Life went on.
Over the course of the next weeks my pattern didn't change any. I went to work, I flirted, I went home. I woke up the next day and did it again. Occasionally, I'd find some guy or other to hook up with but it was always brief and always without future.
One day, I stopped in at Cole's house for something and as I was walking in the door, down the stairs came Mr. Teal!!! With NO SHIRT!!!!
Let's just say I was impressed again and fumbled about for something impressive to say or do myself. I came up empty and the opportunity came and went without much to help my plight.
Halloween also came and went. I'd dressed up in the same costume as Terri had for work that morning. She'd rented a Court Jester costume and worn it to work and I'd worn it that evening. Two for the price of one! It was the first time I'd dressed up for Halloween in 6 or 7 years. And it was pretty much a dud. Nothing to write home about. I was hoping for something remarkable. I simply got a pink and black face. Really there is no point in my sharing this, but I'm hoping you'll enjoy it as trivia, and a picture!
And then, for no explainable reason, I happened upon a ray of hope.
Cole had gotten up a party of dancers again on a Tuesday night, this time, November 5th, 1991 and we'd all headed down to the Wildcat House to dance the night away. And guess who joined in? Yep, you guessed it, Mr. Teal!!
I'd heard some of the others talking over their need to head home early that evening as they had a test early the next day. In fact, everyone had a test the next morning. What great luck!! I made my move! When the party was breaking up, I asked the group casually if anyone wanted to go over to Carrow's, an all night restaurant to hang out a bit more. I was banking on the fact that they'd all say no since they had to study and sleep in preparation for their tests.
What I hadn't banked on was the fact that Mr. Teal too, had a test the next day.
Once again, my hopes deflated and I went home alone. (can you tell what a yo-yo my emotions were?!)
By some miracle however, at around 1:00 in the morning, my phone rang and who was on the other end but Mr. Teal himself! 'Would you still like to get something at Carrow's tonight?' he shyly offered. Ummmm, YES, yes I would! My plot had worked, just a bit more slowly than I'd expected!
I drove over to Carrow's and we went in together and sat in a booth.......all night long!
It was the first time I could remember having a connection with a man. I can't tell you what all we talked of, or what we ate, or what we were wearing. What I remember is a feeling of euphoria that told my heart I'd come home.
When 5:00 AM rolled around it seemed like we ought to call it a night......er....morning. Mr. Teal (yes, it's actually Jeremy for those of you who've been dying to know) and I stood, face to face trying to figure out how to end our conversation. Perhaps one of the silliest things I've ever said has become one of our 'held onto' memories. 'Can I give you a hug so we can call this a date?' I queried. Jeremy agreed and that became known as our first date.
It was the beginning of the REAL story of my life. It was through Jeremy, with all of his own flaws and imperfections, that God was going to bring new life, REAL LIFE into my broken spaces. It was through Jeremy, who hadn't the slightest idea what he was getting when he said 'sure, give me a hug', that God would do what can only be described as a miracle.
Stories get more difficult to tell as you begin to involve the people you live with so I hope you'll bear with me as I begin sharing the next bit. I'll have to leave some things out to respect the people I love with today, but I hope God will allow you to see the work He's done in me and in my family.
If you've come this far with me, I want to say THANK YOU. The writing of my story to this point has been a journey I never expected to go on. There are ways without number that God has used these musings to speak to my damaged heart and expose things I didn't even know were hidden. So thank you for allowing me to get it all out there. I hope that in some way, this has blessed you as well.
Now, on to the story of Jeremy and Danielle!