic, John was my first crush. At an earlier age, I distinctly remembered that he had the kindest eyes, a winsome smile and a good-natured spirit. He was smart, playful and caring. My interest for him grew more when he became my neighbor. We had so much fun telling stories, playing with marbles and elastic bands, jumping ropes, somersaulting across the open space and even re-enacting the roles of a teacher in a classroom with all our friends who lived close by.
Most times without warning, our fun would be interrupted by the beckoning call of his mother for him to return inside the house. As expected, we were always on the lookout for any approaching vehicle when his mother was not at home. This was his cue to retreat from ‘idle play’ as his mother would often dub our daily escapades. John and I remained friends throughout our early childhood years. In fact, the crush I had on him was kept a secret when I saw that he was happy with the beautiful Gina.
Surprisingly, John and I chose the same profession. I found this out when I saw him on my first day at my new job. At that time, I was working in a rural community many miles away from the city and in the least likely place to reconnect or to be working with a former schoolmate. I had recently moved from my old neighborhood to a more peaceful, residential area in the city. I could not believe that John and I were also living on the same adjoining street. I spent eight months at my workplace and even though I loved the cool, fresh countryside air, I was very much in love with the city and I had found another job closer to home. You would not believe this, but unintentionally John and I resigned from our job the same day for the very same reason.
Shortly before I had resigned from my job, we had a moment of truth that would seem that neither of us was willing to hear. It came in the form of a question when our coworker wanted to know if we had ever considered dating each other. I assumed that he was embarrassed because of the horrid look that washed his face when he begged me not to answer. I was more than happy to honor his request because I was afraid of being rejected and I did not want to discourage him by saying I was dating someone else. However, it became one of my deepest regrets of not knowing how he felt about me.
We have managed to dodge our feelings of each other whether they were mutual or not. If I were to be honest, I have thought about dating John before and for the longest time wanted to tell him that he was my first crush. Sadly, even if we wanted to date now, it would seem impossible as we share a different Christian faith that would encourage both of us not to date each other.
An unhappy friend of mine shared that her relationship with her husband who is of a different faith was burdensome. She further complained that it was hard to work together when they were hardly ever on the same page. The differences in values, views and beliefs were always the things they argued about most and it became even more evident when they started their family that it was not the marriage they were expecting. Her advice was to not to quench the thirst of wanting to date John. Instead, I should cool the flames by moving on with my life by just remaining as friends. Is she right? What do you think?
P.S. John if you are reading this, being yourself is all you have to do to make my head spin.
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