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Disclaimer:
Kathleene Runnels is responsible for this content, which is not edited by the Wilson County News or wilsoncountynews.com.

January 14, 2016 | 860 views | Post a comment

(Chapter Two, Continued)


It was often that the three girls spent the night at first one home then another. They laughed and giggled; they told stories; and they sang along with the latest rock ‘n roll hits. Annie had every one of Elvis’ records, and how they squealed over him. On one such evening, Margie said to Annie, “Why don’t you relax and have this much fun when you’re with Matthew? He doesn’t know how this side of you.” Well, truthfully, Annie just hadn’t learned to really be herself, to let her vivacious personality show with Matthew. But she decided that she would try harder. She really liked Matthew and wanted him to like her just as much. A popular song called ‘You Don’t Know Me’ became her private theme song.

Just a few weeks after Annie and Matthew started dating, summer-time arrived. The three couples spent a lot of time together that summer. They went bowling, played miniature golf, went to drive-in movies, went to the go-cart course, went to the local theme park, Playland Park, and spent a lot of time at Matthew’s family drive-in restaurant. Those days were carefree and wholesome. Annie became more relaxed, yet she still had a long way to go to figure out who she was and to develop her self confidence.

But there was one aspect of their relationship that Annie was absolutely confident about. Matthew was determined to take their dating to another level, and Annie was just as determined not to. She wasn’t going to let things get out of hand. She didn’t want sex before she married, something she had decided before she had begun dating, and Matthew seemed to think that sex was expected in a relationship. So as the summer drew to an end, Annie could sense Matthew’s drifting away. And that broke her heart.

Then the new school year began. Annie hadn’t heard from Matthew in over a week; and when they ran into each other in the cafeteria, he was cool and distant. Annie knew it was over. So she withdrew and moped and let her vivacious spirit wither. It’s too bad she couldn’t rally those spirits and act as if it didn’t matter. That would have made a much better impression. Annie couldn’t even look Matthew in the eye when she met him in the hall. Of course, her heart flip-flopped every time she saw him or when she heard these lines to her song, “You don’t know the one who dreams of you at night, who longs to kiss your lips, who longs to hold you tight....”

It wasn’t long before Annie heard that Matthew had found another girlfriend, someone from another school. And it was no surprise that this girl had a reputation that must have suited Matthew’s expectations. Nevertheless, Annie kept up with him through her friends, Camilla and Margie. Those other two couples were still dating, so Annie really felt like a fifth wheel. Now and then she dated someone, but no one measured up to Matthew. He was so tall and strong and good-looking. And he had a wonderful kiss. She went with Bruce to a school dance, with Timmy to the movies, with Danny to a ball game. But there were no sparks. Sometimes she would even turn a guy down who asked her out.

Then she heard that Matthew had broken up with that girlfriend. Not really smart for that girl to have given in to his demands. He moved on anyway. And he was soon seen with Betty, a girl who was in pep squad with Annie. Gosh it hurt Annie to hear Betty talking about Matthew, about how cute he was and all the things they did together. Annie never said anything, but everyone knew how she felt. She thought about him every day and wrote long, sad entries in her diary. But Annie didn’t regret for one minute that she had not given in to Matthew’s sexual advances. That wouldn’t have made any difference. As young as she was, somehow she understood that a boy likes a girl for her self, not because she gives in to him. Annie couldn’t help thinking that Matthew would have liked her more if he had known her better, if she had had more confidence and let her personality really show. No, Matthew had never really gotten to know her.

Annie’s sixteenth birthday came in November and she spent it without a boyfriend. Of course, not every girl in her class had a boyfriend, but Annie just felt so badly because she still couldn’t get Matthew off her mind. If only someone else would come along to capture her interest. Then it was Christmas; then New Year’s. Still there was no one.

Then one day, as the pep squad was traveling for a school outing, Betty let it slip that she and Matthew were getting married! Getting Married!? How could that be? They were both still in high school! Well, it wasn’t hard to figure out why they were hastily getting married. No self-control. No determination to resist. Feeling disgusted about the whole thing, Annie recalled something her mother had told her about dating. “Be careful, Annie,” she had said. “Before you know it, things can get out of hand.”

But Annie believed that if a girl decided in the first place to say “No”, she could stay in control. She had felt those same passions that got Matthew and Betty in trouble, but she had enough self-pride to resist. How sad for Matthew, for Betty, for their parents, and for the baby. Everyone’s lives would be forever changed.

One day about a year later, Mrs. Roberts told Mrs. Vane that Annie was the only girl Matthew had dated who had good morals and high standards. Mrs. Roberts said she regretted that Matthew had made the choices he made. He had found himself married and expecting a child during his senior year, and college plans were out of the question. Chances were that a marriage made like that wouldn’t last.

Okay. Matthew was getting married and Annie was still crazy about him. Or at least she had thought she was all this time. Maybe she was crazy about their memories. Maybe it was time for Annie to move on. So, that night Annie wrote a final chapter in her diary about this episode, closing with: “Matthew can go soak his head!” It was early March. She and Matthew had begun their relationship last May. They had dated only four months, yet she had doted on him for another six. Yes, it was high time she put all that behind her. Someone else would come along one of these days. Maybe it would happen when she least expected it.

Then one evening a few days later, Annie and her parents were having dinner at a neighborhood restaurant when she noticed this cute guy sitting with his parents. She kept looking his way, trying to get his attention, but he never noticed her. She couldn’t help thinking that she would like to meet this guy. But the evening passed and so did the opportunity. What Annie was to discover soon, very soon, was that it is much better for the guy to find the girl. How much more romantic it is for him to pursue her.

So it was that the very next day was Sunday. Annie went to Sunday School as always, and as she walked down the stairway, she saw a fellow watching her from the foot of the stairs. Little did she know that she was soon to embark on a romantic venture beyond her dreams! The person Annie was about to meet would put Matthew out of her mind forever!
 
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