I was beginning to formulate in my mind what I should be looking for in a mate. The Lord was teaching me through my observations of Steve and Kathy's Christian marriage, and the negative relationship I had experienced with my former boyfriend. I didn't desire only a church attender, but someone who loved the Lord, not just a protector, but someone who would nurture my spiritual life, not merely an escape from my situation at home, but someone with whom to create a home and family. I was also beginning to think that perhaps it wasn't a boy I needed at all, but that the Lord would be all those things for me, and more. I grew closer to Him, and desired a future with Him at the helm. The Lord had brought me to a place where I felt really alone, and it was to Him that I cried, and for Him that I longed.
My life in Lexington was busy. I worked often, and late, sometimes pulling all nighters after my shifts, to complete the projects for my classes at USC. My art history class was incredibly difficult, held in a dark auditorium full of hundreds of students. I never even saw the teacher up close, as I was assigned a seat in the back. She literally spent the entire class time flicking through slide after slide of art, spouting off dates and long Italian names and places, as we all furiously struggled to take impossible notes. The tests might as well have been in Latin for all I knew of the content, and I was struggling to keep my nose above water. My English class was just as impersonal, but the work was easy compared to my high school AP class. Beginning painting was a breeze, as was anthropology, but French was more of a challenge. My first semester was winding down, and I was ready for it to be over.
My job at Pizza Hut was becoming increasingly stressful. The other employees were living lives very different from my own. Although a few of the girls there would meet me at the gym, or chat with me over lunch, and were sometimes receptive when I tried to share my faith, they were a typical party crowd, and they knew I was not interested in participating. They teased me often about my "goody two shoes ways", which didn't really bother me much, but the s*e*x*ual innuendo from the guys did. Most of the males there were much older then me, and some even sought to protect me, but there was one man named Eric that was becoming increasingly bold in his conversation, and invading my personal space. I tried to make it completely clear that I was not interested, but it never deterred him. He was a strong man, very good looking, and used to getting his way. He was also in authority over me as a manager. I never feared for my safety, as I should have, because I was just that naive, but his advances did make me uncomfortable and confused. I wasn't sure how to handle the issue, or who to talk to about it.
The Saturday afternoon shift at the Hut was the slowest, and least desirable, because no customers meant no tips. One particular Saturday afternoon I was getting ahead so I could leave just as soon as my shift ended. I was doing all the necessary responsibilities, filling the salt and pepper, Parmesan and red pepper flake containers between taking orders, and just basically leaving things ready for the busier evening shift. I was totally unsuspecting that my life was about to change.
My co-worker was seating the patrons as I checked the contents at the salad bar. She chose to seat the late lunchers at my station. At the two person booth next to the far window, were two nice looking young men, nicely dressed, smiling and chatting, and studying their menus.
to be continued