It is probably best to go ahead and get this next part of the story rolling before I ended up back in Dallas. My free time will probably be absorbed with all the assignments I have saved for April (which is altogether a different thing than procrastination). Maybe not though, but for sure this Monday will be spent getting back into the swing of things and unfortunately resuming work (which is only unfortunate because I would rather do other things, not that it is unfortunate to have a job, and a good one at that). Anyway, throughout the rest of this segment, I’ll try to keep parenthetical statements to a minimum (those are these sorts of things I set off in parentheses), and keep things straight and to the point.
When we left the story last I was either already home or well on my way; my time in Ohio was short lived and I got back in good time and resumed life as Starbucks opening shift supervisor and began my 2nd to last class for my undergrad (the History of Life, a rather dubious title to say the least). Chronologically, this is now the first of May (because Fall of Troy’s Manipulator came out May 1st and I got when I got back), and on my end, things will not change too much until mid-August. For Ali, however, quite the opposite would prove true.
As one road trip was not quite enough, I planned on driving down to Florida at the end of June for one of the weekends that Word of Life camp was off. This was quite independent of Ali, as I had other friends in Florida (Michael, Matt, Todd, and others), but seeing her was definitely a motivating factor. In the meantime, Ali and I virtually worked similar schedules and in light of this, began noticing quite a few other parallelisms in our respective lives that more or less turned into a running joke over time. This would manifest itself in one of us warning the other when something, like say a flat tire occurred, for this almost certainly meant it would soon happen to the other person. You can’t employ the parallelism rigidly (just like in poetry) but there were several times when our lives seemed to mirror one another.
We had also been talking more or less regularly, to what extent, I can’t remember, but it’s fair to say somewhere between weekly and bi-weekly (assuming of course that such a thing exists). This tapered off though once we rolled into June as Ali made the move from Lynchburg back to Florida to be a unit leader at Word of Life Camp for the summer. For her, as was my experience in working at Word of Life after being away for a year, this would coincide with a regress in clear decision making on her part. In both of our instances, this was in spite of an otherwise on-the-ball-ness spiritually and quite significantly, for both of us our lapse was a catalyst in moving us both forward in our movement toward Christ-like-ness.
Come end of June, I ended up down in Florida, mainly for bro-time (or bro-down if you prefer) but Ali and I had quite the reunion at campfire. Much to the chagrin of one notorious Jack _______ (last names aren’t used to protect the guilty) she ran right past him and nearly tackled me upon after spotting me in the waning dusk. From this point on and rightly so, Jack stared daggers at me (which I just returned with a grin) the whole weekend I was down there as Ali was more than overjoyed to see me. This of course is not an exaggeration, and can be confirmed by anyone who happened to see her interact with me that weekend (just ask Jack).
We didn’t particularly spend an exorbitant amount of time together. We talked at campfire, had dinner (sort of, it was more of an extended convo after dinner), and hung out over for a while at the RV I was staying in. Jack, as she let me know was not just some random guy, but was of course, way into her (which made sense of the daggers). Wherever she personally was at this point, at the time she made it seem to me that she wasn’t that interested, but wasn’t altogether turned off by the way idea. We talked of course as friends, since it hadn’t quite occurred to me yet that me dating her was a real option (although I wasn’t turned off by the idea). Come to find out though later, the night before I left she had been praying for a sign about whether to be open to being pursued by either me or Jack, so apparently at this point there was at least vague interest in both of us. Not knowing this of course, I left early on Monday morning and Ali (like in VA) had me come meet her before I departed. This time I decided would be a good time to inform her that in becoming the friend that she had, she had restored my faith in girls (as I had indeed lost it a couple of months before). This was uttered in a moment of embrace, which lingered but didn’t last, and then in the twinkling of any eye, I left Ali once again, only this time, over a year would elapse before we meet again.
Oh what a story that will be! Much like the abundance of parenthetical statements in this part of story, we will find that sometimes your intentions don’t actually make it into reality, and also, sometimes decisions of immediate convenience tend to outweigh decisions of ultimate desire. Oh, and sometimes, rather obvious signs (“You restored my faith in girls”), tend to be lost on the person who is intently looking for them. Oh well, it’s ok though, I wouldn’t be writing this if I didn’t win in the end.