Finale of I Drew a Monkey in a Math Book and Now I’m Married

Gorrilla Cover Part VI

(Start at Chapter One)

Midway through the summer between Junior and Senior year of high school, Jennie and I found ourselves on a trip in South Texas. We had to drive back home to Oklahoma. It was just us; no parents, no adults, and just miles upon miles of open road running the central Texas prairie. We spent the whole day together, most of it submerged in torrential rains. There was a monster gulf storm that seemed to follow us the entire length of Texas. We laughed about it and talked for the whole trip. There are a lot of things we still talk about from that trip. After a nine hour drive that should have only taken five, thanks to the storm, and luck perhaps, we arrived back home. By the end of the day, though, we weren’t quite ready to part ways.

We stayed together for what was left of the day and we found ourselves talking again in her room. That night, I was laying on her bed after we had been talking for a long time. It was not a particularly special conversation. If my life relied upon retelling even a single word of it, I would be gone forever. It was just more of the same little nothings kids in love talk about late at night; music, movies, each other, the events of the day.

There was a moment of silence where I began to think back about the day. It was perfect. I had spent the whole thing just hanging out with this beautiful wonderful girl who made me happy. I wanted it to be like that forever. The seed of a notion began to take root and reach up toward the light in my mind.

“(What is going to happen to us after high school? Will we be able to stay together?)” I wondered.

“(We probably won’t be able to. Not in the real world. She’ll probably go to college and who knows where I will end up?)”

“(I don’t want to lose her. Probably, the only real way this could work is if we got married.)”

“(I wish we were old enough that getting married might be an option.)”

“(Why, exactly, aren’t we old enough? What really makes a person old enough to get married?)”

“(Why should I wait until I am older to find the girl I want spend the rest of my life with, anyway?)”

(Jennie is everything I want…)

Returning to reason, momentarily, I caught hold of the hazardous progression of thoughts taking place in my head.

“(This is crazy. I am only seventeen. I can’t know what I want in a woman. Why would I even be thinking is?)”

I laid in silence for a while longer, pensively staring at the ceiling. This idea of mine wouldn’t leave me. I kept on thinking about the inevitable reality that High School couples don’t last after High School.

I decided the only way to resolve the situation was to give her the responsibility of proving to me that this was supposed to happen. There would need to be some test to validate my inkling. It would have to be something difficult, but that a good wife would be able to do, at least by limited imagination of what it meant to be a good wife. If she somehow passed the test, then my mind would be made up. If she failed, perhaps it was never meant to be, anyway. I could be done with the emotionally charged internal debate and go back to being a seventeen year old kid, free of the ludicrous tugging of fanciful heartstrings. Fate would determine what I needed to know.

“(She is great, but there needs to be something else. I need a woman who gets me. I think that a good wife should be able to understand when something is wrong with her husband, even if he doesn’t say anything at all. I have probably been thinking about this for a while. If she asks me in the next minute if something is wrong I am going to ask her to marry me.)”

It was an impossible thing to ask. It wasn’t fair to her to ask such a question. I had based the future of our relationship on a belief that a wife needed to have a telepathic level of empathy toward her potential partner. It was wrong to do that to her, put so much of a burden on her that relied on her never even knowing she was being tested. It was a foolish thing to do. A wiser person would have realized that thoughts like mine were the types of ideas which ruined what would have otherwise been beautiful relationships. If I were a wiser man, I probably would have never said them, but that didn’t matter.

Had I had the time to consider my thought processes, I may have dismissed it as the uncontrolled daydreaming of an infatuated youth. I didn’t have the time, though. As I finished that fateful sentence in my mind, literally, as the period landed in the sentence of my thoughts, I heard a whisper from the other side of the bed.

“Jon, is everything alright?” Jennie said.


“(What? Seriously?)” These were only real thoughts I could muster. I was startled at the immediacy of which my test was passed. I didn’t even have time to realize what a stupid idea that was! To place one’s fate in the whims of miraculous luck! Perhaps, however, it wasn’t really luck. Perhaps it was exactly what I needed to do, and her reaction, was exactly what I needed to hear.

“(Umm… No. It is ok.)” I thought, gathering myself.

“(She is the perfect woman for me. And I did say that I would, so I am going to. I’m doing this.)”

I rolled over and looked at her. She was concerned by my apparent absence. I talked to her and told her what I felt. I told her what my mind had been up to and what I had decided. I told her how much the time we spent together meant to me and how I never really wanted this day to stop. I told her that I wanted to spend my life with her.

