Catching Up: (Memoirs of a Teenage Author)

(This is post #20 of the My Journey to Gritty: Memoirs of a Teenage Author series)
So any newcomers are aware, this post is a chapter in the middle of a story. To go back and read from the beginning of the narrative, click the "My Journey" link directly above.

The next evening, there was a Bible study at Blackbeard’s house. I paused and breathed in and out a deep breath before entering his front door. Beauty met my eyes as I stepped inside and looked around the little house. There were wood floors, high ceilings, gray-green couches... Blackbeard came to meet us at the door. I distinctly remember the shy moment our eyes met before looking away.
“This is… nice,” I murmured.
“Let me show you around,” he said, mostly to my parents.
Mom and Dad followed him around the house. I lingered in the living room. There were a couple parishioners sitting on the couches, I could feel them eyeballing me.
It wasn't long before Blackbeard and my parents came back to the room.
“Oh!” Blackbeard exclaimed in his ever-exuberant way. “There’s something I want to do. Come here.”
He snatched a camera off his computer desk and led me into the kitchen.
“Stand against the back door,” he encouraged. “I want to take your picture.”
“Why?!” I asked, shocked.
“Because this is your first time coming to my home,” he smiled. “Come on. Please?”
I stood against the door and shyly smiled for him.

I don’t remember anything about the Bible study except self-consciousness and the soft thrill of attention. Blackbeard and I sat on opposite sides of the room, but we glanced at each other often. Every time our eyes met, we’d blush and look away for a while. It was probably funny to the other occupants of the room, but I don’t remember any of them letting on to their amusement.
After all, Blackbeard was in his thirties, but he had never been married. In fact, a while before meeting me, he had given up on women and decided he would be single for the rest of his life.
Then, he noticed me at Sukkot and felt that I was different. He asked around about me then. But when he discovered that I was a teenager, he abruptly dropped all hope of a relationship.
An age gap of nineteen years between partners is not common for couples in this country. In fact, it’s severely discouraged most of the time. People can be very ignorant, or even cruel, when stating their opinions on the matter.
However… a couple weeks after Sukkot, my parents felt like God directed them to invite Blackbeard to dinner, so they had called him. He had no idea why they were inviting him over though.
After talking with them a little on the phone, he started telling them about how the night before had gone.

Apparently, the night before my parents invited Blackbeard to dinner, he had finally broken down and stopped telling God that he didn’t need a woman. Instead, he had admitted that he needed a wife, and he asked God to help him pick one. He had been in mostly bad, painful relationships in his past, and felt that he was a bad “chooser” for himself.
When Mom heard him tell her about that incident over the phone, she remembered what I had similarly told her about my husband’s change of heart. She immediately gave the phone at Dad so that he could finish inviting Blackbeard to dinner.
Things had progressed from there. Over the next few weeks my parents remembered all the things I had told them over the years about “my husband”, and they quizzed Blackbeard on every point. He jumped through every hoop. He didn’t realize they were checking off a list in his favor. He was just talking.
After Mom was convinced on Blackbeard’s true identity, she let him in on the secret.
He had been shocked, and excited, and nervous. After all, I still showed him absolutely zero attention. And he had seen my reaction at the table that first night to the mere mention of him being a possibility in my life.
So he had stayed away from me. And my parents had left me out of the loop. They knew that I had a connection with my husband and with God. And they felt that if God wanted Blackbeard and me together, He could orchestrate it without their help.
And… it looked like God had done it.
Blackbeard and I weren’t officially courting or anything, but we were a lot closer to that type of a relationship than we had been a mere three days ago.

Back to the current time…
My great, great grandmother went into a coma while we were at Blackbeard's house that night. We got the call while we were saying goodbye at the Bible study. Grandma was a very, very old woman. It looked like she was in her final hours.
After hearing the news, I turned to Blackbeard with a strange light in my eye. I was going to test his affection for me. Would he be with me in the bad as well as the good?
“Will you go with me to see my grandma and meet my extended family tomorrow?” I asked.
He stuttered and stalled for a little while. That was a big commitment for him. He would have to take off work, and face the discomfort the scrutiny of my family.
“Yes,” he finally said. “When?”
We told him a time, and then left his house.

Click here to read the next post in this series: Morbid Test

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