About A Girl

Amanda was only part of my life for a brief five years, yet she had such a huge role to play in it. I was only eleven when she moved to our neighborhood in the little blue house that sat on the corner. It came to life the day she arrived. I had never asked a girl out before I met Amanda, I went from someone who had paid little interest to girls, to all of a sudden being thrust into situations where a desire I had never once had before urged me into making a fool of myself in front of her.
Her warmth and nurturing temperament were alluring from the start. She dealt in the beginning with my extreme shyness towards her with only kindness and never judgment. On her arrival that first day I had mustered up all the courage I had to walk to the corner just to say hello to her. As I walked from our yard toward the corner my hands were sweaty and I was bordering on hyperventilating. When I finally reached the corner she was taking a box out of her family’s Jeep Grand Cherokee, she turned towards me, I quickly said hello, and then walked right by her and raced around the corner without looking back.
I felt like such an idiot. I felt like I wasted my chance to make a good impression. After circling the block I made sure that she was nowhere in sight, and ran for our house. I went to my bedroom, and sat at my desk for a couple of minutes then took out a piece of paper, wrote a quick note asking if she wanted to go out, one box for yes, one box for no. I folded it up, walked out of my bedroom, out the front door and back to the corner. When I got there I encountered Amanda’s older sister Jennifer, and I asked her if she would pass the note along, which she agreed to with a knowing smirk, then I turned back around and walked home.
I laid on my bed feeling foolish.. These feelings were so new and I had no idea what I was doing. It had all happened so fast, and the whole time I felt possessed by someone other than myself. What I did know was that there was a strong energy that existed between us, something I had never felt before, not with any of the other girls I knew at school or elsewhere. Amanda wast special from the moment she caught my eye.
The next day as I sat outside watching my little cousins play, I saw Amanda walking towards us. The panic quickly set in, and the many possible ways in which she was about to reject and humiliate me flashed through my mind. I must have looked like a deer in headlights, and I swear that I could hear her every footstep. She came up to me and handed me back the note, I looked at her unsure if I should open it then. She was smiling so I did. Inside the box for yes was checked, with a little smiley face next to it.
That was how it started. For those first few months I really struggled to not be shy around her, and I admit there were many times I flat out avoided her because I was so unsure of myself. Through all that though, she stuck with me, kept pushing me to loosen up, kept encouraging me to relax and just be myself. In that way she was a lot like my Dad. He always said I was too serious and was always looking for ways to distract me, and to get me to laugh or smile. I loved that about her.
Amanda’s best trait was her compassion for absolutely everyone. There are no caveats here, very literally ANYBODY. I never met a person in our short time together that she had ever dismissed. She saw something good in everyone no matter if you were a bully, a geek, or a “nobody”. At a point in your life where social status defines you and very well might through high school, she never feared that any of her associations might ruin her reputation.
Maybe if she were someone else, it wouldn’t have mattered whose company she chose to keep, but Amanda was beautiful, five foot six with blond hair, blue eyes and great lips. From jump, there was always a long line of boys trailing behind her. This never changed her though.
Everyone from the neighborhood would converge on her house, both younger kids and older kids, and Amanda looked after them all. She’d be just as eager to chase around the little ones as she would be to stop and bullshit with those her own age. This amazed me. I didn’t know another person our age that was like that. I don’t know if I came to take on her personality or whether it was always in my nature, probably both, but the two of us together looked after everyone.
She was always encouraging me. Any little interest I had she would be my biggest supporter. I had been writing for years in single subject notebooks, or on the little blue typewriter grandma had found for me at the flea market. Some of it was journaling, some it was stories, but I had never shared any of it with anyone ever. Amanda would see my scribbling things down in these notebooks, and after awhile asked if she could read them. I was hesitant at first, but eventually I succumbed to that gorgeous smile and pouty lips and let her read them. She would say my writing was great or wonderful, and that made me a little uncomfortable to hear such positive reinforcement, I got use to it though and eventually looked forward to the times she would ask to see what I had written.
