I grabbed my phone card and our cordless phone before walking out the door. I made my way around the corner and sat on the very steps where strangers had helped move my stuff in, but this time I went quietly. I was fighting back the tears when I told my roommate I would be back. I sat and listened to the phone ring and ring and ring, whispering prayers of pleas that someone would pick up the phone.
“Well, hey Stephanie. How are you?”
“Come get me, I’m done here,” I said through tears on the phone to my mom. “Camp is over.”
Christian Student Movement was being more than good to me and for me. It was there that I met some pretty awesome folks who allowed me to be one of them and encouraged me to get involved. So I did. I got involved in New Beginning Singers (NBS), In-Reach, and Journey Teams, all of which kept me meeting with folks and having something to do all the time. Staying busy helped me to forget that my heart still hurt, but it wasn’t enough to keep me from being guarded. It wasn’t enough for me to not want to be with people who really knew me, but I was afraid to be genuinely known by anyone new. The last “new” person I let get to know me broke me of that desire. My mom stayed as positive as she could and assured me that it would get better. She also suggested I may want to find a way to work something out with Natalie and go see her.
Natalie! Yes, that was a GREAT idea! I needed to go see Natalie. With AppState less than two hours from me, as compared to the five and half hours it would take to go home, it seemed like the next best thing.
Before I knew it, I was spending practically every weekend at Natalie’s. By going there, I got Boot and Jonathan as part of the deal too. I knew Jonathan from church and he was pretty cool, but I’d known Boot since Elementary School. Getting to be with him and Natalie was a breath of fresh air.
Before long, it felt like I was living in two different worlds. During the week, I was slapping on a happy face and hanging out with new people. New people who were fun and welcoming and adventurous and Juniors or Seniors and everything that a Freshman girl could want in new friends. Every single week felt like camp and I love camp, but by Friday I was ready for camp to be over so back to Boone I would go.
There was something about being up on that mountain that was almost freeing. It was never anything spectacular. We were just playing games, eating homemade food, and laughing. But there was something about doing that with them that made everything seem okay. I felt safe with them and I really like to feel safe…