I have always loved a good romance right from my early years. It started with Disney, Prince Charming, princesses and kisses. When I Ieft primary school, I wanted a boyfriend. Soon, I had my first “serious” one – my childhood sweetheart. However, attending a private boys’ school meant that rugby, soccer and his mates were higher on his radar (as they should be in Grade 8!)

As our interest in one another waned, another boy came on the scene. In truth, he had flirted with me on and off for two years between a string of girlfriends. He was four years older than I was – in his matric year as I was in my Grade 9 year. Age makes a big difference the younger you are. I broke up with my other boyfriend for a multitude of reasons. But, the main one was I was that I was falling for someone else.

 

This sporty, matric was known as Tarzan or Ken to his peers – also dubbed The Babe Magnet. He had a flock of popular girls hanging on him during break time.

He was forward. He told me he liked me a long time ago when he was single but I had resisted because I was in a relationship. I looked past him and set him up with friends from church instead. But then he paid attention to me – the minister’s daughter; the girl everyone thought was “uncool.” And, after a while, I couldn’t help but pay attention back. A friendship formed. And I became interested. However, during his finals, the latest girlfriend broke up with him. Soon after I was free and single too. I thought he’d jump at the chance to snag me but he didn’t. He just saw a lot of me and flirted with me when we were around each other. I eventually saw his best friend alone in despair, asking him when I would be “asked out.” I can’t remember his answer, possibly because he asked me out in that “meeting.” When I eventually asked the guy himself, he said he didn’t want to rush into a relationship again. After a series of failed relationships lasting three months at most, he was tired of girls leaving him and cheating on him. The next one he wanted to date was the girl he wanted to marry.

 

He began to work at the church as a youth worker…under my Dad. The church was just across the road from our house and I found every excuse in the book to go across the road so I could have heart flutters seeing him.

 

Two months later, it was just before Christmas – the last time I would see him until the new year. We sat watching a movie with my sister. I made my hand available. And then, all my teenage dreams came true when he reached for it and played with my fingers and then took my hand. When he said goodnight to me, he strode over to me and I longed for him to take me in his arms and kiss me. He didn’t. That was the last of any romantic physical affection for the next two months. I was gutted!

 

Those two months, we were possibly deemed as “together” by others. But there was no request to date him. I waited on tenterhooks, wondering if he would ever ask me out. Then, sitting next to each other over the Easter period at a Passover talk at church, my hand was ready again. He took it. Others noticed. He was told to “look after my girl” with a twinkle in a family friend’s eye afterwards. I was on Cloud 9!

The next day, we all attended a Good Friday church picnic at a local dam. I couldn’t wait to see him. I spent the whole afternoon with butterflies in my tummy, knowing that things were finally escalating. After a game of touch rugby, he jogged over to me and asked if I had something for his headache. I doting ran to his rescue and found some from my mom. I then sat at his feet while. He leaned over at some point and then whispered words in my ear that made me tingle with joy.

“Are you my girlfriend?”

(Not quite the way I had hoped it would go.)

I clarified, with a smile creeping up my face.

“Are you asking me out?”

“Yes,” he replied, sheepishly.

Guess what I said next!

 

“I’ll have to ask my parents.”

 

Because truth be told, I didn’t want to date an older guy behind their backs. And I cared what they thought (#notyouraverageteen!) He was now in his first year out of school.

I couldn’t wait until we got home so chatted to my dad while we were at the dam. He said he would chat to my mom.

The next morning, while I had been agonising over what my parents would say, they called me in and gave me permission to date the guy. I called him immediately but I wanted to tell him in person. Unfortunately for me, he was attending a talk that day with my dad an hour away. I am not a patient person. The thought of waiting even longer to “officially” be his girlfriend made me antsy.

 

I do have a loving father who was privy to the desires of his daughter. So, without telling me, he pitched up at the local shopping centre after the talk with my soon-to-be boyfriend. I was already there with my mom and sister. We split away from the rest of my family and walked the length of the mall while I let my hand hang between us. He didn’t take it.

Finally, I’d had enough of stringing him along and, in the midst of the throng of people, I told him

“Yes!”

He grabbed me around the shoulders and squeezed me, with a grin like a Cheshire cat and then took my hand. At last, we were officially “going out!”

 

Click here to read Part 2.

 

Photo Credit: Probably my dad! I vowed I would never attend a cricket game unless, maybe, it was with my husband. Turns out, I was right! It was our first “date.”

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,