Today LDC performed for the university faculty. Every year the Institute hosts a luncheon for the UVU teachers and employees, and somehow LDC always ends up performing something to fit the theme of the event. Last year we didn't find out until the day before. Brother Eggett came into choir and said, "In a moment of weakness I may or may not have volunteered you all to put on a pirate musical. Tomorrow." So we did it! And it was rather fun.
This year we performed again, only we knew about it about a week in advance. The theme this year had something to do with China, and so we dragged out the kimonos and fans and created a mini production of the Disney movie Mulan. I don't know why the guys have the best songs in that movie. It's about a girl, for heaven's sake!
While I was waiting to perform the "show" a second time, one of the guys in choir came and sat next to me. I'll describe him to you: tall, dark, handsome, intelligent, talented, kind, hilarious, with a smile that stops your heart while simultaneously making you feel like you've just run a marathon. Aka, the kind of guy a girl like me tries desperately NOT to fall head over heals for. He's the only person I've ever met who I cannot look at while I'm frantically trying to form an intelligent sentence. I'll stare at my knees, his shoes, the floor, anything other than that face with the devastating smile. He's also the only man who upon meeting has caused me to forget my own name (true story).
So anyway, this is the guy who comes and sits by me and asks me if I'm okay. I wasn't, because I was really sad and feeling all mixed-up inside, but I didn't want to talk about it for fear of crying and smudging my carefully prepared, very black eyeliner. And then when I explained that, he did the unthinkable: he HUGGED me. And not just a hug: a hold. A longer than 10 second near cuddle while he told me that he'll be there for me anytime I need and that I shouldn't be a stranger because we're friends, and friends help each other when they need it.
When he put his arms around me, I was terrified. Boys do not touch me. I don't like it, and I don't want it. Then he pulled me close and I was even more afraid. For one my face was on fire and I was afraid he'd see it. For another, I didn't want to be that close to someone, anyone. Here's why: the last time I was held by someone of the opposite sex, I was scared of him. The feeling was totally and completely wrong. I hated the way it felt, and I wanted to get away from him, but he wouldn't let me go.
That was what I expected today, and I was immediately ready to run away. Then I realized...the feeling was completely different. With this friend from choir, I wasn't an object of gratification. I wasn't a toy to be used. I was a person, a girl with feelings and thoughts, and he was only showing me that he cared. He wasn't trying to scare me or threaten me. He was being a friend. It's been so long since I felt that around a guy that I didn't even recognize it. It was so weird to go from feeling afraid to completely relaxed, to actually enjoy being shown friendship through a physical touch.
I don't want to be scared anymore. I am, I'll admit it. But I don't want to be. I want to ENJOY choir. I want to keep the close friends I have and to make close relationships with new friends. I want to be able to love others and to trust them and to show them that I care. I want to do for others what my friend did for me, reminding me that there are good, honest, kind people out there.
I want to be a girl worth fighting for. I want to be respected and loved, really loved. I want other girls to feel that way, because they should feel that way. No woman should ever be afraid of what a man might do. No woman should ever feel threatened or used or frightened. She is to be fought for and cared for, not used and dumped aside like a toy that has lost its shine.
Tomorrow is another day. I'm going to make it better than I made today.