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Chapter Two: The Eve of Chaos

School started in the Fall and I was a big, bad Junior. I kept close relationships with my friends from camp, both boys and girls, and had a special interest in a few of those boys. We corresponded through e-mail, instant messages, and of course, good old snail mail. It was always fun to have distant friends that were guys, because there was never any awkwardness or pressure of a relationship...and we could be completely honest about things because we weren't face-to-face. I was glad I had them. Those guys helped me understand a lot about boys.

There was one guy, in particular, that really hit it off with me. We talked almost daily through e-mail and instant messaged when we were both available. He was from the South and had the cutest accent in the world. He was sweet and kind, and made me feel really special. After all, it always feels nice when a cute boy likes you! He also liked cars and Will Smith. I drove my friends absolutely insane talking about him. Once, he called and left a message on our answering machine. I was so excited that I recorded it onto a little alarm clock I had that you could record your voice on. I carried it in my letter jacket pocket and played it for my friends every three minutes. I thought they were going to throw it out the window. Eh, "they're just jealous", I told myself. That snotty little thought backfired on me in a humiliating way. I was sitting in Chemistry one day, and out of nowhere, I heard his voice! He was saying the exact thing he said on my answering machine at home! I looked all around - had he surprised me and visited me at school? If so, why on earth was he saying, “Hi Whitney, this is Nathan….I just wanted to see if you were home so we could talk for a little bit”?? Oh crud, it was going off in my pocket!! During class!! I scrambled to turn it off and my face was the color of a cherry tomato. Every person with two eyes were drilling holes in me with them, staring and gawking as if I were some sort of circus act. I smiled and buried my head in my book. Utter humiliation. What must have they thought was in my pocket? I left my clock at home from there on out...and it accidentally somehow got erased eventually. What a shame to erase such a cute voice.

I joined the High School Newspaper Staff that year and had a great time in there with all of my friends. Samantha (the alleged Darin Gatsby love interest) was the Editor of the paper, and if I heard the name "Darin Gatsby" once in a day, I heard it a million times. She then switched from "Darin Gatsby" to... ahem, "my love". I didn't know what was worse....hearing his full name, or hearing her sing "my love" about this guy that I knew couldn't be all that he was cracked up to be. He cheated on his poor diabetic coma induced girlfriend, for crying out loud! What kind of guy was this? She would sit at the computer checking her e-mail constantly for new e-mails from "her love", and would then narrate them aloud. I was happy that Samantha was clearly so infatuated, er, I mean happy, but I still had reservations for her. I kept my mouth shut and giggled and screamed with her when a new e-mail rolled in. And she did the same when I heard from my Southern boy.

Then..... Darin Gatsby came to town to visit his grandparents.

Samantha and my other friend were on top-of-the world excited that he was coming to town and invited him to breakfast at our little town's claim to fame - The Country Cottage. Also known as the "Blue Goose". It is a large, gaudy, blue house that serves a buffet array of fried chicken and other good home-cookin' fare. At any given hour, it is jam-packed with citizens ninety and above and the pink and blue frilly lace abounds in every room…along with the scent of old people and gravy. Sounded to me like the perfect spot for a romantic breakfast for high school "loves" to meet and gaze fondly into each others eyes. Doesn’t it to you?

It is all I heard about for weeks, prior to the arrival of this legendary boy. Actually, it's what the whole newspaper staff heard about for weeks prior. I remember the Monday after "the big breakfast" vividly. I walked into class and asked Samantha how it went; I was truly curious. Apparently....the breakfast was weird and awkward and this Darin guy barely said two words the entire time. And after that day, I never heard the words "my love" escape from her lips again. Darin Gatsby suddenly disappeared from her life and all of ours as well. "Hmmmm, he must have felt bad about diabetic coma-girl and patched things up with her", I remember thinking.

It was bound to happen. It always does with those types of guys.

I was glad my Southern boy wasn't that type. He made me a Christmas ornament. Guys like Darin Gatsby don't make Christmas ornaments. They make girls make them Christmas ornaments. Hrmph!

My year rolled on smoothly and we were starting to make some changes in our Church. We began the hunt for a new Youth Pastor and my Mom was called to be on the committee to help interview the potential Youth Pastors. It had been a year since our last Youth Pastor had left, so we were definitely ready for one. I heard whispers and rumors of someone that we were interested in asking to come try out, but I had no idea who any of the Youth Pastors in our denomination were, so I didn't pry. I didn’t really care, actually. I just wanted a new Youth Pastor fast, because we were in desperate need. I figured the Deacons, committee, and Pastor could handle finding the perfect fit for our Church, so I left the worrying to them.

I was lounging around in the den one day after cheer practice drinking a tall glass of iced water and reading a magazine. Mom walked in with a smile on her face and a glisten in her eye. She said, "if I tell you something, do you promise not to tell anyone?"

"I PROMISE! I PROMISE!", I screamed. I loved sentences that started that way.

"'s about who we are thinking about calling for the Youth Pastor position. Want to know?", she asked. I admit. I was kind of disappointed in the content of the surprise news. I was expecting something big and juicy like, "Sally fell in love with Harry and they ran off to Paris to elope!!"

"Yeah, who?!" I feigned more excitement than I was actually feeling.

"Curt Gatsby.....the infamous Darin Gatsby's dad," she stated.

My heart skipped a beat.

You can find a link to the first chapter of the story here.
I am a modern day homemaker with a passion for family, cooking, celebrating, decorating, travel, and memory making! The Lord has blessed me with the desires of my heart in my husband and our two sons. We recently built our dream home and cultivating a loving and happy haven for my family is where I find so much joy.


  1. Ooooo, this is like a juicy novel...not fair! And i cant wait to read more!!!! =)

  2. I LOVE it! I never really knew how you and D actually met! I can't wait to find out ;-)

  3. This is getting good. You are too cute. By the way...and I'm sure you've heard this a million, thousand are SOO Princess Giselle from Enchanted. I don't know why but that realization just suddenly hit me and I had to share it with you. Hopefully Husby isn't Prince Edward (because we all know that Steve Marsden never gets the girl).

  4. Must know the exact name of Nathan.....Come on Whitney Dawn!

  5. Love reading your LOVE story!

  6. The plot thickens! I love it!

  7. Nursery pictures???? Levi will be here before the reveal if you don't get busy young lady.

  8. this is SO fun to read!!! :) i love real love stories (not the gross ridiculous ones in raunchy romance novels, yuck), because they show the true love of God! <3 can't WAIT to read more!!!!

  9. You have me in suspense for the next chapter of your love story!! Love it!!


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