I'm not very athletic. To put it frankly, I'm a klutz. I trip up the stairs and over cracks in the sidewalk. I bump into tables and walls, not to mention knocking my head on inanimate objects. Don't ask me to bring you a cup of coffee...it will spill upon arrival. I'm just not graceful. So, when the pastor announced from the pulpit the following Sunday that there would be a young singles bowling outing, I sort of shivered at the thought. I quickly decided I would not go. The idea of bowling in front of the other young singles from church didn't really sit well. I could envision myself, poised with 5lb. bowling ball in hand and, upon releasing it, slipping on the oiled alley and falling for the amusement of all. Yeah, not happening.
So, when Brent asked, "Do you bowl?" I sort of panicked. 'Ummm...no, not really.' I explained my tendency to fall unprovoked, but that didn't seem to phase him. 'Just come with us, it will be fun." So, I agreed. Begrudgingly.
Friday arrived, and after a full day of trouble-shooting bank statements with customers, I was beat and decided a night at home was in order. I called a few friends and let them know my change of plans, then threw on my grubbiest t-shirt, washed my face and planned to eat dinner and watch movies with my grandparents (they were sweet to let me crash with them for the summer, since they were close to my work and the church).
The phone rang and my grandma handed it to me, whispering with a slight smile, 'It's for you...it's a boy!' I sort of grinned and rolled my eyes and took the phone. "Hey Nikki, it's Brent..." My heart pounded out of my chest and my stutter returned. "Uh-hi...um...how are you?" "Good, but I heard you're not coming tonight?" "Yeah," I said, "I'm so tired and had a rough day. I thought I'd hang out here tonight."
There was a long pause, and then, "Well, I'm not really interested in going either. You wanna go to a coffee shop, or go hang out somewhere?" I told myself this is NOT a date. Two people can get coffee. No big deal. We're just friends. So I said, "Sure. But, I'll warn you. I don't have on any make-up, my hair is in a ponytail, and I'm not dressing up." Without hesitation Brent said, "fine by me! I'll pick you up in 20 minutes."
My grandma tried to convince me to get 'dolled-up' but I reminded her it wasn't a date and Brent didn't care what I looked like. I did agree to at least change out of my holey Northwest tee and put on something a bit more presentable and add a 'touch' of blush...all just to appease my sweet g-ma.
Exactly twenty minutes later we found ourselves walking around Barnes and Noble on the Plaza in KC. I don't exactly remember every detail from our conversation, but I can tell you there was a lot of laughing, and we pretty much covered the gamut of life topics. He was easy to talk to and I knew I had gained a great friendship. We moved on to Latte Land (yep...real place) and drank our coffee and talked until they gave us the boot.
He took me home and before I got out of the car he said, "Now, wasn't that better than going to bed at 8:00?" I agreed, and thanked him for letting me tag along. He walked me to my grandparents front porch (even after I adamantly insisted it wasn't necessary...). He walked back to his car and I gave him the 'thanks for a great time' wave and then, I tripped...
To be continued...