He always hung around with the “bad boys” of the school…back when being a punk was all about a badass attitude and wearing chains and spikes. The kids who drank and smoked and had sex…everything I knew I shouldn’t be doing at the ripe old age of 14. (Come to find out later, my Josh was actually one of the better behaved of that group and hung out with them because of skateboarding, not because of the parties) They were the kids us goody two-shoes knew to steer clear of if we wanted to stay out of trouble. Some of his friends knew of his crush on me and whenever they would see me walking by, they would always say they were going to go talk to me for him. He wouldn’t allow this because he was too shy, but they would all stare and talk about me in not so hushed voices.
I, knowing nothing of this crush, noticed those “troublemakers” eyeing me from across the hall and all I could think was that I’d done something to offend them and they were plotting my demise. I’d often scurry by, eyes straight ahead, being careful to not be caught looking back at them because that was surely the fastest way to fall in harms way. We never spoke and as far as I remember, never had any classes together. Surprising because I took a lot of art classes and so did he, but our paths never crossed.
During our junior year of high school he ended up transferring to a different school in town. I wasn’t really aware of this (remember, I didn’t look up when I walked past that group) but I was slowly coming around to the idea that not all of that crowd was super scary and just because I didn’t agree with their choices in life, it didn’t mean that I couldn’t be polite to them and get along in classes. Quite a realization to come to at that age, and learning to be less judgmental was a good thing.
At the start of my junior year of college I got some new roommates in my sorority. We always tried to spread around the different ages so that each room was a good mix of freshman-seniors so that everyone would know everyone. I ended up having a freshman named Melisa move into my room. During conversations I realized who her older brother was (Josh!) and mentioned that I remembered him from high school. She said he was now in the Navy and was living in Japan. (I thought that was cool because my dad was an army brat and was born in Japan…you know, back in the day)
A few months later Josh was home on leave and came up to the university with his mom to visit Melisa and her older brother who also went to the same school. I figured I should go say hi even though I assumed he would probably have no clue who I was. Josh and his mother were sitting in our front waiting area talking with Melisa when I came down and introduced myself, saying I was Melisa’s roommate, Sarah. While chatting I mentioned to Josh that I knew him from high school. He asked me for my name again and I told him and all of a sudden, he got bright red in the face. Then he said that he remembered me and that he had a huge crush on me all the way through high school. I didn’t really have a response to that, so I just kind of sat there while everyone else continued to chat. Eventually I left, but whenever Josh would call Melisa from overseas, I would tell her to tell him I said, “Hi!”
After college Josh was still in Japan, living on a ship. I moved back to my home town and got a job. Soon after I found Josh on MySpace and added him as a friend. We would chat occasionally but he had a very jealous girl friend and eventually she asked him to remove all girls that weren’t his family members, so we stopped talking. A few years after that he had gotten out of the Navy, broken up with the girl friend and moved back to town. He re-added me on MySpace and we began chatting again.
Soon after we were texting and then one night I said he should call in sick to work and come watch a movie with me and go out to dinner. We watched a movie and then we went to dinner at Good wood Barbeque (same place that he proposed and they catered our wedding!) He didn’t eat much as we sat there and chatted. The waitress came by and asked him if there was anything wrong with his food since he wasn’t eating and he said something along the lines of, “I’ve had a crush on this girl for 10 years and I am finally out on a date with her. I’m not too hungry right now.”
A few dates later I was his girl friend and we’ve been together ever since!
|one of our engagement pics|