Fourth of July Brings Thoughts of Romance

Independence Day!

Image by CR Artist via Flickr

Dear Uncle Sam,

On this very important day in history there are so many things people are celebrating and so many ways people will celebrate. On this beloved day many are swept away with the love and honor and recognition they have for their country and for the many men and women who have paved the way for America to be on the journey that it is today. For that we are thankful.

For some there is a certain romanticism that comes along with this day. Something about it tugs at our heart strings and we see it as a celebration of the beginning of a new journey for our country and wonder about new beginnings for the journey of our heart.

This page from A New Leaf is a perfect illustration of the thoughts of romance Fourth of July can bring.

This morning Alana and I got up for an Independence Day picnic at our Pastor’s house.  After we picked up my godson Kevin we went over to our Pastor Dulin’s House.  When we walked in I saw my mentors Michael and Destiny.  Destiny just found out on Monday she’s ten weeks pregnant and although she hadn’t made an official announcement yet she’s shared that information with me.  I gave her a hug and patted her still flat stomach with a wink.  This led her into a laugh as I moved on to hug her husband Michael.

I secretly grinned to myself hoping that their second child would be a boy.  Michael and Destiny are both from Atlanta, a petite, very brown skinned couple.  They’d had a baby girl, named Malaysia about five years ago and she turned out to be a perfect combination of the two of them.  But at four years old she stands at the same height as most two year olds, which is okay for a girl but I couldn’t help but wonder how it would be for a little boy.  Still, Malaysia is Daddy’s little princess and a younger brother may be just what she needs to toughen her up a little.

“I gotta talk to you.” I clapped my hands together and looked at them both with a smile reserved only for Michael and Destiny when I was working to contain excitement.

“A new contender huh?” Michael shook his head.

“I like him.” I acknowledged, shrugging a little but unable to suppress a smile.

Michael raised his eyebrows, his eyes a mixture of curiosity and disbelief.  “Get a plate and come sit with us.”

I moved towards the table of food and fixed a plate for Kevin to sit with Pastor Dulin’s granddaughter and took my plate over to where Michael and Destiny had pushed three chairs slightly away from the main table everyone else was enjoying the bar-be-qued food.  I sat down and hunched my shoulders in giddy anticipation over what I was about to tell them and then prayed over my food.   I looked up into their anxiously curious faces and began,

“Total opposite of me.  Quiet to my loud, introverted to my extroverted, laidback to my high strung, slow to my fast—“

“Got it Nya.” Destiny cut me off using her hand gesture to encourage me to continue.

I launched into a breakdown of the past day and how I’d fallen for Stephan in just a few conversations.  As I talked I rubbed my right thumb over the top of my left thumb, feeling slightly nervous as I admitted for the first time aloud how much I believed Stephan could be the man for me.

“He fits every single description of the perfect man I’ve ever created.  And you guys know as well as I do I’ve created a list that only allows one man to qualify.”

“Is he The One?” Michael asked

I nodded, letting the silence of the truth settle over us.  Although Michael was referring to the One as being the qualifier of my list, seriousness settled over us as if I had just answered that he might be the one person I want to marry.  Michael and Destiny are one of few people I’ve shared the truth about my singleness with.  Despite constant denial through my words and through my actions, I’m extremely lonely. I believe the Lord has commissioned one person for me as my soulmate and that when the Lord is ready He will reveal that person to me as well as reveal me to that person. Despite my deeply embedded faith I’m starting to feel like Sarah waiting on a word from God, all the while feeling the urgency of my increasing age start to weigh heavily on my mind.

“Well Nya, what do you plan to do?” Destiny inquired further.

“Just ride it our for right now I guess.  He took a supposed friend home with him to take to his brother’s wedding.  He’ll be home day after tomorrow so I’ll just expect to hear from him then.  I’m sure we’ll just play the game for awhile and then we’ll see.”  I shrugged like I didn’t care although I knew it was written all over my face how badly I needed their advice.

“Not if you’re serious.”  I cocked my head and raised one eyebrow listening to Michael.  “If you’re serious about this you’re gonna talk to him when he comes back this weekend.  Tell him how you feel and what you want from him.  Don’t make promises you can’t keep but do talk to him, tell him what he can expect from a relationship with you.”

I nodded as I usually do when listening to the advice of my college mentors.  I looked towards Destiny to see what she had to contribute.

“Ny, you just went through all that junk of being with that boy from Missouri and I just want to make sure you’re not setting yourself up again to be hurt.  But you’ve gotta remember part of the reason that mess went on for so long is because you both played too many games, told too many lies. Don’t be unfair to Stephan or yourself by starting this off with a bunch of games and lies. Although times are gonna come up when you feel like reverting back to the silly games, and although there will be a point in your relationship when you’ll have to test to see how much of yourself you can trust with him, the best thing you can do for now and for the future is to start things off real.  If you play games now you’ll play them all through out.  Tell him the truth about everything now Ny, while you’re still giving him a chance to accept you for who you are.  I have never, in all the years I’ve known you seen you be real, honest and open with a man in your life.  It’s time that you share the true you with someone, especially if you believe this man has been ordained by the Lord for you.”

Once again these two have dropped enough knowledge on me to last a lifetime.  Through them I’ve decided what I need to do.  Suddenly Saturday seemed too far away.  I got up to throw my now empty plate away and check on Kevin, thanking them both with a light kiss on the cheek.  It was getting to be late afternoon and we needed to get the spot in the park where we were watching the fireworks before dusk or we’d never find one.  Before I packed Kevin up to get ready to leave I asked Sister Dulin if I could use the phone inside the house.  Upon her admission I ducked inside and dialed Stephan’s cell number.  His phone picked up on the first ring signaling it was turned off so I hung up without leaving a message.  I would try back later but if I left a message that would have to be the end of my ability to call without him thinking I had Stage 5 Clinger tendencies.

As the fireworks started and I held Kevin in my lap I watched the couples around me.  Amerie sat with my frat brother’s arms wrapped around her and despite the gushing she’d been doing over Stephan a few days before she seemed genuinely content with her head resting against his chest.  To my right sat Destiny and Michael, equally as content in just being together.  Michael caught my eye and gave me a half smile.  I directed my attention upward not wanting to interrupt any special moments between couples.  Only, as the sky lit up with an amazingly arranged brilliance of purples, golds, reds, and blues, it was not the sky dancing with fire I watched.  Instead, I visualized a replay of my interactions with Stephan and became more amazed by the electricity I saw generated there.

Up until two days ago I’d been unwilling to let any man have any kind of special role in my life other than my best friend.  I still wasn’t willing to let just any man in, yet as I sat with the electric sky above me and the grassy knoll beneath me I could almost feel Stephan’s thick arms around me and the scent of his Mamba cologne.  I imagined him whispering subtleties in my ear and promises he would protect me.  I imagined myself as bone of his bone, flesh of his flesh promising to protect him and stand by his side until death do us part.

Love Always,



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