Shy. That’s the word most of the people who knew me in High School would’ve used to describe me. And that’s how I was that first summer we worked together at camp. I like to pretend the more hurtful “awkward” wouldn’t be the first word to pop into someone’s mind, but that may be just as accurate. Regardless of which adjective worked best, it stands to reason that the first time I met Kyle I hardly made eye contact.
He was a serious 16-year old. And I do mean serious. I thought he was at least 25, well-traveled (how else made him so serious?), and maybe pursuing a Master’s Degree in something, well, in something serious.
We both worked at the same summer camp as camp counselors that summer, and we both arrived for Staff Orientation week around the same time. I was trying so hard to not be Shy and Awkward Amy. So, I finally worked up the courage to attempt a little small talk. I’ll never forget faking a bravery I did not feel to speak to the only person who wasn’t already in conversation with someone. Why is the only person not already talking to someone else the 25 year old who isn’t smiling?? He must be so annoyed by all of us teenagers! Ugh, ok Amy. Just do it. Just say hi.
So I did. And he still didn’t crack even the slightest smile. I think my jaw dropped when I found out was he not 25–or even close to it. In fact, I was a full year older than him! I might’ve allowed myself to feel slightly more confident had he allowed himself to look slightly less intense! But he did not. To say our conversation was brief might be an understatement. I’m pretty sure I made some dopey comment like, “Oh wow! You’re only 16? Heh heh. I thought you were, like, 25 or something! Heh heh.”
He did not laugh.
I scurried away, probably blushing, already regretting my attempts at friendliness.
And, had someone told me that the tall, dark, serious guy with the handsomest brown eyes I’d ever seen in my life would one day be my husband? Well, I might’ve packed my bags and run for the hills.
March 25, 2019
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