I’ve made a point to be really upfront with my female friends about relationships. If I haven’t told you that I’m interested in you romantically, I’m not. I was painfully aware that through our communication, Hannah was becoming deeply attached to me.
I told a close friend about it and he joked that I should head to Kentucky and get married. This was the last thing on my mind! I wrote a letter to Hannah detailing how relationships changed, and citing the fact that when C.S. Lewis married, most of his female corespondents stopped writing. There was however, one woman in the states, who simply remained a friend, until Lewis passed away, and I referenced how their friendship remained the same after marriage. It was one of the only times I’ve made Hannah cry.
It’s strange to find that you’re romantically interested in someone who lives in another state, and as my internship with Mars Hill came to a close, I realized that I was being drawn back to Kentucky.
My family had moved there the year before. We were becoming more than just friends and whereas a month earlier, I had tried to send signals that we were only friends, I began to embrace our relationship in a way that I hadn’t previously recognized. It took my by surprise, really.
I was getting off work one day, and Hannah texted me, mentioning that she needed to talk to me about something really important. I immediately assumed that she was going to mention something about us becoming more than friends, and as I thought about this, I was really comfortable with it. However, just a few minutes later, she texted me again, stating that the meeting wasn’t what I thought it was about. This really confused me, as I thought I knew exactly where she was coming from. If she didn’t want to talk to me about becoming more than friends, then the only logical (not really) explanation, was that she wanted to end our friendship! I spent that Sunday at church, listening to sermons and praying, and then went out for burgers and a pint with my friends. It was horrible, and I knew that I needed to determine exactly what was going to happen in our relationship when we talked on Monday.
Hannah on the other hand, had absolutely no idea I was interested in her. Among the messages, and emails, and writing, she assumed that I was totally oblivious. We knew each others friends, but to some extent, there was a gap of communication, and while Hannah confided in her friend Olivia, and I in two of my guy friends, Paul and Trevor, the lines never crossed. At least we have good confidential friends, right?
That Monday, I rushed through my work, ate a hurried lunch and took two extremely slow buses back to my home. With time to kill, I washed some dishes, though I’m not entirely sure if they were totally clean or not. Finally, the time came, and I logged into Skype, to a beautiful woman with curled auburn hair and a pretty red dress. We made small talk. Anything and everything. Talked about my internship ending, the weather, Seattle and Kentucky. She was nervous and I could tell because of how her voice pitched a little and how she was totally skirting what she really wanted to talk about. I was nerves too.
“Hannah, you can tell me. It’s okay.” I started. We’d talked about hard things before, and we weren’t normally shy people. I swear she blushed. “It’s okay, Hannah, I have three sisters.” I’ve no idea why I thought that was reassuring, but apparently it did the job. Hannah locked down her emotions and took the plunge, “Well, I’ve been talking to Olivia (a close friend), and telling her about how I have this really big crush on you…” I took the reigns. “You know I’m moving back to Kentucky in a month, and then maybe out to the oil fields in North Dakota afterwards?” Hannah nodded. “I don’t know how things will work out, Hannah, but I’d like to pursue a relationship with you.”
I don’t think a woman has ever heard sweeter words, unaccompanied by a ring.
Hannah was joyful, but reserved and we made casual conversation about my plans after moving back to Kentucky. The conversation ended and we hung up the call. I collapsed onto my small bed, hardly believing what had just happened. I was going to start dating my best friend!