7 Autumn Lane,
Gilroy Heights, Ont.,
Jan. 28, 1971.
I don't know who I am writing this letter to. Perhaps to the visions of Graham, whom I liked very much for ten months in 1968. Or perhaps to Alex, whom I loved (?) for nearly two years. It may even be Lance, whom I liked from the moment I set eyes on him; and I never have been able to really stop liking him. This letter could also be for the one true love whom God will send to me one day.
But whoever I am writing to ought to feel privileged. Even if he, like the others, never receives them because I am too chicken to send them to someone who doesn't like me back. I only wrote a few letters to Lance. Actually, I haven't written any real "love letters" since I was so hooked on Alex. Those are partly what I'm going to write about tonight.
On Jan. 25, 1968, I was struck by the very first "crush" of my life. Suddenly, I had begun to look at Graham in an entirely different light. Now, my heart would quicken its beat whenever he was near, or even at the mere mention of his name. I eagerly memorized the musical sound of his voice, and I could stare at his picture for the longest time without getting bored. Now, I discovered it was very difficult to talk to him without shaking and stammering. I dreaded to pass him on the street, for fear I'd do something wrong. Yet, I wished desperately that I could see him on the street some time because seeing him every day at school wasn't enough. The first big celebrity in my life lasted for ten months, when suddenly he toppled from his pedestal.
On Nov. 22, 1968, at a high school dance, Alex pushed his way to the top in the matter of a few minutes. Here was a brand new subject for my mind to explore. I learned answers to my questions about him, his family, phone number, address, and oodles of other things. This affection developed much the same as the first one, BUT, it was much stronger. This time I dared to push through the slot in his locker door an Easter card, two Valentines (in 1969 and 1970), a stick of gum, and several notes. I also mailed him a "love chain", on which I laboured for hours and hours. All anonymous, of course. And for him I wrote a letter at least once a month for fifteen months and wasted lots of other paper drawing and doodling. None of them sent. I even dared to phone his house on several occasions, and to ask him to dance three times at two parties. Quite a number of times, I tried to forget him, but it was absolutely impossible. Until May 24/70, I thought I would be trapped forever. But I wasn't bargaining for the fact that God answers prayer. I had been praying that God would send me someone, or make Alex like me, or something. And that day, May 24/70, changed my whole life.
From the first time I saw Lance, a seed landed in my heart, and began to grow. It was watered frequently, by little things and big things that Lance did. Each time he did something to make me think he liked me, the tiny plant would grow, just the smallest bit. Sometimes, however, it would cry out for help, because it had no water. This is when I wondered if he liked me or not. I shall never forget that first time he ever spoke to me. It was like a dream in the fulfilling, until I thought it was too good to be true. There were many, many chances for my little plant to give a tiny spurt of growth. Like the squash at Lessards'; the Sunday School picnic, when I found out he liked me; the luau at Hewitts', when he stayed with me for so much of the time; the times I stayed and talked to him after church; the young peoples' meetings when he followed me to the kitchen and helped me to prepare the refreshments; the meetings when he hung around with me so much; the squash at the Nelsons; and I shall never, never forget how thrilled I was that night as he held my hand for the first time, for a few seconds; and the times he kept glancing my way in church. All this happened at the same time as I was wondering at times if he really liked me; he honestly puzzled me because sometimes he actually seemed to ignore me. It hurt me, too, since my plant was still quite tender as it grew.
Then came the day. On June 29, 1970, a new girl joined the Nelson family and our young people (Cassie). That evening, the young people played football. Later on, when the refreshments were passed around, we stayed together, but I still had no inkling of what was to come. It wasn't till we were sitting together, alone, on the back steps outside the church, after some idle talk, that he asked me to be his girl. That night can be called the most precious in my entire life. Finally, I had "gotten" the boy I liked! I didn't see him again until we (the young people) went rollerskating at the Terrace on July 10. That, perhaps, was the most perfect night in my life. If I ever fall in love with someone with whom the feelings are mutual, I sure hope that at least half of our time together will be as perfect as that night. It was wonderful!
It wasn't long, though, before my plant began crying for help. I feared he was getting tired of me already, the way he often acted as if I weren't there. It tore my poor heart to shreds when I saw him acting as if girls who passed on the street, or girls in young people were more interesting or fun than I was.
July 30, 1970, started off as an ordinary day. As in so many instances since July 16, Jeff and I (and Bonnie) set out on our bikes for the Nelsons' farm. A bunch of us, as usual, went down to Cedarvale Park to swim. I couldn't, but I watched. Jeff asked me to hold his watch while he went in. When he asked for it back again I said no. Jokingly. We began goofing around till he hit my left middle finger and nearly drove me crazy with the pain it produced. As a result, it swelled up to nearly twice the usual size. I had to go against Mom's wishes and stay there for supper, because I couldn't ride home in that condition. Often, when I stayed for supper, Lance would act as if I weren't there. But this time was very different. For once, he gave my plant a chance to grow. After supper, most of the Nelsons walked down to Cedarvale Park (one mile). All the way down there and back, I walked with Lance, and he had his arm around my waist. And while we were down there, he didn't fool around much with the other girls. Most of his time was spent with me. Then, when Mr. Nelson drove me home, he and his friend sat in the front, while Lance and I were in the back. I remember the song "Young Love" (Sonny James) came on the radio. It is a beloved favourite of mine, and it also seemed so appropriate. I honestly believed that everything was fine, and my plant was well-watered. I also remember thanking God that night, because the physical pain I got from my sprained finger was nothing compared to the emotional pain my heart had been having.
Only one and a half days later, Aug. 1, my world shattered, and crumbled around my poor, crushed plant. Lance had found someone new, and hadn't told me a thing about it! I don't know if my love plant blossomed Lance as fully as for Alex, but I do know one thing. I had never, in my whole seventeen years, felt as crushed, hurt, bewildered, rejected, and completely heartbroken (all at once) as I did that afternoon when I saw Lance with his arm around a strange girl. He is the first boy who ever succeeded in making me cry. And even though my finger still hurt a bit, I rode home as fast as I could to get rid of some of those awful feelings.
I have never felt the same way toward Lance since. I think perhaps a new seed has replaced the crushed plant, only it hasn't grown quite so much. There are more times that it cries for water and doesn't get it. The water just doesn't come as often now.
Somewhere along the line, I made a resolution not to fall for someone unless; (1) he does not drink, (2) he is a Christian, or someone who will come to young people with me, and (3) the feelings are mutual. That way, how can I get hurt? (unless he is as heartless as Lance!) So far, it seems to be working. I only like Lance a little, and there's no one else I actually care for "that way." So I don't get hurt. Tonight, as I skimmed over some letters I wrote to Alex, I began to miss the days of wistful, yet sometimes desperate, boy-yearning. But as I wrote the part about Lance, I realized that this is the best way. I hope that some day God will send me a boy, preferably a true Christian, who will show me what it is like to truly trust the Christ I confess to believe in. And, most of all, I sure hope God will some day help me to stop being an Abigail, and to really find Him.