“What if?” is a question I try my best to avoid dwelling on, but today the Thirty Day Challenge asked me to write about one thing I always as “what if?” about?
Honestly, the only thing I can think of is a long string of these questions regarding how I ended up dating Jack.
And this story is appropriate today, considering we’ve been together eight months today. We’re going out to dinner tonight to celebrate. 🙂
So, Jack was my seventh grade boyfriend. I use the term “boyfriend” here very loosely, as he never so much as kissed me, but in our minds we were dating. So, after a very long (because I didn’t know how to break up with him) middle school relationship, we ended things and remained friends through eighth grade.
After that, Jack and I went to different high schools and never really kept in touch.
(Subplot: my sister used to be best friends in middle school with this girl Isabelle and things went south and they became kinda enemies. Jack’s little sister, who had once upon a happier time been friends with my sister, sided with Isabelle, and to this day she and Isabelle are best friends. However, mine and Jack’s sisters now apparently get along, so all is well there)
We ended up at the same college. It wasn’t a big deal – I came here knowing well over a hundred people (ridiculous, I know). I generally acknowledge people I know as I pass them (one of the things I love about the south. I acknowledge people I don’t know too), and I would smile at Jack as I passed him or try to say hi and he would never make eye contact with me. It was really awkward.
He, to this day, denies this.
Anyway, I went to a party with Andie and everyone there was speaking Spanish. Andie is originally from Spain, and she’s found a bunch of Hispanics here who she hangs out with. There was this one girl there, Alexa, who had come with her roommate. I don’t think Alexa could so much as introduce herself in Spanish.
I speak Spanish decently, but I ended up talking to Alexa because I felt back that she couldn’t keep up with the conversation at all. I found out she went to the same high school as Jack and asked her if she knew either of the two people I knew that went there (funnily enough, both were exes). She didn’t know my ex that I wrote the “what I would say to my ex” post about, but she told me she was friends with Jack. Evidently she and Jack had movie nights every Thursday, because neither of them had Friday classes last semester.
Laughing, I told her about how we “dated” in middle school and that he was completely avoiding me and it was super awkward. Apparently we both have some strange affinity for uncomfortable situations, because she immediately says “I’m going to bring you to the next movie night and he’ll have to talk to you!”
I respond, “That sounds awkward!” and after thinking about it for a few seconds, say, “Okay!”
So, the next Thursday Alexa and I went over to Jack’s dorm and watched some movie. We ended up all playing football on the field in the middle of the night with his suitemates. It was really fun. So, he asked me to dinner the next weekend and I said yes, and there was the start of the relationship.
So, what if Jack and I hadn’t dated in middle school? What if Andie hadn’t taken me to that party? If I hadn’t started talking to Alexa? What if I hadn’t agreed to that awkward outing? What if Jack hadn’t decided to ask me out on a whim? There are a lot of strange elements to this story, and Jack and I wouldn’t be dating right now if a single one of them hadn’t occurred, which is really weird to me to think about. He’s such an integral part of my life now that the sheer coincidence of our re-connection just seems crazy and lucky.