“I hope it’s worth the wait.” Emilynn said to John before he boarded the plane. “It will be. Trust me.” John gave her a kiss. It was a ‘I am going out for milk’ kiss, not a ‘I will be in Africa for 6 months’ kiss. This was all new for us.
When he first told her about his plan, she was supportive. She had to be. It was the first time he had actually had the courage to do what he wanted.
Emilynn and John had grown up together. They were elementary school sweethearts. As long as she had know John, he had always been concerned with what others thought.
His friends used to tease him because he was the first one to get serious about a girl. So, he would down play their relationship in front of them. But, Emilynn knew the truth. John loved her since the second grade.
His mother thought he was to young to be so serious about a girl, so their plan to get married after high school were postponed. “What was the hurry anyway, right?” John said. “We will be together forever.”
His dad wanted him be able to take care of himself before taking on a wife, so he enlisted in the army and the wedding was put off again.
It pained Emilynn to watch John change his own thoughts and beliefs much like a chameleon changed his colors to blend in with his environment. John just wanted to please everyone. He didn’t want to stand out. He didn’t want the people he cared most about to be disappointed in him.
That was why this news was such a shock to everyone. When he told his mom she went and got a thermometer to make sure he wasn’t sick.
The pressure from his family and friends and probably a little from Emilynn had been building up for a while. The pressure finally forced John to take some time to decide what he really wanted for himself. Why that had to happen all the way in Africa, Emilynn wasn’t quite sure. But, it was what John needed to do.
John had told Emilynn on her birthday. He was so excited. Emilynn couldn’t help but be happy for him.
He had given her a pen. “What is this for?” Emilynn asked.
“Write me.” He said. He thought he was being clever. They both loved the movie Say Anything, but John never did quite get the significance of why Diane gave Lloyd the pen.
She couldn’t fault him, though. It would have been bad manners on her part. He was trying. And, she knew he needed this. So, she was going to be supportive and wait. Wait for him to come back as the man she knew he wanted to be and not the man that everyone expected him to be.
Emilynn had been waiting all her life for John. She was banking on the real him being worth the wait.