Beside: (prep) at the side of; next to.
It took six-and-a-half days to build up the courage to ask.
I was only fifteen years old, and although I was very interested in girls, they terrified me.
So I finally mustered the courage to ask young Judy to go on a date. Well…not exactly.
First of all, I had no car, no money and no ideas on where to go. So more or less, it was a verbal scouting expedition, to see if she would be willing to go out with me if I actually had been capable of pulling it off.
After many gulps, delays and conversational dead-end streets, I finally choked out my request–and lo and behold, she said yes.
So I decided to have my mother drive us to a nearby town where they had a movie theater and drop us off in the shopping area, to pick us up four hours later. We started walking around, and it became obvious that Judy was unable, or unwilling, to stay beside me.
She either walked a little ahead or stayed a little behind.
So when I slowed up for her to catch up, she passed by me, and I had to catch up with her. At no point did I feel that we ever connected. Even when we went into the movie theater, she tried to sit one seat away.
I thought it was due to the fact that she was timid–but at the end of our little excursion I learned the truth.
After grilling her for about fifteen minutes, she finally came out with the information that she only said yes to the date because she didn’t know how to say no. But when we got to the little town and started exploring, she realized that the boy she really liked was nearby, walking around, and even went to the same movie. She didn’t want to discourage him by making him think that she was beside me.
And I mean, double ouch.
I learned that night, though, that the way we communicate tenderness and true interest in one another is not by leading nor by following.
It’s by staying solidly beside one another.