Tomorrow holds two significant events for me.
The first is obvious (Date on the post should say Feb. 13th.) It’s Valentine’s Day!
At this point I’m sure I lost a couple of my readers. (Dang, I’m only down to one! Thanks for reading on.) I understand being single on Valentine’s Day and the sappiness that surrounds those who aren’t, so I don’t hold it against you.
The second is the one that holds a lot more meaning to me. It’s the day that this lovely lady was born.
I felt this gave me a great opportunity to show my appreciation for what I consider one of the greatest blessings in my life.
When I met Brooke I was 18. Even though I had no restrictions pertaining to dating age, I hadn’t really dated all that much. I had been more focused on school and my job to think about girls. Being an insecure teenager didn’t help much. At that point I’d been on two dates with two different girls that I’d worked with. (Brooke worked with me too actually. I didn’t get out much.) The first girl was nice enough. We joked, kind of clicked. I think I was most excited for the fact that I’d gotten up enough nerve to ask someone out. She was going off to college in a couple weeks, so it didn’t really go anywhere. It didn’t really affect me though. I liked her, but wasn’t sad that nothing came of it.
The second girl, was nice. I’d joked with her as well, but I didn’t really see her in the light of someone I was interested in dating. Our date came about because of a friend that liked her. He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do so he pushed me into asking her out to a local football game. Knowing my love of wrestling you can see where we went wrong to begin with. Also it didn’t help that he drove us to pizza and sat in the car the whole time. It made the whole dinner awkward. Oh, and the fact that I didn’t want to ask her out to begin with. He finally ended up dating her and it ended badly.
Shortly after these mediocre dates I’d began joking with another girl at work. I’d asked her if I could have her children and she good naturedly said “Sure.” I wasn’t sure she got my jokes or humor, so I didn’t really think much of it. It so happens a couple weeks later that the aforementioned friend and I went into work on our off hours to hang out. At the same time another group of coworkers were getting ready to leave on a group thing and beckoned us to come chat with them before they left.
That’s when I saw Brooke. It was the same girl that said I could have her children. Fortuitous, no?
I guess I’d never seen her outside of work before. When you work at a fast food place it’s hard to see anyone outside of their uniforms. You reek of french fries, burger meat, and sweat. Also I’m really oblivious sometimes so I could have seen her and not really registered it. Although if I had, how I would’ve not noticed or forgotten is beyond me.
I’d like to say that the first thing I noticed was her eyes. They’re a beautiful blue by the way and very noticeable.. Or that long red hair, it was down to her waist when I’d first met here and is also beautiful, but being the eighteen year old teenage boy that I was, I noticed something else. I’d say the the reason I noticed this particular feature was because her tight t-shirt had a large “Get Outta My Face” printed across it, but you’d see through that pretty easily.
Again, teenage boy here.
After a couple of moments of staring I did notice those other things by the way. She was joking with another work friend and her laughter was infectious. That was actually the second thing I noticed. I couldn’t get her off my mind after that night. I don’t know if it was love at first sight. I’d like to say it was. All I know is that I was smitten and I needed to talk to this girl again.
Whatever it was, I believe that God’s hand was in it. I was not good with talking to girls that I was interested in. I barely was able to speak to ones I didn’t want to ask out. Things fell into place with Brooke.
It was a couple days later that the same friend and I went into work after hanging out. We’d been hanging out with another work friend at the time. This friend happened to be a girl. Low and behold Brooke had just happened to have just got off her shift and was eating. Me and the other mutual friend (the girl) sat down to talk to her. I’m not sure how the conversation turned this way, but it landed on the subject of date movies. Our work friend happened to mention that she thought a certain new movie was a great date movie. Brooke said she didn’t go on many dates. Without thinking I heard the words “I’ll take you” come out of my mouth.
Brooke says that she used her supervillain like wits to work the conversation this way. Apparently she was taken by the long leather jacket I wore. Whether it was Brooke’s keen manipulation skills or God’s hand at work, I’ll take it.
The rest is history. We went to that movie. It was a James Bond movie if you must know. I’ve never been a big Bond fan, but I figured if this date didn’t work out I’d get to see the Bond movie with Teri Hatcher in it. I had a crush on her at the time. Don’t ask. I’m still not sure what I was thinking.
I didn’t think it was going very well because she mentioned she didn’t like talking during movies so I kept my mouth shut. She said later that she only said that so I wouldn’t ruin the movie, which she knew I had already seen. She’d wondered why I wasn’t talking to her. We made our way back to McDonald’s after the movie. She must have really liked me because let’s face it, if we were beginning and ending a date there I was lame. I ordered a shake and we sat at the bar, still not saying much. I remembered adjusting and I suddenly felt her fingers. Before I knew it we were holding hands. We sat that way for I don’t know how long. I didn’t want it to end, but it did. We made plans for the next night and we haven’t really left each other’s side since then.
The nice thing is she started out as my girlfriend, but she quickly turned into my best friend. We became inseparable. It was implied as far as my guy friends went if Ken was going to do anything with them there was a good chance that Brooke was there too. The cool thing was they didn’t mind because she had become there friend too.
Brooke has had a bigger impact on my life than just about anyone.
She helped me find a way back to the church and it’s made me happier than I ever thought I could be. She urged me to go back to school and get my degree in a field that I love. I don’t think I would be the man or father I am without her influence. She makes me strive to be better than I was yesterday and do things I never thought I could.
She’s never tried to make me give up any of my passions. I could still collect comics if I wanted. Heck, she felt bad when I decided to give it up. Knowing how big a part of my life it had been for so long made her feel bad. She’s never looked down on me for liking wrestling. Heck, she’s become as big a fan as I have. It’s grown into something we share together.
We’ve grown to appreciate and like a lot of the same things. Yes, there are still things we keep separate, but the wonderful thing is we respect each other enough to let the other do those things without looking down on them for it.
The funny thing is that in all the years we’ve spent together, (Seventeen this coming Sunday) I feel the same as I did as an eighteen year old. She’s still my best friend. I still want to spend all my extra time with her. If I make plans with anyone else I wish that Brooke was there too. And even though I realize that time apart is probably a good thing it doesn’t make me want to be without her any less.
I want to tell her everything both good and bad. She’s the first person I tell good and bad news. I can’t wait to see her next. Even the idea of going grocery shopping together gets me excited because it’s time spent with her.
God definitely blessed me the day I saw the red haired girl with nice set of…...eyes. It was totally her eyes.