Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 94: Fields of Gold, Chapter 3

As he drove away, I stood there thinking "I can't believe he didn't kiss me."

Three weeks and we'd spent nearly every night together, and no kiss??? I'd never heard of this happening before. Maybe he was just that much of a gentleman. Maybe he just didn't want to give the wrong impression. Maybe he just didn't like me. Hmmph. I didn't know what to think. I was even more confused when his first e-mail to me from Jerusalem mentioned that a couple had been taking wedding pictures of the grounds when he arrived at the center, and that he missed me. What was that supposed to mean?!

With the Dave distraction across the Atlantic, there was little I could do to further figure him out except e-mail, so I turned my full attention to panicking about the major transition ahead: Los Angeles. What had I been thinking, moving to a place that I'd never even visited before? Why hadn't I gone to BYU like everyone else? WHAT HAD I BEEN THINKING?! The day I was supposed to leave arrived, and I stood paralyzed in my bedroom. I hadn't packed a single thing, and it was time to go. I couldn't seem to make myself move. At this point, my angel mother jumped in, threw all my stuff in a suitcase, and practically pushed me on to the plane. I had a mental breakdown somewhere over the Nevada desert, convinced I'd just made the worst mistake of my life.

Stumbling, puffy eyed and red faced into a terminal at LAX, I met my nanny-dad and his three girls. They were absolutely beautiful--11, 7, and 3 years old. Thick black hair that curled down their backs or curved to their shoulders. Deep chestnut brown eyes. And there I stood, the absolute epitomy of frumpy and disheveled, holding a suitcase that was leaking a broken bottle of Happy perfume. I was miserable.

I should say here that this family I was going to work for, never once made me feel judged, although heaven knows I must've looked like a head case. They were professional and warm, and everlastingly patient with my many flaws. In time, I would come to appreciate and adore every single one of them. On that first day, though, when I set my suitcase down in the tiny nanny apartment and met my new nanny-mom and their two month old boy, the only thing I felt like doing was getting on a plane and going back to my job at Hogi Yogi.

My first impression of the city itself, the City of Angels, was of a dirty, dry, sprawling jungle. On my tour through the city I was amazed at the traffic, the noise, the buildings...the traffic. I wondered how in the world I would find my way around. I wondered, mostly, how to get to the beach.

So I began my new life--all alone, in a culture that I found impossible to navigate. I was a country bumpkin, still uncomfortable in my own skin. I set the table every night with beautiful dishes for breakfast, I read wonderful childrens books that filled several bookshelves in the house, and soon came to just love the two youngest children that I spent all day with. The second oldest was filled with imagination, and the oldest girl had a brilliant mind--even if she took a decidedly different view of the world than I did. (An exact quote "I think it is my purpose in life to disagree with you.")

I drove to the beach one night and paid $15.00 for parking. I got off early one afternoon and went to the Getty Museum and sat there, soaking in the silence and the view of the Pacific. And in the evenings, I would check my e-mail to see what Dave was doing half a world away. I told him of my loneliness and my struggles. He told me of seeing places, and how they smelled and sounded. He described his studies and how much fun he was having. His writing was vivid, but never exaggerated. One day, he sent me a list of all the things he liked about me. I wish that I had kept a copy of that list of things, but I didn't. I just sat there, staring at the computer screen and thinking that I had a choice to make--I liked this guy, but knew that I was at the crossroads of liking him and really liking him.

I sent him a letter, and asked him what he wanted when he got home in December--I needed him to make his intentions clear. I hit "Send" then sat back, clasped my hands, and waited.

1 comment:

SuzyQ said...

Sigh...I am loving this story....is it tomorrow yet so I can read another installment???