LIPS BY LEO REYNOLDS CREATIVE COMMONS FLICKR
My First Semester 1967 - 1968 classes were: English Literature, Elementary French I, Introduction to Sociology, Lettering & Layout & Graphic Art
My Second Semester classes were: English Literature, History of Civilization, Elementary French II, Physical Education, Class PIANO, School Art & Figure Drawing
The sophomore dorm was secluded on the other side of the campus near some old Victorian houses that gave the neighborhood a classy feel. We girls dearly loved our elderly dorm mother, Miss Cates. If I had a dime for each time she told us she loved us we would be rich. Thank the Lord my job changed from the lunch room to the library. Each day from 2:30 to 5:30, I mended very old book binders with colorful, duct tape that matched the old cover. Then I used a hot pen to replace the title, the author’s name and the Dewey decimal number. It took a while for me to learn how to not burn my fingers.
On Monday, the first day of school, I climbed the steps to my new assigned seat in the Levelle Chapel balcony. By habit, I nonchalantly looked around the big room for any new, cute boys but, I didn’t see any. . . until I saw him. He was in dress pants that matched his coal, black hair and a rolled up white, long, sleeve shirt. Not once did he take his eyes off the speaker to acknowledge me.
My friend, Ruth, from Tennessee was in love with a great, Christian guy who was coming home soon from the military to marry her. She wanted me to be in love, too! I told her about seeing Tommy in chapel and how he completely ignored me. Every since he had gone on that gospel team to preach in my home church last year, I had started having feelings for him. Ruth told me since she worked in the cafeteria with him she could say something but I told her not to say anything.
My failing History of Civilization and Elementary French II was driving a stake in to my already lonesome heart. All I could think about was a certain pair of soft lips coming down on mine. At this rate, I was going to be thirty years old before I ever got kissed! If God was saying no to a relationship with Mr. King I had to accept it and stop feeling sorry for myself.
April was bursting with sunshine, singing birds and flowers that spring of 1968. Compared to last year this year had been a boring year. I had finally accepted that Tommy was not the guy for me. The warm temperature had almost melted our eight-foot tall, snowman across the street from our dorm. Two more weeks and I would be on my way home to get ready for my trip to Cleveland, Ohio. I had signed up to be a summer missionary under the Southern Baptist Convention and I was so excited!
“Kathy, someone wants to see you downstairs,” Ruth said out of breath from climbing the stairs.
“Who is it?” I asked.
“Come see for yourself,” she grinned.
I looked in the mirror to check my hair before I rushed down the three flights of stairs. There he was smiling in the doorway with his hands planted on his slim hips, looking quite handsome!
“Hi,” Tommy said, “would you like to go for a walk?”
I was speechless. After I bobbled my head like one of those stupid bobble heads made for a car's back window, he opened the screen door for me. We began our walk while the birds insisted it was the close of another spring day. The sun sunk behind the budding trees and Tommy slipped his hand around mine as we crossed the street. He noticed I was shivering so he slipped his jacket around me as we climbed the steps. When we stopped in front of the Ole Gray Brick building, Tommy pulled me gently toward him and tipped my chin upward. Before I knew it, I was having my first kiss!
When we pulled away for air I was so nervous all I could do was say, “Boo!” He chuckled and said, “Boo!” Petals from white and pink dog wood trees cascaded around us adding to the romantic mix as we crossed the viaduct. Dozens of questions danced in my head: Why are you here Tommy King? Why did you ignore me for eight months? School is almost over so what took you so long? Did Ruth talk you into saving the old maid? Are going to dump me after my obvious, clumsy kiss?
The second night when he came over he popped a weird question after we kissed several times on the viaduct. He pulled out his high school class ring and he asked me to go steady. I was flabbergasted at how fast he was moving. I told him I liked him but I didn’t know him well enough to go steady. I told him I wanted to go slow and he said okay.
Do you struggle with finding God’s will in your life when you thought the answer was a no? How do you know when something is a “yes”or a “no” or a wait?