On Sabbath the next day, I walked into church and they were both saving a seat for me. I went and sat next to Michael who quickly abandoned me to be followed by Kendra and Josie motioning for me to go sit with them. I had weighed it out and done many pros and cons again and had decided Shannon was going to be the who I was going to try to pursue. I didn’t want to ruin the long standing friendship with Kendra nor, if and when we broke up, have to deal with our social circle having exes in it. Shannon also presented the challenge of having to beat a couple of other applicants to the job. I told Kendra that I thought we would better off as friends and she handled it gracefully.
That night, it was time for the new talent show, a talent show highlighting only new students and faculty. They posted the program around campus that afternoon and to my surprise, Shannon was listed as doing a piano piece. I was surprised that she hadn’t mentioned this in any of our conversations. Jeremy and I went into the school cafeteria to see the stooges gathered around her making quite a commotion. I inquired as to what was going on and Shannon explained that they had asked her if she would play and she had said no so she was really embarrassed to have her name on the program because she had no intention of playing. The stooges proceeded to say they had been trying to talk her into it with no success to which I declared that I was sure I could get her to do it. I then whispered something into her ear and she smiled and said she would do it. The stooges were positively livid. Shortly afterwards, Shannon got her meal and again sat down by herself. Jeremy and I had every intention of sitting with her but the other applicants were trying to pad their resume some more and sat down right before we were going to. Jeremy and I sat down on the other side of the cafeteria and he said he was going to give me a hand with the situation. Jeremy called Shannon over and with great style and poise asked if she would join us for lunch. She said she’d like to but that she felt bad; Jeremy countered with that they had each other. She smiled, Jeremy asked her to sit down and then he went and got her food and brought it to our table.
Shannon and I spent the afternoon together with most of the conversation being about how nervous she was and me providing whatever reassurance I could. A few hours later it was time for the talent show and she was in one of the piano rehearsal rooms practicing. I found her moments before the show was supposed to start and she was still very uneasy. We looked at each other and hugged each other and I told her she would be fine. It was a very long hug.
I don’t remember any other acts from that night but I do remember Shannon getting up there. She was wearing a cute little hat and other than the glasses were still the same, could it be that she had transformed into such a beautiful young lady in just a few days’ time. She began to play “Waiting for You” on the piano, playing it quietly at first but eventually growing slightly more confident and even adding a few variations. As she was playing, one of the stooges, to his credit, goes up and puts up a hibiscus on top of the grand piano. She smiled that smile that still makes my life worthwhile but it was directed at someone else. I’d been upstaged while she was up on the stage. Jeremy was standing next to me and I gave him some money and asked him to go buy me some roses since he was a village student and had his own car.
Afterwards, the stooge tried to talk to her and she patiently waited but eventually came around to talking to me. We went and sat on one of the benches around the fountain. That hibiscus was now in her hair and was really bugging me. I had hidden the flowers under the bench where I took her to so I took the hibiscus from her ear and tossed it behind me. Immediately afterwards, I pulled out the flowers and gave them to her. We laughed and flirted and giggled and I think we were both sold. Maybe just maybe Miguel was right and finally this one was The One.
When I walked into the dorm that night, several of the guys let me know just how big of a douchebag move it was to throw that flower over my shoulder. The presenter was ready for a brawl which was avoided. I couldn’t bring myself to apologize sincerely or not. The next day was the school mall trip and Shannon had needed a calculator and didn’t have money. I bought her one and she was thoroughly impressed (she should have been; I had been spending the very little spending money on her on her flowers and her needs but not acknowledging that I had no money). We flirted over the next week and talked and laughed and giggled some more each day.
The upcoming weekend was the school’s upcoming beach trip. I had planned to ask her to be my girlfriend on Monday, September 8th because well because it had an eight in it. However, after spending the day with her on the beach and remembering she’d grown up in Hawaii and loved the ocean, in the middle of the day I decided that I would ask her to be my girlfriend. There was just one problem: I couldn’t seem to work up the courage. A few hours later it was almost time to head back and I asked her if she wanted to go take a walk before we left knowing this would be my last chance. After walking for a while, I hem and hawed and said:
“I’ve been wondering…I mean I’ve been meaning to ask you…what I wanted to say…it’be good…um…if…um…you know uh…what time is it?”
“That’s cool, really cool, 4:18. Cool.” Some more walking down the beach “Actually, what I was trying to say…back …over there…where…we uh were…be be before… was…um do you …would you… could you…tell me what time it is?”
With a bemused look Shannon answered, “4:19”
“Awesome. Really awesome that it’s like uh been a whole minute since you know you last um told me…let’s keep walking…no wait…uh we have to get back…no let’s um sit down…um great job on the piano last week…uh how’s the calculator working out…just wondering…would uh, what time is it?”
She takes off her watch and hands it to me “So that you don’t have to ask so much.”
“Wow that’s a pretty watch. Um… what I wanted to know was um…would you, you know, be like um, my…my…girlfriend?”
She smiled and said yes and it was the most excited I’d ever been about having a girl say yes ever. She made my day. I tried to give her back her watch but she told me to keep it. It’s been over twelve years since that day 9/7/97 but each year I still take her out to eat to remember. And the watch? It hangs on the mirror of every car I’ve ever had since then.