Story of Us… THE CONFERENCE
Story of Us… THE CONFERENCE
If I said the next few months were fun, it would be a lie. I couldn’t shake him. And it wasn’t just him. It was the idea of being discarded that constantly nagged at my heart and head. He hadn’t even really gotten to know me before he decided he didn’t want me. Was I really that deplorable? How, at first glance, did he decide that I wasn’t worth the time? Did I have some kind of signal I was putting off that I wasn’t aware of? Did guys just look at me and say, “ Uh, no thank you… she’s absolutely a waste of my time.”
I’m sure none of this went through his mind, but it’s what I felt. I just wanted to know why? Was it anything I had done at all or was he just so aloof that he could tell a girl he’s interested and the next week just say “Sike!”. Did he do this with a lot of girls? Maybe he told several girls he was interested at the same time and then took a poll to see who was into him so he could have more of a selection. You know, like a fisherman casting a net, so a bunch of unsuspecting minnows can be swallowed up and then sifted for the fisherman’s approval. Well, as a rejected minnow, I felt lost at sea. I did my best to hide my heartbreak…still didn’t do it well though. But I stayed busy with church and things.
At least there would be a good distraction this weekend. The middle schoolers were going to a conference. Ok, I know “conference” doesn’t sound fun, but think “concert” with long commercial breaks of biblical teaching and you’re probably closer to the actual idea of the weekend. They were totally fun and I could use the distraction. Jaime wasn’t going since she was in high school, but I still got to hang out with some other friends like Ryan and Brittany.
Ryan was our worship pastor’s son. He was hilarious and loved to make absurd jokes usually at his own expense. Brittany was a friend from basketball. She was kind of shy and awkwardly funny. She and Ryan had been best friends forever. It was going to be a good break from my monotony.
We boarded the bus and all clamored for seats near friends. Ryan, Brittany and I got seats near the back and started cracking jokes and having fun. This was just what I needed. After an hour or so on the road, Brittany leaned forward to see me around Ryan and said, “So how are you going to be around Jordan this weekend?”
I think all the blood rushed from my face. “What do you mean? He’s not going to be there. Jaime would’ve told me if he were going to be there.” The conference was in Orlando, so it would make sense for Jordan to show up, but I had talked about this event SEVERAL times in front of Jaime and she never said anything! She would’ve said something, for sure. There’s no way.
“ Oh. I don’t know.” Brittany looked as if she’d gotten in trouble. “That’s just what Brycie told me.” Brycie was Jaime’s other best friend and Brittany’s older sister. Apparently, a much better best friend because she told her information that would have been VERY good to have before this trip! I sat back in my seat and just silently planned. Man! If I had known I would’ve packed so differently!! Who wants to spend the whole weekend with the guy who rejected you in baggy t-shirts and long shorts!? Why didn’t I pack my heels? That wouldn’t have been obvious. Ugh! I was just going to have to work really hard to look like I wasn’t working hard at being ok. Easy enough.
Every mile marker seemed to span 10 miles. How long did it take to get to Orlando?? When we finally pulled in, I realized that we weren’t even going to stop by the hotel so I could spruce up. We would go straight to the church where the conference was for the first session. Just give up, Kay. It is what it is.
The adults made their way as we followed to a section to the far left of the house….. and there he was. Seated on the second row. His hair gelled, sticking perfectly straight…. with his girlfriend. There he sat with his muscular arm draped around her slim little shoulders. I was trying not to hate a girl I had never met. This trip sucks.
Our leaders kept walking and I just prayed they would stop and pick a seat already! We were getting seriously close to Jordan and his group. They kept walking, and walking, and walking. STOP ALREADY! PICK A SEAT…ANY SEAT!… They did. They picked the row directly in front of Jordan. Are you kidding me, people?? This could not be worse. Now, not only did I have to see him throughout the conference, but I had to constantly be worrying about how my butt looked in my middle school, high waisted, long seamed shorts every time we stood up!
You know what?? I’m done! I’m done caring. I’m done allowing what he thinks about me to occupy my mind. I hope my butt looks bad. I hope it looks huge! I hope my makeup is smeared and clothes are wrinkled because then he will know that I put no effort into seeing him today! You know why? Because I didn’t know he was coming and I am grossly underprepared for this situation but more than that… Because he doesn’t matter to me! I’m done!
The group scattered around that row, taking up more space than needed. I cut in front of Brittany and went and sat directly in front of Jordan giving him a quick and perky, “Oh hi!” before sitting. Perfect. It was brief and distant.
I felt his presence the whole conference, but I was determined to remain aloof and uncaring. Yeah, this was better. I totally don’t care that the perfect guy is behind me with someone else; someone he actually cares about. Someone he can actually see. Can I just go home yet?