Schoolhouse Rock brought me and Lisa very close to each other. We were dear friends during the production, but afterward hardly saw each other and hardly maintained a friendship. I remember feeling a tinge of romance toward her, but she was interested in another boy. I could turn this into a dramatic story of love and romance, but this is senior year. I think we’re a bit more mature than that. Lisa and I were not an item, but we were still dear friends. We were bus buddies on the way to the theatre convention in Fort Worth. I remember that we talked about all sorts of things on the bus ride there. One of them was this, sort of, dying love story that I had thought up about her and myself.
That bus ride made everything good between us. It made us into great friends. I think in that conversation we became something like brother and sister. It was beautiful. Unfortunately, that conversation turned me into a hopeless romantic. Of course, I did not realize what I was at the time. But looking back I know that I was a hopeless romantic, for at this theatre convention I met a girl named Jessica who I was dating a couple of days after our return from Forth Worth.
Jessica was also a hopeless romantic (she and another boy had broken up about a week before we met). She didn’t know it either though. We just sort of bumped into each other and were hopelessly romantic together for a few months.
Our relationship wasn’t really a hopeless case. Nore was it pointless by any means. It was a learning relationship. One of those relationships that teaches you a whole lot about people and romance and how love works. I think that the big mistake we made was how fast we jumped into romance. The reason we did this is, no doubt, because we were a couple of hopeless romantics who managed to bump into each other. What I learned from the relationship though, is that friendship is much more important than romance. I learned that friendship is where true depth comes from and romance was only something extra. I like thinking of relationships as plants, or flowers. If you put a seed in a pot of fertilizer no matter how much potential it may have to grow, it won’t. It will probably just shrivel up and die. Friendships are like soil and romance is like fertilizer. Flowers need soil to grow in and fertilizer can make them even more beautiful. But only if the flower has its roots in the soil will it be able to grow.
Needless to say, our relationship shriveled up and died. The next day one of her friends, Carole-Marie, sent me a text message asking if I was alright. It was pretty unexpected and very thoughtful. Little did I know that this text message was the sprouting of a seed that had already been buried in soil. Carole-Marie and I began having conversations. We could talk about anything. We could talk about spirituality and politics. We could talk about Disney movies and childhood dreams. We could talk about what we believed. We could tell jokes and laugh. It was something unspeakably beautiful. It was a plant that had sprouted up out of the ground.
After awhile people started asking us if we were dating. Neither of us were really sure. I told them that there was a point when a flower is a bud and that there is a point when it is a blossom, but that there was also this time in between the two when you could look at it and tell that it was no longer a bud, but that it was certainly not a blossom either. I told them that this is what Carole-Marie and I were. We simply weren’t sure and weren’t ready to make any declarations about our relationship.
After a few weeks of discussing whether or not we should be a bud or a blossom I finally realized how silly the discussion was and that we were asking all the wrong questions. You see, we had been asking ourselves, “What should we do? Should we pursue romance or not? Should we date or not? What should we be?” Finally, I suggested, “We’re asking the wrong question. We keep saying things like ‘What should we be?’ But, what are we?”
I went on to say, “What do you call it when you talk with a person on the phone hours out of the day because you can’t be with them? What do you call it when you can talk about happy things or sad things? What do you call it when you can have a serious discussion or laugh together? What do you call it whenever you are with a person and everything just feels right? What do you call it when you have to say goodbye and you don’t want to let go of that embrace? What do you call it?” (All describing our relationship.)
“—What do you call it?”
Her response was, “Amazing!”
To which I said, “Yeah! But seriously though, what is that called?”
“Well,” she said,” It sounds like a…um…a boyfriend.”
“Yeah,” I said, “or a girlfriend…. So, what are we?”
I could hear her smile, “Drew, sometimes you just make so much sense!”
From then on I guess we decided to start using fertilizer. Romance entered our friendship and made it something more mystic and beautiful than ever. Our friendship was there nonetheless. Our roots were deep down in friendship and our love for God shined on us like rays from the sun.
I can say that I look forward to going to prom with her. I look forward to the rest of this school year. I even look forward to summer. As much as I also look forward to leaving for college in August, I am upset that this flower must cease to be fertilized then. It’s a lucky thing that our roots are in the soil though. I know this flower will remain in bloom. Although the fertilizer will have stopped, and it may not get as much water as before, I know that the soil is good and hope for the light to continue shining.