Friends Forever

I couldn’t quite get the words out of my mouth.

Yes, I was in love with my friend Nate but I didn’t know if this leap into the unknown would be successful or would I look back a few months into it and realize it was all a BIG MISTAKE. See, I’m normally a pretty confident girl in most areas of my life—friendships, studies, work, church, activities, you name it, I’m always somewhere in the thick of it. But with relationships, I’d scored a big, fat zip. I’ve never been involved with anyone. Somehow, my friendships with guys had never led anywhere. And boyfriends? Nope, never been there. Therefore, this area was unknown to me. A real mystery, full of hope and pitfalls. In this area, I truly lacked confidence.

So taking that step of calling Nate was HUGE for me. And even though I couldn’t get the words out, the fact that I was willing to try for it was a miracle. After putting the phone down, I had to mentally talk myself into calling Nate again. I ran through the words in my head, rehearsing what I was going to say. I was going to tell him that even though we had agreed to be just friends, I had stronger feelings and ask him if he was willing to take it further.

Let Down

So with a deep breath and fingers crossed, that Thursday, I called him again. And this time, I managed to say more than just a few stuttered words. After apologizing for hanging up the last time, I hesitantly started by saying, “Nate, I think I am…growing very fond of you.” Hah! I guess I just couldn’t get myself to say the “L” word. And since he had used those same words, I figured I could throw it back at him. I rushed on to explain how my feelings had grown stronger and that perhaps we should consider taking it further.

I don’t recall how much Nate said while I was expressing myself but I do know that that day, he let me down. Gently and quite seriously, he reasoned that we really should not take it that step further as he was not ready to jeopardize our friendship. I was crushed. The ever optimist in me had thought he would feel exactly the same way and agree with me. I didn’t have a plan B.

We hung up. That day, I did a lot of thinking. I was a little down and wondering what to do next. Thankfully, I had friends in my dorm I could turn to. That evening, I went up to visit my friend John for some chocolate and empathy. Turns out he was in the middle of some relationship woes himself and we spent the evening consoling ourselves and talking about the complexities of men (and women)!

Girded by the conversation and my own thoughts, I realized that I had to distance myself from Nate to get more perspective (and a little less emotional attachment). So I made plans with John and another friend, Beckee, to go out the next night to the Pier Bar to listen to some Hawaiian music. I knew I would see Nate earlier that same evening at the YWAM (Youth with a Mission) meeting but I decided that if I had plans, I had an excuse not to hang around after the meeting.

Distancing

And so Friday came, and in the evening, I went off to the YWAM meeting after my regular jog. I had spent the whole afternoon psyching myself up to let go of my feelings and be calm and friendly. So why did my heart beat so hard as I approached the YWAM base? I sure was a sucker for punishment, eh?

I spotted Nate immediately with his prayer partner Truman. Waving casually at them, I quickly scanned the meeting hall and got a seat in front of them (so I wouldn’t have to see Nate) and started conversing with the person next to me. Never mind that I normally sat with Nate and Truman; I didn’t have to always do that, right? No biggie…

Well, forget about focusing on the meeting that day. I was very conscious of Nate behind me the entire evening. Of course I have absolutely no recollection of what was shared at that meeting. I was very distracted and very relieved when the meeting was over. I don’t even know why I bothered to be there. Some part of me wanted to see Nate, that I know for sure, but the practical voice inside was berating me for being so stupid. “You’re supposed to be putting distance, DISTANCE from him, girl!”

Other Plans

So right when the meeting ended, I got up to leave. I had plans and I was already running late. But just as I walked out of the meeting hall, Nate came up next to me to say hi. I tried to keep my voice casual and friendly (read: normal) as we talked. That conversation went something like this:

Nate: Can we talk?

Annie: Actually, I’ve got other plans tonight with John and Beckee and I have to dash.

Nate: I was just thinking about what you said…

Annie: Oh yeah? (thinking: what is he going to say now?!?!?)

Nate: Maybe we should discuss it more…

Annie (conflicted): I really have to go, I’m running late…let’s talk later, ok?

Nate: Okayyy…do you need a ride home? I can take you home.

Annie (hurriedly and distantly): No, thanks, I can walk. See ya.

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34 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Awww, what a happy ending. Thanks Annie for sharing how you and Nate met. It’s a total reminder for us single people that dating sucks!!! LOL. I mean, the whole insecurities, not knowing how the other person feels, the roller-coaster ride, the moving too fast or moving too slow question, the friends or more than friends? It’s just too much. But like your story shows, sometimes it’s all worth the risk. Happy 10th anniversary!

  2. Wendy says:

    Congratulations on your 10th anniversary! Enjoy your great story.

  3. Jenny says:

    What a very sweet story. Congratulations on your 10 years of marriage!

