My hands cling to the metal and I make a beeline for the things I need. I place peppers in a bag. I’m finding the sweet ones, but the other part of me is looking for him. That 13 year old girl part of me just wants to know if he’s here so I can tell him that I’m reading that book he mentioned. And feel so special just by conversing with him. I walk towards the cereal and back across the way to where she is. And then I see him, black long sleeve shirt, beautiful brain, cozy kind eyes. “That’s him,” I say to my friend and give a description, “black shirt, little bit of a belly,” she cranes her neck turns her head back to me and smiles.
Near the 2 buck chuck someone else rings up our groceries. I raise my eyebrows at my friend as she stands at a checkout a few stations down. I grab my bag, walk over and wait for her. I try to shake the feeling of defeat as we leave into the cold air. My friend puts the receipt in her bag and asks, “Well, if you weren’t on your challenge, would you ask him out?” I pause for a moment and say that I would at least try to find out if he is single. She tells me I’m braver than she is. I put my groceries in my car and know that some day she will be compelled to be this brave.
I’m standing in her kitchen watching her throw things into a sauce pan. She’s not good at it but she doesn’t care, she is making us soup. I tell her more about the men I have been meeting lately out of nowhere. And how I’m processing their interest. I tell her about the part of the Andy Stanley book that said you may reach a point where you’re being approached and you need to turn down men. And how that’s the part I am dreading because I don’t know how they’ll react. Or if I’ll even be strong enough to do it. I think about all the things Jesus did. And how I want to be like the disciple whom Jesus loved. She stirs the liquid and we agree that I need to keep going.