I once let her read this really emotional piece about my dad I had written. It was the most honest thing I had probably ever committed to paper up to that point. I asked her if she would take it home to read then let me know what she thought. I didn’t want to be around as she read it this time. The next day she returned and with some tears bubbling on the surface, she handed it back to me and said that it was beautiful. I got a little teary eyed myself, she reached up with her left hand and put it on my cheek, then kissed me on the lips and told me that one day I was going to be a writer, that she just knew it.
She never let me off the hook easy. For years I had moaned about how I wished I could play guitar, and she was always telling me that I should try and learn, but I always dismissed the idea, and made some excuse that she never bought. My hands were too small, I couldn’t read music, or it was just a talent I was sure I didn’t possess. She would finally say with exasperation, “Just do it! Then you can thank me afterward”. I would laugh, and change the subject, while she shook her head telling me that I was being ridiculous.
In the five years we were together I never desired another girl. I didn’t feel conviction about much during that time, but very quickly I knew that we were going to be together forever. I never had to fantasize about a girl of my dreams, because Amanda was real, and more brilliant than I could have ever designed myself. She represented my entire future.
I was away with my mom when I got the call. I sat on the bed as my Dad explained that something had happened to Amanda, and that she had passed away, something about an undetected heart condition. The life was sucked out of me. I finished listening to him tell me how sorry he was, my mind drifting in and out while I choked back tears, then I hung up the phone and sat there. Anxious and jittery I tried to wrap my mind around what he had just told me. Eventually mom came into the room, and started feeding me a bunch of clichés about how there were other girls in the world, saying all the wrong things to me. She had never bothered to meet Amanda, so I wasn’t interested in anything she had to say on the matter in that moment. I just continued to sit there, stunned.
Amanda’s mom had always been great to me, so I felt very honored when she asked me to be one of the pallbearers, but from the second I got off the phone with her, I was dreading that moment I would I have to say goodbye. Being a pallbearer was something I knew I needed to do, but it was harder than anything I have ever had to do in my life before and since.
When the day came, I put on my best cloths and the bravest face I could. I got to mortuary early, but avoided Amanda’s casket at all cost. We delivered her to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, and I made it through the entire ceremony without a tear, although I admit it wasn’t easy.
Finally the end came and everyone lined up to say goodbye to her one last time. I was one of the first to go up, I looked inside the casket to see her resting peaceful a subtle smile on her face, I leaned over kissed her on the lips and said goodbye, then turned to walk away. My dad was waiting for me at the top of the isle, and I walked slowly towards him trembling, still pushing all my feelings down until I finally reached him, then I buried my face in his stomach and lost it.
I was so glad my dad was there for me. He didn’t need to say anything. Instead he just stood there with me in his arms and let me have my moment. After a couple of minutes I composed myself, then headed back to the front so I could walk the casket to the hearse. When we finally closed the door of the hearse, I went over to her mother and told her that I loved her and I would always be there for her, and she looked at me and smiled and said “She loved you so much”, at which point I started to break down again, and she pulled me close for another hug.
It’s been a rough road ever since. To this day she is still the one I love the most. She’s the first person I think of when I wake up, and the last one I think of before I go to sleep. It took me a few years before I could even date again. Despite some very wonderful women having come into my life, I have always had to end it when I get to the point where I knew for sure that I could never love them more than Amanda. I didn’t think that was fair to them. I’m ok with that though, I know that I have experienced something that is rare, and I know that part of the reason I am here is to do the things that she never got to do, to become the man she always knew I could be. When I’m struggling I can hear voice telling me all the things I know she would have said if she were still here. She’s always with me.
When I turned twenty I finally bought myself a guitar. I got it home and plugged it in, sitting there for minutes with my hand on the neck, then I remembered her saying, “Just do it! Then you can thank me afterward”. I strummed the guitar and relished the sound that came out of the amp. After several hours straight of playing and familiarizing myself with the instrument I finally put it down, and said under my breath “Thank you. For everything”

About mriosnsp

I like writing about life.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *