My aunt, grandmother, uncle, and I decide to start reading aloud together: a family activity. So on the nights when I’m home with nothing to do, we pick up the novel, The Shack by Wm Paul Young, pile onto the beige couch in the living room upstairs, and turn pages slowly together.
I have decided to give you up – no more wanting to be with you so bad that it’s all I can think and talk and pray about. From now on, surrender, no expectation, openness. Or, you know, as best as I can. And like Father Abraham, I decide to burn something to mark the moment – obviously.
I lie in bed, staring at my revolving ceiling fan, shadows flickering on the popcorn ceiling in my aunt and uncle’s guest bedroom. My friend Steve and I talk late on the phone; he in Chicago, still taking classes, I in Colorado. Steve was one of my best friends at college – well, he was first my crush, until he told me he was gay. Then we really became friends.
I tell him about my work, about bible study, and you – all about you.
He tells me about classes, about mutual friends, about his own crushes, and we reach the pause at the end of a conversation that signals the moment to hang up. That’s when I ask him – “Steve, do you think I’ll get married one day?”
“So what is this passage all about, then?” says Suze.
We all quiet and stare at the words again, looking for answers.
Anthony looks up suddenly, already grinning, and says, “Kids are need-machines!”
We all begin to laugh, and I glance over at you, trying to catch your eye. “What are you talking about?” I say.
“I get it,” Kristina says, nodding. “Kids are needy. They’re not embarrassed to ask for what they need, right, babe? They’re pretty bold, actually.”
“Exactly,” says Anthony, who winks at Kristina.
We six – you, me, Anthony, Kristina, Suze and Lis (AKA “Shack”) – sit in a circle on the carpet on your parents’ living room floor, Bibles and theological commentaries on the book of Mark spread out in front of us. Our group has been slowly shrinking as it becomes less social club and more revival, and former members like Karen and the expert swing dancer have been getting too busy to come, and today even a few regulars can’t make it.
[All photos from Unsplash] This is a serial telling of my falling-in-love story. Read the story from the very beginning here. Note: this is an ACTUAL email I wrote at the time (though it has been edited for clarity and relevance). Dear Christine, Last night I couldn’t sleep. I kept tossing and turning and dreaming and hoping […]
[All photos from Unsplash] This is a serial telling of my falling-in-love story. Read the story from the very beginning here. Read Part 1 and Part 2 of “Doubting.” Karen continues: “After the video ended, I asked Jeremy how he was doing. He said, ‘Well, it’s hard to be rejected.’” “That’s so true,” says Kristina. “Oh, Kristina, […]
[All photos from Unsplash] This is a serial telling of my falling-in-love story. Read the story from the very beginning here. Read Part 1 of “Doubting” here. “Anyway,” Karen says, “Jeremy and I recently dated. Sort of. A month ago he wanted to get together, so we met up and he said, ‘Since we’re such good friends […]
[All photos from Unsplash] This is a serial telling of my falling-in-love story. Read the story from the very beginning here. “This weekend was awkward with Jeremy,” Karen confides. “I can imagine,” says Kristina, giving Karen a look of sympathy. Karen and Kristina sit leaning on the arms of the blue corduroy couch, legs outstretched, while I sit […]
[Photo from Unsplash] Ever wanted to know the nitty gritty of writing a memoir? Here’s my attempt to answer some questions my readers might have about the writing of my falling-in-love story. You can read the story from the beginning here. Is everything you’ve written true? How do you remember the story? Yes, this story […]