This is one of my wife’s favorite stories to tell and I’m sure she’ll comment on it in the coming days. Whenever I think about this story, something akin to a burning numbness hits the pit of my stomach and all I can do is shake my head. Maybe you won’t think it’s a big deal, but this will be one of our family stories for a long time.
I’ll set the stage. It was early Springtime in Kabul. The weather was starting to warm and the outdoors became something pleasant again. The relationship that I mentioned in my last post had all but fizzled out. During the previous months, I both worked and traveled with Leigh Anne and our time together had resulted in a budding friendship. I honestly enjoyed being her friend, and that is what ultimately kindled a desire for more. Leigh Anne is very much like the people of Afghanistan as I described in my last post. It took time to get to know her. She doesn’t share her heart often, but when she does, it is solid gold. I heard and saw her love for her job (being a second grade teacher), learned about how she ended up in Kabul and was able to share some of my own stories with her.
As these things happen, my friendship slowly turned to a desire for more. However, I had no idea if she had even an inkling of similar feelings toward me. She’s a hard one to read. So, I decided to talk to some mutual friends of ours. The best piece of advice I got, which I immediately disregarded, was “take it slow.”
Maybe this experience isn’t as mortifying to you as it was to me. We’ll find out.
The night of the infamous rooftop folly began with a group of us making plans to hang out together after a long work week. There were several married couples and a few other singles. Leigh Anne and I met up in one of the common areas on our compound and one other person joined. I think it might have been a set-up. All of our other friends cancelled on us, and the person who joined us initially went her own way as well. But, Leigh Anne and I were comfortable with each other, so we decided to go up onto one of the rooftops and hang out for a little while, looking out on the city.
I have no idea how long we were up there. I was perfectly comfortable, even had some liquid courage running through my veins (not much, just a little bit). Honestly, I have almost no memory of what we talked about besides for the small bit about relationships. However, I do distinctly remember a turn in the conversation when she said, “you know, if you want something, you should just go for it.” My thoughts pretty much went, “Ummm, okay…”
Fortunately, I didn’t try to kiss her. I probably would have been thrown off the roof. *bullet dodged* But, in order to maybe give her some warning (I don’t know, I wasn’t good at this) I said,”I’m going to try something.”
Slowly and deliberately, I put my arm around her shoulders. What followed was easily the most awkward 15-60 seconds of my life. It was painful. Neither of us said anything, we just sat there. Apparently, when she said “you should just go for it” we were having two entirely different conversations (not for the last time). Eventually, I removed the dead lead weight that had previously been my arm and put it back to my side.
I vaguely remember that we awkwardly stumbled through a few more sentences of conversation before leaving the rooftop. We parted ways for the evening. I was mortified, only she knows what she was thinking. I promptly decided that, if possible, I would never ever talk to her about this.
I kept that little promise to myself for about six months.
In the next posts, I’ll tell you the eventual conclusion to this little episode and about how I began to pursue her with more purposefully.
Anyway, hope you enjoyed. I feel like steam is coming off my head. Even five years later, it’s still super embarrassing.
Fellas. Have you ever had something similar happen? Ladies, what is the lamest move a dude has put on you?