    I loved the Star Trek photo with the two of you edited in. It reminds me of a lovely wedding I attended a few years ago between two co-workers who had been friends with each other for years and obviously were meant for each other. We knew he was a Star Wars fan but weren’t prepared for the Star Wars theme song to play as soon as they were pronounced man and wife. We were also unprepared for the lovely wedding cake topped with figures of Han Solo and Princess Leia. It was unusual, but knowing these two, it was perfectly romantic.

    Thanks for sharing your story!

  4. babe_kl says:

    *sobs* how touching and sweet. Happy anniversary to both of you and wish you many more to come ;-)

    You know what, we celebrated our 10th anniversary too last month!!!!

  5. LIN says:

    CONGRATULATIONS . ENJOYS YOUR STORY VERY MUCH

  6. Jocelyn says:

    WOW! What a God-inspired relationship! Thank you for finishing up the story; I was on pins and needles waiting for each segment.

    Happy Anniversary!

  7. Jay says:

    Oh you are such a tease! You’re right in there with Pioneer woman and her love story, black heels to tractor wheels. You’re both very very good at keeping us on the edge waiting for more, even though we know the outcome!!

    • Annie says:

      Jay, I suspect you are one of those who got the RSS with only page 1, there is actually a second page which concludes the story. As for comparing me to PW–wow, that is high praise indeed. I’ve read her story and I think hers is much more dramatic than mine (with many more installments to boot!). Who knows, if I’m inspired, I may write other stories later but for now, I think I’m done. Thank you for following along.

  8. Juliana says:

    Congratulations! So cute and sweet the story…enjoyed reading and thank you so much for sharing such an special part of your life :-)

  9. Truman says:

    Wow, Annie. I didn’t know about all of that. It’s great to read about your side of the love story that I never knew! Congratulations to you and Nate!!

  10. Nice.

    Know what?! In my reader, only PAGE ONE showed up!!! So I was, “Oh! She left me hanging once again!” So I went to your site to leave a comment and discovered there was a PAGE TWO!!!!

    =D

    • Nate says:

      TS –

      sorry about that. I didn’t expect the link to Page 2 would be left out of the RSS feed. Will be more careful next time.

  11. Penny says:

    How sweet!! Congrats on your 10th year anniversary!! Very romantic story! God is good all the time!

  12. Angie's Recipes says:

    Annie, Nate, Congratulations on your 10 years of marriage! And thanks for sharing such a sweet and loving story with us. :-)))

  13. Gertrude says:

    Congratulations on your 10th years anniversary. Thanks you for sharing your lovely love story with all of us.

  14. Aw, I loved the ending and congratulations on ten happy years! You two do seem like a great couple.

  15. I love your story and agree with Single Guy Ben about dating. It’s so hard to figure everything out. And you were right. Sometimes you just have to let things be without trying to figure it out. Congrats on your anniversary!

  16. Kristina says:

    Very heartwarming and wonderful story. Congrats, I’m very happy for you!

  17. Jay says:

    Lovely! But.. I must confess, it would have been wonderful if you carried on writing installments of how you and Nate progressed in your newfound relationship. Theres nothing better than a daily or weekly cliff hanger that leaves a reader wanting to read even more. Meaning me of course! I love happy stories like yours. (even though I know the ending)

    Congratulations to you both on having such a lovely happy life together, and of course, multiple congratulations on your 10th anniversary!

  18. Jeannie says:

    That was a lovely conclusion to a great love…congratulations on reaching the 10th year of marriage and still going strong:D

  19. mareza says:

    i really enjoyed your love story……wow, it is really nice to be in love.hopefully your husband will write his piece of the puzzle.

  20. noobcook says:

    very sweet love story and congratulations on 10 years of blissful marriage. We wanna hear Nate’s version too ;)

  21. mycookinghut says:

    How sweet!! Happy Anniversary!

  22. Camille says:

    Congratulations on your anniversary! I met my husband in college, too – we’re coming up on our 14th anniversary, though we’ve only been married for four years!

  23. IH says:

    I love happy endings and you wrote so well, Annie! It’s time we hear Nate’s side of the story :-) Indeed, the Lord works in mysterious ways… Congratulations and a very happy and well-deserved 10th year of matrimony and many, many more to come!!

    Cheers to you both!

  24. Mrs Healy says:

    Thank you for posting your story, Annie. It’s so nice to know the details about how you ended up together.

  25. Mrs Healy says:

    Oh, Happy 10th Anniversary, Annie and Nate!

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My Photo Annie is mistress of the kitchen while Nate is the master of the grill and smoker. We cook the homestyle Asian and Hawaiian foods of our younger days while also exploring the wider worlds of Western foods.

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