That’s when I asked her to marry me. That was it. That was all the thinking about it and planning that I done. I hadn’t ever really considered it before that, not really. At that moment, though, I made a choice that was by far the most important of either of our lives, and I did it almost completely on impulse. There was no planning; no consultations; and no time for hesitation.
In all honesty, if you find a woman who is sweet, smart, hardworking, and wonderful in all the ways you need, you should consider taking a few chances for her. If, however, you find a girl who does all this and also instinctively understands you so well that her abilities border on clairvoyance, you really need to drop everything and take the leap of faith. I was rash like a child and almost completely driven on emotion with only the slightest ounce of reason to back it up.

Her concern for my few minutes of silence from a few moments earlier could now, more easily, be described as a stunned silence.

She said she would have to think about it…

Think about it.

Those words hung in the air for a moment and my heart sank. Sank is perhaps the wrong word. It’s too soft of a word. It crashed to floor taking with it my raptured spirit. Both descended with an almost audible thud.

What had I just done?

I told her that thinking it over would be fine and that I understood. That was a lie. I was scared, terrified to be precise. I was struck sick. Once the cold realization of the brash actions and all the potential consequences were fully realized I was left with the feeling that you get that there is a deep, deep chasm in your chest when you suddenly realize that you have already lost something extremely important, but the actual event was yet to occur. It was the looming presence of doom. More than anything, at that moment, I was wishing so very, very much to have been afforded, just for one moment in my life, the ability to return three minutes back in time and forget the whole thing ever happened. Internally, I was a wreck. Outwardly… I said that I understood. As I said before, that was lie.

It was late, so I slept on her couch that night. That was one of the worst nights I have ever had. I knew that was one the most reckless things I had ever done.

“Oh God,” I thought. “She is going to get freaked out and break up with me.”

“She will tell the whole school and make a laughing stock of me.”

“I should just walk in there and take it back… Stupid.”

“Then again,” I considered. “She might say, ‘Yes”…”

I eventually went to sleep. The next morning I went to see her. We talked for a few minutes. She didn’t bring it up, as if neither of us must have been thinking about the giant, invisible thing sitting there in the room with us. We would probably still be sitting there if I didn’t work up the courage to ask, again. I asked her what she thought about last night. After the night I had just had, I have never been so afraid to ask a question, let alone, ask it again. All my worrying and the cold sweat I finally fell asleep in didn’t prepare me for what she said.

She said that she spent the whole night thinking of reasons why she shouldn’t do it. That was swift kick in the stomach. Then she opened her mouth, as if to finish the thought. The next thing she said was that she couldn’t come up with any.

She said, “Yes.”

That was how we decided we would get married. We were still seventeen.
We didn’t tell anyone because, frankly the community wouldn’t support two seventeen year olds considering the idea of marriage. We grew up in a small town, but this wasn’t the 1950’s, after all. It just wasn’t wise. It wasn’t normal. It was ludicrous by almost any standard you could logically imagine. The town would not be understanding. And then there would be our families.

We spent the next year “preparing” ourselves for it, it being a life of marriage directly following a life of childhood. After school we laid in bed talking about our fantastic plans and built up our dreams together. ‘How many kids would we want?’, ‘What type of house would we want to live in?’, ‘What jobs would we have?’, ‘Would we have dogs or cats? Or both? How many?’
I think that that year was actually much more important for us than the romantic story above. We really contemplated our situation and started to really grasp the things we had to do. We began to think like married people as we kept up our secret engagement.

That’s when, I think, “I” and “me” started to dissolve into the much greater solution that is “us” and “we”. It’s an important transition. I don’t think most couples appreciate the moment. You don’t really realize when it happened. There was just a moment when you stopped making plans for you. You instinctively wonder how your choices will affect not only yours, but her life. If you’re lucky, that other person will feel the same way. Everything is “we” from then on.

In keeping up with our tradition of secrecy, I went, on my own, to the local jewelry store. She may only be a girl to the eyes of many, but she was my fiancé. I wanted her to feel like a bride. I wanted her to feel like an adult and that I was serious about her. I wanted to give her a ring.

