There we were, on the dance floor, swaying from side to side...alone. Yes, the dance had ended in real time but in our world, the music played on. Our friends were all on the bleachers next to us taunting us. I was okay with their silly comments about love and stuff. I knew that most guys weren't into 'love' and I knew I wasn't so I felt safe. However, a friend then began chanting, "Kiss her". My mind went wild. What in the world was he thinking??? I wasn't prepared for a kiss. I barely knew this guy. Sure, I had kissed before but I was young and stupid then. I got a large lump in my throat. It seemed like hours had passed, while it was really only seconds. I looked up at Layne and saw his lips moving toward mine. My mind raced again. What to do?? Oh! What to do??? Do I duck and run? Do I turn and give him the cold cheek? Should I put my hand up and physically stop him? Would that embarrass him? I thought I might like him a little. I didn't want to make him think I wasn't interested....or that I was rejecting him. Should I give in and just kiss him? A tiny peck on the lips couldn't be that bad. No, I had decided to not kiss again until I felt it was God's leading. So many choices......God help me now!! And He did. I looked down. I am not sure why. The idea just popped into my head and I did it. I looked straight down. God is so good, especially in the small things that turn out to be huge things. Layne ended up kissing me on the forehead. His ego was saved, my lips were saved. Everyone would be happy. Our friends laughed and we had a good time. Only my heart was damaged.
See, he had tried to kiss me. So, my heart shut him out. I decided that he wasn't the one for me. I wasn't interested. I mean, come on, this guy kissed my forehead - what a dork. It happened that quickly. I had forgotten my desperate plea to God to save me, I had pushed His wonderful plan aside and placed the title of goober on this wonderful guy. I went home that night with so many feelings swirling around. I remember getting ready for bed and then lying down and writing in my journal. I wrote that I had fun with Layne and that he was great and funny. I wrote that I wanted to find a guy like him, just like him in fact. But not him. Not this poor guy who had been duped into kissing me. Not this guy whom my friends were certain was 'the one'. Nope. I foolishly decided I was better than him and could hold out for the best. I wish that hadn't been so full of myself and so prideful. My decision had horrible outcomes.
For starters, I avoided going to church and refused to listen to my friends as they begged me to talk to Layne. As for Layne, well, in between that night and our next dating encounter, he met someone else. Someone he made mistakes with. Mistakes that made it hard for me to accept him. And why? All because I had asked God to help and then refused to see His hands at work. Layne ended up moving in with this other girl. For months, my friends would sit around and talk about how to get him away from her. Then they began to sadly realize that he might be gone from their lives. As I would make jokes and do silly things, they would remark about how 'Layne would laugh at that', or that 'Layne would have said that'. It became hard to hang out with them. I hated the way it felt. I wished Layne would either move back home or get married. I prayed for him. I prayed for them to either stop living in sin or get married. I tried to get my friend to go over and befriend her. Maybe that would open their eyes to this sin. I can't tell you how hard I prayed. I prayed so hard, that I felt closer to Layne. I felt that we were old friends because I spoke with my Father about him so much. Funny how that happened.
One day in church, Pastor Tim gave a sermon that made me think of Layne. It was about the prodigal son. Layne was now living on his own but still not in church. So I wrote him a letter. I had no feelings for him. Just a desire to see him at church; to see his friends and family happy. He went on another trip with our group. We talked but still, he just wasn't my type. Our priorities were different. He began to come around more often. However, we didn't hang out. We were a lot alike. That made it difficult for us to be close friends. I still prayed for him, but it is hard to have two jokers around and so I kept my distance. I was just glad to have my friends all back to normal.
In the fall of '96, 2 of my friends decided I needed to be dating. They 'forced' me to go on my first real date. I agreed but secretly had my ways. I refused to let this guy pick me up at home and made him meet me at work. We went bowling and nothing else. I refused to eat with him. I set my pager to go off at a certain time(about 20-30 minutes into the date) and pretended to be called into work. I never spoke with him again. My friends continued to pressure me. I decided to 'make a deal' with Jesus, as if that were even possible. But in my mind it was and I did. I told God that I would say "yes" to the next guy who asked me out, no matter what. My only stipulation was that it had to be a guy that God lead to ask and so I asked that no one would ask that God wouldn't approve of. I prayed often about this. I began to think about Layne more often. And then there was this other guy. He was friends with Layne and I both. He was cute. So, I had 2 interests on the horizon... but who would ask me first?