Anyways, unfazed I resumed calling Kim about once a week or so from the summer of 1998 until the rest of the year. Although I gave Kim the impression that I was fine with "just being friends", I would be lying if I didn't say that deep down inside, I was holding on to the "one in a million chance" and secretly praying that we could eventually be something more. That said, maintaining long-distance relationships are hard. But maintaining a long-distance friendship in which the female clearly doesn't want to go beyond friendship is darn-near impossible. It's like trying to push a wet noodle.
Don't get me wrong. It wasn't like my existence was pinned solely on this one relationship. I mean I was living the high life of a Midwest public accountant traveling to cosmopolitan cities such as Farmington, Missouri and Peking, Illinois auditing milk cartons for dairy farms and counting dynamite inventory in underground mines. My life was sexy I tell you. And as for my social life? Let's just say that all my older couple friends were constantly trying to set me up on "blind dates". I mean I could have easily hitched up with any one of these fine young women but I finally raised my hand and said, "No Mas!! My heart belongs to Kim!" (By the way, when I used the word "blind" I meant it literally. The only girls that would agree to go out with me had severe visual impairment).
I was commissioned to audit the Indiana Water Company which was located in the heart of beautiful downtown Gary. It was the first job in which I was actually instructed to not stop at intersections and run red lights. I drove to the site only to be met by an armed security guard with a barbed wire fence surrounding the perimeter. I didn't know whether to feel relieved or disturbed that adjacent to the water company was an elementary school. Well, I mention all this because Gary, Indiana is only about 30 miles SE of Chicago, Illinois. So being the smooth operator that I am I decided to come up the weekend before and arrange some face-to-face time with my "long-distance one-in-a-million" friend. Surprisingly, she was open to the idea of hanging out. (must have been because I suggested meeting at The Cheesecake Factory)
|Kim wearing my coat before Rejection #2|
I guess in the back of my mind I was hoping she'd respond differently but unfortunately my hunch was correct. This was when the doubts started to really creep in. I mean, if after two years she still wasn't even open to being more than friends than maybe this was it. Time to call it quits and go on some "blind" dates. I began to seriously wonder if it would be possible for me to be friends with her and keep myself from getting hurt. After a few days of soul-searching, I realized it would not be, so I told my sister Lydia that it seemed like things were over; at least in terms of being more than friends in the future. I was very sad, but in another way I felt like for the first time, I had completely let her go. Not that I ever had her. But I let go of all my own hopes and dreams and threw them into the ocean. Kind of like in Top Gun when Tom Cruise takes Goose's dog tags and chucks them into the Pacific...yeah, just like that.
It was totally in God's hands now...
But then it happened. Exactly one week after I sent the email suggesting we stop praying about it. I get another email from Kim. It was a very long email basically saying three things:
- She wanted to continue talking and spending time together.
- She felt like God had given her enough faith to step forward and make a commitment to pray about our relationship.
- She thought it would be nice if we lived closer to each other.