Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sunday Story Time: " I'm leaving on a Jet Plane..."

The day before I left for college was kind of no big deal, at least I thought so. Skunky had pretty much been avoiding me for like 3 weeks, and because I was getting increasingly nervous of how I thought he felt about me, I really didn't mind the lack in attention. I noticed it, for sure, but almost felt it as a relief. I would be able to go to school without feeling like I had and loose ends that needed to be tied up.

We were at work of course, and my co-workers had put together a small going away party ( with cake and cans of silly string involved!) to let me know how much they were going to miss me. We celebrated briefly at the end of my shift and, after all the hugs and wishes of good luck, I headed down the main isle to go clock out and get myself home so I could finish packing. Skunky stepped out of the isle in front of me with a sheepish smile.

" Hey."
" Hey! Long time no see!" I nudged him slightly in the arm...and then kicked myself for it. Why couldn't I ever be cool and reserved with this kid, like I should be??
" noticed that huh?"
I smiled in return and shrugged.
" I just...I knew you were leaving and I have a hard time saying goodbyes."
I smiled understandingly. " Yeah, I understand. But I'll be back next year! We can hang out then!"  Really Jenn?? Can you not control yourself?

His face brightened at the small ray of hope I had accidentally shed on him, and my heart sunk into the pit of my stomach. " Yeah I'd really like that." He paused a moment, and shuffled nervously. " Hey, I have something for you. It's small big, I just wanted to give you something."

He dug in is pocket for a second, and then brought out a small folded up piece of paper, and this:

It was very small, and obviously painstakingly handmade. A skunk offering me a flower. I was oddly...touched.
" Did you make this?"
" Yeah."
"'s really cute. Thank you." I leaned over and gave him an awkward hug.
He hugged me back...a little tighter then I was comfortable with...and then let me go and stepped back.
" me a favor, and don't read the note until later."
" Uh huh. Sure. No problem."
He shuffled his feet again, and I knew he was looking for a way to keep me talking longer. I glanced at my watch...I really did need to go clock out.
" Hey I have a friend who is traveling out to Washington for Spring Break. Maybe I could stop by and see you in Idaho. I've never been there before."

Never in a million years did I think this kid was going to scrounge up the money to take a trip to come see me in some po-dunk college town in Idaho. And the surety of that is what prompted me to reply:

" Yeah!! You should absolutely come see me! We'd have a great time!"

He smiled very broadly at me, and nodded. " Alright then, cool. I'll email you and we'll figure it out."  He stepped aside, signaling to me that he was ready to let me go.

I smiled at him again, clutching the small skunk and note in my hand, touched him on the arm again, and headed  down the isle to the back of the store.

I read the note when I got into my car. It was the first love letter that he would write me. He explained that he liked me a lot, and that it hurt to be around me knowing that I was going to leave, so he had instead decided to stay away. But staying away felt wrong too, and he felt selfish for putting his own feelings first, and he hoped that we could still remain friends when I went off to school.

I let my hands fall into my lap, and laid my head on my steering wheel. I was really in a bind. I wasn't really shocked at the confirmed what I had been suspicious of for a while. But I felt bad for him...I knew that I didn't feel the same way that he did. But he was a good friend...possibly had even become my best friend. So I didn't want to break his heart....and I didn't know how I could keep my friend and let him know there was no possibility for us to go anywhere other then just good friends.

I tossed the letter into my passenger seat, and started my car. I wouldn't see him again for another 8 months...surely his feelings would cool in that amount of time.

What I didn't realize that I was going to see Skunky again, a lot sooner then I was expecting to...

until next Sunday!

3 thoughts:

Kenyon and Jeannette Petersen said...

I'm totally enjoying reading your love story! I hate that I have to wait a whole week to read the next installment! Although because I'm a faithful blog follower I'll be reading it till you're done telling it! Glad "Skunky" comes home soonish!

Katrina said...

wow Jen your story is so good even tho I lived it with you, I had no idea what went on some of the time, but the main things I remember and I am glad that Skunky didn't give up on you, we have a wonderful Son-in Law and beautiful grandchildren. Love to you both.

Nana S. said...

Thanks for sharing your "love story". I too look forward to the next chapter. Skunky "the kid" is a very nice young man and we are proud to call him our grandson-in-law. Hugs.