October 25
2:47 a.m.

I’m thinking about the last twenty-four hours of my life.

It’s like nothing made sense until I drove out of the church parking lot with Tav. My mind’s replaying the evening’s events, and that’s waking me up further. My night prayers are something between “Thank you, Lord,” and “Please don’t let me get hurt,” to “Can I have more Tav?”—like he’s something I could order off of a menu.

I can’t get to sleep.

“Sweet dreams. And I want to hear all about it tomorrow.” That was Gwen, strolling in half-asleep into my room, making sure I was home, and out again.

“Yes. Sweet dreams.”

Now, I know what sweet dreams are made of—my moments with Tavish MacGregor.

I. Am. In. Deep. Trouble.

______

10:15 a.m.

It’s morning. I don’t want to wake up. I’m still dreaming about last evening.

“You want to go with us to church or are you going to First?”

“Whaa…?”

“Oh, go back to sleep. You’re not going to be worth much today. I so want to know what happened last evening. In a rush, see you when I get back.”

Gwen’s late as usual…and I’m even later.

Where do I want to go to church?

______

10:55 a.m.

Since I want last evening’s memories to last as long as possible, I don’t want to go where I’d see Tav. I don’t want to jinx anything. Besides…there’s Faith! If Faith only knew. As it is, I’m sure I’m the top “prayer concern” of her group. “Please Lord, let sinful Natalie not lead Pastor Tavish to hell.”

So I’m walking to the church down the street.

It’s not a large place, and they always give me a warm welcome. I feel like the long-lost prodigal daughter.

“Natalie, we’ve missed you.” That would be the usher.

“Thanks, Joe! It’s been crazy busy at work.”

“You need time to refresh.”

“Yes.”

“And all work and no play makes Natalie a dull girl.”

I’m thinking, all play and no sleep—that’s what makes Natalie a dull girl.

“Give Joe a hug.”

No, I’d rather not. But I get a hug anyway.

Why is it that people don’t realize that some grandfather type of personalities are quite the lechers? Everyone, well, most, think these men are warm and friendly, but I’ve know some of them to hug…just a little too close.

“And so the Lord sayeth…” The pastor has begun his sermon.

King James, of course. And I’m not sure what the Lord is sayething and I should have been paying more attention to the pastor’s sermon, but his soft voice and my sleep deprivation were perfect companions to make me nod off a few times and miss some important (I guess) points.

And then, I was doing that woman thing—should I or shouldn’t I?

Should I call Tav and thank him? Would he think that I’m reading too much into an evening out? He might think I’m desperate for him? But he did pay for dinner and it was amazing. I started to pray that God would give me a sign. Now signs can get you into trouble. I remember the time that I thought God wanted me to talk to this guy at church, only to find out that he told everyone that I was hitting on him. The creep.

But I decided to pray for a sign anyway. I thought I heard the pastor say, “If you’re thinking about it. Do it. Take a risk.” I took that as a sign. I would have taken anything as a sign. Maybe he said, Don’t! Or maybe he had said, “Sinking boats are risky.” Anyway, the pastor probably shouldn’t have said whatever he had, because he lost one person in his audience for the rest of his sermon.

I texted Tav. “Hi. Thanks for last night. It was amazing.”

I re-read the text. “Last night was amazing?” That didn’t sound good. Anyone reading it would think…

Delete. Delete. Delete.

“Hi. Just wanted to say thanks. It was great!”

Sounded stilted. Delete.

“Heya! Whatchya doin?”

Nope. Fake Italian? Very weird. That’s like Hugh Grant in “Mickey Blue Eyes.”

Another try. No. Not quite right.

Ding. Ding. Ding. That’s me receiving a text message.

Shhh. That’s pious lady next to me, glowering at me…in Christ.

It is Tav. I’m so excited, I’m pointing to the phone and whispering to Mrs. Pious that it’s Tav.
What an idiot!

“Hi. Where are you? Are you free later today?”

I hate men.

Why is it so simple for them to send a text? I bet Tav hadn’t pondered every single word, overanalyzed it, added a little flippancy with a dose of denial to make sure I didn’t think he was interested in me. And then, read and deleted the sentence five times, or checked with three people in the room to make sure it was okay, before he sent it.

“In church. Yes. Where are you?” I text.

“In church. Would like to see you again.”

See. Simple. Men are straightforward. They want to see you. They say it. We women never want a man to know that we’re dying to see him and that we’re sitting with our phones in our hands, checking them a million times in one second to make sure we haven’t missed his message or call.

Now Mrs. Pious has lost her piety and is quite into my texts. She’s reading them, smiling at me, and giving me a thumbs up!

I’m in shock. Can’t text. He wants to see me again?!

“That’s if you want to.”

Mrs. Pious jabs me in the side and hisses, “Tell him yes.”

“Yes?”

“Yes? Question mark yes?”

“No?’

“No? Natty, you’re driving me crazy.”

“Lol! I keep hitting the wrong button.”

“Well, lassie, you’re hitting all the right buttons with me.”

My new friend’s body is convulsed in giggles. “He’s in love with you.” I’m shaking my head no.

“Such an idiot!”

“Aren’t you inviting me for dinner?”

I type out, “No.”

“:(”

Mrs. Pious has had it. She’s now typing, “Yes, of course. I’ll call you as soon as I get out of here.”

“You’re adorable.” He texts. I’m adorable? He thinks I’m adorable.

And there you have it. I adore this man. I wonder if I’ll ever be able to tell him that…

_______

Photo by Karl-Ludwig Poggemann via Flickr