Something about me believed that a woman deserves enough respect from a
man for him to sacrifice his wages to show he loves her and wants others to know it, too. Those wages aren’t just some obligations. It is a symbol. Those lost wages are a symbol of something more. They symbolize the very real time that was given up working, doing jobs my not like, for people you may not enjoy. That means something. That means a real sacrifice. It means that that person is willing to suffer for you to be happy. It doesn’t matter if she was seventeen or seventy. It is a romantic gesture to be sure, but more than that, it is a gesture of deep love. I am old fashioned, obviously. I know it might be materialistic, but I wanted her to know that I would work for her. I saved up my money and I went to find a ring.

I wasn’t stupid about it, though. I may be reckless and haphazard with most major life decisions, but not with my money. We were too young and too poor to be stupid. I went right after Christmas to take advantage of one of the best sales of the year. (Thrift is important to young couples, by the way.) It was January and we still didn’t want anyone to know, but the girl who helped me just so happened to be in our class. We lived in a small town and gossip was still more of a hobby than the internet. Well… I walked in, saw her and decided that this was just how it was going to have to be. The girl behind the counter, Myka, was, however, a very trustworthy person, and a good friend. She didn’t tell anyone about the ring. She just held her hands up to her mouth, wide eyed with glee that comes from someone living vicariously through the experiences of a friend. It felt really good to have the first person I told be so genuinely supportive and happy for us. She helped me pick out a great one. It was $500, but perhaps a more precise measurement would be to say that, simply, it was everything I had.

A few months later, we made it official. By this time, our families knew that we would probably get married, but they didn’t know that we had already been planning for the better part of the year. I showed them the ring at moments when Jennie wasn’t around to see. She still didn’t know I had it for her. My mom and I went on a family trip to San Antonio and we invited Jennie to go, too.

As the week drew to a close, I took her out to a very nice dinner. It was March 20th and exactly one year to the day since we first went bowling, or rather, didn’t. It was the anniversary of that first awkward date, that first pizza, first movie, as well as the first of many other firsts. I formally presented the little band on the one year anniversary of our first date. We were sitting in the restaurant, looking out across the city in lights. I gently held her hand as she looked over the sparking cityscape. As subtly as I could, I slipped the ring around her finger. She didn’t look away from her view, but a large smile painted itself across her face. To ever receive a ring like that was a surprise to her. At least now we had a story we could tell to people about how we decided to get married, though. Jennie still polishes it lovingly with pride.

The important things that I remember about it was the complete sense of shocked support we received from the community. Basically, I think everyone loves a love story. You will always get support at the face value, but when they think about it, people thought we were silly kids, that we had a lot to learn, but mostly, they thought Jennie was pregnant. Well, it’s been over a decade since then and no little Jons or tiny Jennies are running around, so I hope that theory has been officially debunked. We were young and had a lot to learn about the real world, that much was true, but we would learn that together.
We were married on June 1st, two weeks after we graduated high school. The ceremony was a lovely little quaint affair. “Lovely”, “quaint”; these are euphemisms that are best translated as cheap enough for kids to afford. We were married by the pier of the lake. It was a perfect summer afternoon, except for the rain. It rained, of course. Nothing in our story is storybook, after all. Weather didn’t interrupt the ceremony, though. We were already at the reception when it started. We aren’t superstitious people, but it still makes you nervous. On the way to our honeymoon at a romantic little bed and breakfast near our hometown, there was a rainbow. Jennie saw it. You know, sometimes it’s important to forget the rain and remember the rainbows.

We were eighteen years old then. We were each other’s first real boyfriend and girlfriend, first loves, first… well, we were young and experienced a lot of firsts together. We had been dating for a bit over a year and a few months. We probably would have done the same thing as everyone else our age. We could have kept dating after we went to different colleges, tried the long distance thing and then either would have broken up or gotten married a few years later, anyway. That would have been the sensible thing to do, but that’s not the way the Davis house works. Some bets you just don’t hedge. You go all in or don’t play at all.

We went all in. We did whatever it took to stay together, even if it meant that we had to be worlds apart. I knew that I had responsibilities now. I had a young wife, going to college in a few months. I wanted her to have a good life. I knew that I didn’t want to rely on our parents to support us, now fully realized adults in every sense of the word. I had to make some difficult choices. The most difficult choice would be how we would support such a young marriage; two kids by most people’s standards, no skills, fresh out of high school. The solution was simple. I had to leave.

