We’re just friends…right?

That’s what I used to insist when Nate and I first started hanging out (back in 1997).  My friends had noticed that we were hanging out a lot and I was bringing him up in more and more of my conversations.  “Nate and I were doing this” or “Nate helped me fix my computer.” (Actually he still does).

But seriously, we were just friends.  Yes, that summer, we were seeing each other about 5 days a week but it was nothing.  Just coincidence.  He had just quit his job to take another but then the other job fell through.  My summer classes just happened to get canceled.  Both of us had loads of free time.

So, it was just natural that we would hang out.  Going to the movies, practicing for a joint fellowship night for church, going to the Waikiki Zoo to listen to free Hawaiian music, going to YWAM (Youth with a Mission) meetings, meeting at church for worship practice.  It wasn’t that much really.  It’s not like I wasn’t hanging out with my other friends—jogging, doing aerobics and water aerobics, salsa dancing and shopping.  I had lots going on that summer.  I was having fun.  And NO, I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend.

Annie with Dragon Boats at Ala Moana Beach


So I was talking about him to my friends because you know, friends share about friends.  But I guess his name was just peppering my conversation more than I thought.  My good friend, Yoneko, then commented to me one day, “Annie, I’m convinced that something is going on, that you and Nate are not just friends!” I laughingly brushed her off.

But you know, my mind got to thinking.  What if?  What if we’re more than friends?

Could we be more than friends?

I liked that we had good, easy conversations.  I appreciated that we shared similar interests (we both served with the worship team at church, we both like music and cooking and eating out).  I found his sense of humour pleasing if sometimes a little droll.  And I really enjoyed how I could carry on an intellectual conversation with him about most things.  (And ok, he was, and still is, kinda cute.) But what if it didn’t work out?  Then I’d lose a really good friend.  So with that thought in mind, I let the notion of “more than friends” go.

WHAT did you say?

But you know how when you get that bug in your head, you just can’t let it go.  And so that was how it was with me.  We carried on meeting for different things and especially for worship practice for the joint fellowship night.  And so it went that one night after practice, as Nate was driving me back to my dorm in his truck, that I casually mentioned what Yoneko had said.  The conversation went something like this:

Annie: “So…Yone was just saying the other day that she’s convinced we’re more than just friends…” (laughs a little offhandedly)

Nate: (pause) ”…erm…Sometimes, people from the outside can see things better than people on the inside.”

Annie: (thinking furiously: did I just hear what he said?!?! OMG!!)  “Uhm, what did you just say?”

Nate: (clearing his throat) “Sometimes, people from the outside can see things better than people on the inside.”

Annie: (*speechless* and thinking: Ok, that wasn’t what I was expecting at all (I was just expecting him to laugh and say, “of course not, we’re just friends”, you know, so that we clarify that that was all we were))


Right around that time, he was just about to get to my dorm, so I just wildly thought, I’d ignore what he said and I didn’t say anything till we got to my dorm.  I opened the door, jumped out, said a bright “good bye, see you later” and left.

As soon as I got in the door to my room, I called my friend Yoneko.  I told her what Nate had said and in my utter panic and confusion (I really wasn’t ready for what he said), I asked her what I should do.  After a somewhat long conversation with much exclamation marks and ‘no ways!” and “What if it destroys the friendship?!?”, I remember her saying, “Just pretend it didn’t happen and don’t do anything.”


I can do that. 

No problem. 

Carry on as usual.

We’re just friends.  We’re just friends.  Repeat that mantra to myself.  Just friends…just…


To be continued…


18 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Su says:

    Oh don’t keep us hanging……………………………..

  2. Love this post! (And I am kind of a cynic about love, so please inspire me that it can work!)

  3. Jeannie says:

    I love happy endings! Don’t let us hang on too long:D

  4. noobcook says:

    quick, quick … publish part two quickly. You can’t stand there! lol so sweet!

  5. babe_kl says:

    faster faster!!! i can’t wait for the cliffhanger happy ending :p

  6. IH says:

    A lovely straight-from-the-heart story. Don’t keep us in suspense for too long ;-)

  7. SharleneT says:

    Will be back for the next post… This is such fun… Thanks for sharing…

  8. Dean says:

    What a great story, I was laughing so hard! This is a like a Korean drama cliffhanger!

  9. mareza says:

    now you got me interested,this is better than the recipes…….
    he is just shy i guess…

  10. LIN says:


  11. LIN says:


  12. 5 Star Foodie says:

    Love this first part of the story – can’t wait to see the rest!!!

  13. Even though we kind of know how it all eventually ends, it’s so much fun going along for the ride. Can’t wait to hear what happened next!

  14. Sylvia says:

    You’re story is so cute. It reminds me of when i first met my husband. When we first went out, I couldn’t go out on dates, they were just “outings”. It was way too much pressure to think otherwise. Now three kids and nine years later, we’re lucky if we even make it out on a date!

    I can across your site because I was looking for a kalua pork recipe but I think I’m going to make the huli chicken first!

  15. I am so glad I only got to read this now and not be in suspense for too long….hehe. I am hopping over to the next post now.

  16. Camille says:

    I love “how we met” stories – can’t wait to hear the ending of this one (even though we already know it’s a happy one)!

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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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