And then I graduated from high school and never played club volleyball again.
But I couldn’t let it end there. Have I mentioned I’m slightly manipulative? Don’t worry. I use my cunning ways for mostly good, and in Pat’s case, I used them to make him like me.
I offered to be his assistant coach the following season. I was moving away to college less than 30 minutes from the gym, it would be a great way to make a little extra money AND I would get to keep talking to Pat.
I cast the bait and he bit. Hook. Line. And sinker.
The truth is I couldn’t have cared less about coaching volleyball. I’m not good at it. I see the court from my own position’s perspective…I have no idea what the other player’s are supposed to be doing in each rotation.
And I’m not sure WHY I was so insistent on being his assistant coach. He’s five inches shorter than me, eleven years older…I mean I didn’t REALLY think we were going to start dating. I just knew I didn’t want to never see him again.
And then one of my old teammates told Pat I liked him. Like…liked him liked him. They had a long conversation and she let him in on the jokes that had been going on for years. Pat was stunned…when I talked to him next he came right out with it. He asked me if it was all true and I was all, “ummmm….yeah?” and he was all, “really?? Wow. Hmph. Okay then.”
I hung up the phone feeling extremely confused with myself. Did I REALLY like him? Like, like him like him? It had all been just a big joke….hadn’t it?
I decided I had taken it too far to NOT see if there was something there. What if I was wrong and all this time is was MORE than a silly crush! We started spending more time together…we grabbed dinner after tournaments, we carpooled together, and we GASP…WENT TO A MOVIE (that I claimed I never saw just so he would still take me), and as it turns out I WAS wrong…I kind of DID like him like him!
My Mom knew something was up instantly. I came home from college one night and she asked why she hadn’t been seeing much of me. Then came the raised eyebrows and the “out with it, who is he??” questions.
I expected shock. Panic even. But my Mom smiled at his name and shook her head at the daughter she knows all too well. The daughter who has never been known to rest until whatever it is she’s pining for is hers. After all, I’d been working HER over for years.
“You hear that Bob??” she said as she turned to my step dad at the dining room table. “Kathy’s dating Pat.”
Bob just snickered his funny little snicker, “well I’m not surprised one bit…you seen the look on her face when she talks about that man?? She’s had it out for him since day one….he didn’t stand a chance.”
He certainly did not.
And I’m glad.
And so are they…