When I knew that we were going to get married, I felt that the only way I could ensure that we would have the things we needed, food, security, and a place to sleep, was if I joined the military. I joined the Marines. We were signing paperwork to on our honeymoon, a fact Jennie was very aware of. She was strong, though. She understood that this was something we needed to do. She was strong. She was always strong in those days. Perhaps it was her strength that kept me going through far more than I would have wanted to go through. We spent only one week together before I had to leave. I left for Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego, California on June 6th.

It would be another two years, three deserts, two moves, three hundred phone calls and twelve time zones before we could ever really be together again after that, but that is a whole other story altogether.

I Drew a Monkey in a Math Book and Now I’m Married

Gorrilla Cover Part I

Jennifer Smith was a girl who never talked. One couldn’t tell if she was simply shy and skittish, or cold and aloof. All I knew was that she never talked.

I met Ms. Smith during enrollment prior to our first year of High School. While we were both new to this school, she was a transfer student from a neighboring town. I had been attending classes just one hundred yards away for the last nine years. Our school’s councilor knew this. While I was conversing with another one of our classmates, the councilor called me over. There, standing in the doorway of my High School’s library, I met Jennie for the first time.

She was pretty, but not so much that you believed she desired to be seen. She was fair skinned with a hint of bronze and her nose and cheeks wore a band of fading freckles, peppered by the summer sun. She had large light brown eyes, green in certain lights. They were focused, or perhaps, showed a sense of age that was beyond the rest of our peers. Her lips were tight, hiding a smile she only reserved for those who she trusted most. Back then, she wore her hair short, a recent change I understand, since only a few months before it had been much longer. It must have been quite the event when she let it go. Her hair was almost entirely dark brown, but with strands of red, giving it a color that would remind one of fine mahogany. She had the cutest nose. It’s such an odd thing, to think of something as mundane as a nose to be considered lovely, but it was. It brought all of her together subtly, a fine centerpiece to accentuate the natural beauty that surrounded it in this lovely being standing before me.

She, however, wasn’t beautiful like you would consider some girls to be. My meaning, of course, was that she was not a girl in possession, by choice or apathy, of the type of beauty that is awarded to girls of a certain mentality. I’m referring to “pretty girls”. Pretty girls are those girls, and sometimes boys, who spend hours in front of a mirror crimping and fluffing, drying and mystifying so that they will be thought to be beautiful and loved by the masses; some not so pretty girls do it, as well. But Jennie wasn’t one of those girls. She didn’t dedicate the time to doing those things other girls did. After all, such things are only skin deep, so they say. In fact, she was quite the opposite. I say that as kindly as I can. If she wanted to, she could have faded away into any room at any time she pleased, as she often would. She was simply an elusive sort of beauty. Of course, as I would one day find out, she could also be a beauty that could command any room, if the situation suited her, that is.

Of course, I didn’t think all this at the time. It is more something that I reflect upon. Back then, she was just another girl, one of those mysterious oddities of my species which confounded and terrified me. Still, this one seemed nice enough.

The councilor introduced us. She would be a new member of the little clan that was my fifty member graduating class. I was asked to show Ms. Smith around the school, find out together where her locker would be and figure out where her classes would be. I was not inclined to deny the request. I, and my fellow classmate, walked Jennie around, showing her everything there was to see. The tour didn’t last long, as people who know us and know of the school, know there simply isn’t that much to see. I was nervous since I wasn’t yet used to meeting new people. Everyone in my class had basically been in my class since we were in diapers. Add to this, frankly, even though I had grown up going to school just down the street all these years, I had little idea of what was in the High School. Think about it. Why would I need to know? It is like the hotel down the street from your Mom’s house. Of course you have never been there. Why would you need to? In any case, I stumbled around, trying to figure out what was there only a little better than the brunette foreigner three paces to behind.

She was new and probably nervous about the complete change of scenery. It must have been very strange for her to adapt to us. It would be difficult to adapt to a coterie of students who have been a holistic part of each other’s lives, for better or worse, for going on nine years. It wasn’t like she was completely alone. She would be migrating with all of her class she had grown up with. Her school only went to the eighth grade and most would join us for high school or other schools in the area. It happened every year. In fact, you might say that they were always part of our graduating class, we just didn’t know any of them yet. To be fair though, “her whole class” is a bit misleading. They were eight people. In retrospect, my class of fifty before they joined must have been a bit of a city in retrospect to eight people. The bonds as well. I can’t imagine how close they would have been before they all had to uproot to join this mob that was her new school. Honestly, people from the cities don’t understand the unexpected oddities of a small town, but sociodynamics have little place in love stories.

None of her friends were there with us now, so she was alone, and by my guess, probably pretty scared. So I tried to make jokes. That’s what I do; I make jokes. I made fun of our school because I knew its faults. I compared it to hers, implying that where she had come from had prepared her better than we had been by our alma mater just down the hill. I knew this because I had relatives who went to her old school, as well.  Jennie, however, didn’t understand my meaning. She thought I was being sarcastic and making fun of her. I had no knowledge of this at the time. All I knew was that, for some reason, I had made her mad. She made concerned or perhaps aggravated faces at me and raised her eyebrow in what I could only guess was disapproval. I didn’t have much more to say after that. Whatever the case may have been, she didn’t have much to say during that stroll either. In fact, I am quite certain I don’t remember her saying anything at all. She was quite cold, by my account.

She puts it delicately that, “Love at first sight was not something we experienced.” Our first impressions of each other were thus; I thought she was a stuck-up snob and she thought I was a flaming jackass.
Had she known that my intentions were only to see her laugh, make her comfortable and see what her smile looked like, she may not have been so suspicious. Had I known that at that moment she was going through such suffering elsewhere in her life, I would not have been so judgmental.
In time, eventually, I grew to know more of her. I said knew of her. Remember, she never talked.

I first met her more, through friendships and acquaintances during art class, freshman year. We both enjoyed art, mostly drawing, sketching, and vandalism. Well the last one was primarily only me, but I will get to that later. The class was, in practice, really only a class where the seniors and other upperclassmen would be allowed to goof off and do nothing while the impressionable and wide eyed freshmen hadn’t learned enough not to care.

I made friends with her and two other girls that year. Well, I made friends with her friends and she was there. I stopped thinking she was stuck up and just decided she was shy after five months and never hearing her talk.

I do remember one time though that will always be the moment that I first thought she was remarkable. She was up talking to the teacher and away from her desk. I walked by and saw a picture she had drawn. It was a still life of a shoe and a basketball. I was fixated on the realism. It was so perfectly drawn, so tangible. I felt if I touched it I could feel the grooves. I’m certain to this day that if you compared it to a real ball, the number of bumps would have been the same. The shoe was amazing too, but seemed oddly disproportionate. It turned out that was every bit as accurate. Jennie just has tiny feet.

I watched her from time to time. She was a mystery, a curiosity. How could one be so unattached to the cares and childhood drama that was the political strife of high school? How could she so clandestinely avoid it? Was she some sort of impossibly wise genius who had discovered, as the rest of us discover years later, how very unimportant it all was? Were we all some sort of experiment to her, our movements under her patient gaze, but like a good scientist, never interfering with her trial? Was it simpler than that? Had something happened to this one? Was she just some sort of frail bird, afraid to fly?

I would have liked to have known, but I had my own problems which were ever present to me in the knowable universe. Always the awkward soul, I found myself embroiled with the mundane problems every young boy of certain age finds himself in at some point or another. I was shy, awkward, teased, unpopular, and couldn’t get a girlfriend if my life depended upon it. Social status perhaps, or maybe just loneliness in the awkward years. I suppose that most of those problems were my fault in hindsight. After all, I don’t ever remember asking anyone out in the ninth grade. So looking back, it is probably safe to assume that most of my problems were all in my head, not too different from today. I suppose that even more then than today the problems that only exist between your ears are the hardest to put out of your mind, but I digress.
I remember one day in particular, where I was more frustrated than most. There was a girl in our art class. She was older than we were, a junior, and a very pretty blonde. She was nice to me once, and to someone like me, that’s all that really mattered. I was infatuated, I suppose.

I wasn’t irrational about it. I never even considered asking her, well… anything. She hung out with the rough crowd, the burnouts and rednecks only there for a C which they did nothing to earn. It isn’t that I hated these guys. I played football with many. I was young, but the field was one of the few areas of my life in which I felt confidence. I had strong legs, and could perform and in a small way, they respected me enough to never bully me, which I felt thankful for, then. Still, strong legs don’t equate to strong knees. Those were weak. I couldn’t bare the idea of walking up there and humiliating myself by talking to her. Their marginal respect for me danced on the edge of a poorly balanced feather in the gale. To lose it would have been devastating. So I just sat and watched when I felt no one would notice.

The cowardice of it all, or rather, the lack of good options available to someone in my perceived predicament was too much. I broke one day.

I sat staring at this girl and finally just decided to vent. My eyes caught Jennie. She was alone, sitting at an easel painting. It was odd for her to be alone, missing her usual party of two entourage, that is. My attention was averted from the blonde and I watched Jennie paint quietly to herself. She was an enigma, a subtle sort of splendor, but an enigma.

I decided what I would do at that moment to relieve my pent up frustration. I gathered my courage and I walked over to her.

This story doesn’t end the way you think.

I pulled up a chair beside her. I somewhat ambushed her, in all honesty. Never expecting company, she was quite startled by the sudden direct attention.

At that point I did what I had come to do.

I blurted out to her, “Jennie, why can’t I get a girlfriend?”

I can only imagine exactly what she would have been thinking at that moment. For some reason, I was completely all right with having no idea what it was. She had a shocked look of stillness. She completely stopped what she was doing, and had a look I can only imagine on a frightened rabbit, or perhaps a person suddenly worrying that they are about to be eaten by a crazed peer. She remained still, and from what I remember, never dropped the look for the rest of our conversation. Conversation is probably the wrong word, but at least for the duration of the time I talked at her. Either way, for some reason, I knew exactly how this encounter would end, though I was wrong as to the reason why. Still, the girl had to have been shocked at the brazen, social recklessness of it. I gave her not a second before continuing on.
“No, it’s OK. You don’t have to say anything. I just wanted to talk to someone. You look like that kind of girl that you can trust, so I decided I would talk to you about it.”

I laughed nervously, but began to give in to the letting go.

“Besides, I know you won’t tell anyone, because I know you never talk. I just wanted to get it off my chest.”

That was actually a bit careless. It must read as rather offensive to the third party, too. And besides, just because I never saw her talk, didn’t mean she didn’t. For all I knew, she would write signs and pass out little slips of paper declaring my complete and utter ineptitude. I know gave her the power. She could really destroy me if she wanted. Also, between you and me, I am and have always been a horrible judge of character. I always give people more credit than they are worth. That trusting look on her then, whether true or not, was really just a naive calculation of factors I couldn’t possibly understand. In spite of all this, I continued on anyway, foolhardy as it was.

“I don’t really get it. I’m a nice guy. I am nice to everyone. Everyone else are jerks to me, but I am nice guy. I would think that girls would like nice guys like me.”

I thought of the blonde behind me. I may have even looked at her.

“You know what? I really think that girls don’t want nice guys like they always say they do. I really think they like jerks. I don’t know, though.”

I probably rambled on a bit more, but the details escape me. I just remember finally reaching the end after what was probably a magnificent display of verbal nonsense. I breathed deeply with a sign of relief and said to her finally,

“Thanks Jennie. I needed that. You take care.”

Then I picked up and walked off. I thought to myself what an idiot I was and how crazy she must have thought I was. I walked out the door and turned down the hall to get a drink. I thought to myself about all the horrible damage she could do with what I had just, for no reason, entrusted her with.

There was still plenty of time left in the hour. That meant we would have to sort of just exist together for the next twenty minutes or so, probably not talking about what had just happened. That’s exactly what happened, too. I sat down and pulled up whatever project I was working on and pretended to focus on it. My eyes darted periodically to see if she was ever looking at me. She wasn’t. It’s odd, I don’t remember ever looking at the blonde again. To tell the truth, I don’t even remember the blonde’s name. Tabitha? Samantha? It doesn’t really matter. It never really matters what the extras in stories names are. Jennie continued on painting as if nothing had ever happened. Her gaze and somewhat stern face never faltered. For some reason, I knew then that she would never tell what I told her, not even to the two friends of hers. It would probably die with her if not for me telling you now.

It was still remarkable to me how unattached she seemed to the rest of the world. She was a strange one. That much was sure. Ethereal. Yet, in spite of that, she was a beautiful mystery that would one day be unraveled. Today, though, she just continued to paint in chameleon silence.

Then I didn’t know the value of the trust I put in her. I also didn’t have the wisdom to act upon a person who showed so capably that she was worthy of it. Perhaps if I did have the wisdom, I would have realized what was underneath. I might have understood the why to why I could trust her. If I had been any smarter I would have known that she had a crush on me for weeks. But had I done so, this story would have turned out far different, and not likely for the better…

(Continue on to Chapter 2)