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Story of Us… Rock the Universe!

Story of Us… Rock the Universe!
Story of Us… Rock the Universe!

I was so excited to be going with my youth group to Rock the Universe this year. It was going to be awesome. Plus One was going to be there (minus one guy, so “minus one”?), Rachel Lampa would be there and so many other cool bands. Jaime, me and our other friend, Merri Beth, were going to have so much fun! The best part? Jordan’s youth group was going to be there too! We boarded the bus and I just knew that he would finally see me as more than Jaime’s friend this time!

After the few hours it took us to get to Orlando, we hopped off the bus and gathered our normal group that we hung out with: me, Jaime, Merri Beth, Steve, Schusty, and our friend, Bob. Bob was a sweet kind of bigger guy that had started hanging around us. We didn’t mind. He was kind and really needed “a group”, so we said C’MON! We started making our way around Universal trying to figure out when all the bands were playing… well, that’s what everyone else was doing. I was distracted by every dark haired, good looking guy I saw. I kept trying to see if I could find Jordan anywhere. We stopped by a few rides and a couple bands. We had a blast and then, suddenly, it happened! There he was surrounded by a group of his friends! Out of the whole park, we literally just ran into him! Thank you, Lord!. He was there with his friends from church doing the same things we were. Maybe he’d been looking for me too. Jaime was the first to walk over and say hey and grab a hug from Jordan and his friends. I’m sure I gave an incredibly awkward “uh hey man” or something stupid like offer a handshake or something. We all knew each other or knew of each other from all the visits to and from Orlando and Ft Myers over the years. Well, except for Bob, so we introduced Bob to Jordan and his friends and then it was decided that we should all stay together for a while. A decision that I was absolutely fine with.

We didn’t see any bands that we wanted to see playing anytime soon, so we decided to hop on some rides until the evening concerts started up. I knew that this could be a perfect opportunity to get close to Jordan. Most of these rides are two-seaters; where the two have to sit pretty snugly in a little car together… perfect. We made our way to the first ride and I just couldn’t muster the courage to weasel my way beside Jordan. I decided I would play hard to get for this first one…you know, make him want me. The next ride I decided to make my move but couldn’t get next to him in line, and when you file in the cars single file, you have to be next to each other from the very start…lesson learned. The group decided to go to JAWS next. Dangit! This isn’t even a two person car ride. It’s a ride where you sit in benches. You can fit about 5 people in each row! I decided it would have to do because I was not going to fail again! You know what? Maybe this would work out even better? Sometimes people overestimate how many people can fit in a single row and you end up super squished in those little benches; everyone sitting basically in each other’s laps! This could be perfect. I just had to make sure to jump in line right in front of or behind him as soon as the line starts!!

We walked toward the pavilion and finally, God was on my side because I am in perfect position. And not even behind him. Somehow I managed to get directly in front of him so he could never suspect that I had been carefully planning my position. From the optics, it’s more likely that he was trying to get beside me! Who knows? Maybe he was! The line was surprisingly short as we walked through the ropes maze to get to the boat. This was awesome. I had timed it perfectly… not only would I sit by Jordan, but I got an aisle seat… BONUS! It was only then that I realized I hadn’t planned anything to say! What do I say? Do I try to be funny or sweet? Do I want to say something sexy or comment on how uncomfortable the seat is? Or should I not say anything at all and play the mysterious one? Why hadn’t I used those last two failed attempts to plan the perfect opening line? I got it. I would just sit and let him make the first comment. It’s simplistic and perfect. After all, I don’t want it to seem like this was part of an overly, kind of creepily thought out scheme, so we’ll just play it casual…just a smile as he sits would be perfect.

I slid into the seat as gracefully as possible. Trying to sit up tall and suck my stomach in as much as I could. I slid all the way down the bench and prepared to take my aisle seat. As soon as I made it all the way to the end, I turned with my best coy smile to see…. Bob??? What was Bob doing in the middle of my carefully crafted blocking? How did this happen? How did he get in between me and my plan? When did this happen? I was just next to Jordan not 90 seconds earlier! What changed in 90 seconds that kept me from getting my perfect moment with Jordan?? Grr. I was fuming. And on top of that, Bob kept wanting to be all chatty and all I wanted to do was throw him overboard and feed him to Jaws!

Jaime could tell I was upset, but couldn’t contain her giggles as she saw the whole ordeal happen. I walked over to her

“What happened?!”

“Jordan just let Bob in front of him.” she said giggling.

“ ugh… For all the time to be gracious. I’d be so mad at him if he weren’t even cuter for being kind!” I was equally annoyed with Jordan for being obviously oblivious as I was myself for being attracted to his kindness in spite of my foiled attempt to get close to him!

We headed over to hear one of the bands the guys wanted to see toward the front of the park when we ran into my older brother with some of his friends. Everybody from each group made teen introductions… head nods and “cool guy waves”, and then I introduced Jordan.

“This is Jaime’s cousin, Jordan and his friends” and went through all the guys that I knew. “This is my brother, Alan.”

They all said hey and Alan got a little smirk on his face.

“So your Jaime’s cousin. Yeah, I’ve heard a lot about you from…Jaime.”

I could sense Alan’s temptation to embarrass me. I swear, there have been a lot of instances in my life when I felt a compulsion to strangle my brother and this one is absolutely on the top of the list.

“Yeah, it’s nice to meet you man, ” Alan said, still sporting that smirk.

After some casual conversation, my brother pulled me aside.

“ So that’s the guy you like huh?”

“ I don’t know. Maybe. I’m not sure I LIKE him, but he’s kind of cool, I guess.” I was not very good at playing it cool.

“I don’t know, K. I just feel like you could do better.”

“Better? What do you mean? You just met him.”

“ I don’t know”

“ If you knew him, you wouldn’t say that, trust me. He’s a good guy, bro.”

“ Ok.”

The groups parted ways to listen to some good music.

It was getting pretty late and it was almost time to go. We just realized we hadn’t taken any photos! People started posing with friends and snapping their memories. Jaime, Jordan, and Adam got together, ready to take a photo. Jaime motioned to me, but I quickly volunteered to take the photo for the trio. I wished I had the courage to jump in a photo with Jordan, but he had a perfectly good opportunity to be next to me at JAWS and not only didn’t take advantage of but willingly and unnecessarily gave it away. Clearly, he was not into me and I wasn’t sure this was a night I would want to snap a photo of… not to mention I chickened out. We finished pictures, said goodnight and got back on the bus… what a bust.

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We are a family of four just trying to figure out what our "new normal" looks like in Manhattan! I'm Kayla, a 29-year-old creative with a passion for theater and writing. Jordan is a musician and experience pastor with a heart that loves people. And we have two awesome little girls, Jozlyn and Kendall. Our house is crazy...always full of energy and laughter.... and we have no idea what we're doing! Help us figure it out as we go!

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I'm Kayla. Mom of two, wife of one and new New York transplant. We're a family of four fumbling our way through our new normal in Manhattan! We're excited to learn as we go... we can't mess this up too bad, right? :)

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