Anyhoo, for those that are behind, go here to catch up:
And he didn't just smile, but he smiled at me. Or maybe that's what it felt like. I tried to act casual, very nonchalant watching the volleyball game, even asking Michelle who the other players were all to this young man's expense. I didn't really ask him or speak directly to him because I was being my normal in-the-shell kind of self and not really going out of my way.
Michelle and this young man Jared starting talking about his yard and such immediately after we started watching the volleyball game. I tried really hard to act like I wasn't listening, and to keep my eyes focused on the game or my feet. Everytime I looked up though, I noticed him looking at me with his piercing blue eyes and contagious smile. I intermittently entered one word answers or smart remarks into the conversation that was going to the tune of, 'how gardening is so time consuming'.
All the while I couldn't shake this feeling that I knew him from somewhere. His face, his eyes. Where had I seen them before? I tried to remember past soccer leagues, high school classes, parties I'd gone to. As the three of us were waiting for our turn to rotate into the volleyball game I casually asked him where he was going to school. "The community college", he replied. I asked if he'd ever played soccer before or been on a team, "no", he said. Had he come to our church ward before? "A long time ago, maybe last summer." Well that definitely ruled out any definite answer as to where I'd seen him. I didn't want to ask to many questions in case I seemed to creepy weird so I stopped there. But I couldn't help but notice that he also casually asked where I was from, how long I'd been in the ward, and where I went to school. I was grateful that I wasn't the only one curiously asking questions like a background check.
Then it was our turn to rotate in, and I was ready to confidently go after that ball. After two years on my young women's volleyball team I was sure it would all come back. Nope. I don't think I'd ever made more of a fool of myself. I, being my self conscious self, wanted to make sure no one was watching too closely to my mistakes. I looked to the side of me, in front and behind as well acting like I was checking the sand for nothing sharp I could step on while really making sure no one was annoyed or something. I didn't think anyone from the other team really was looking, they were all happily scoring points. But then I noticed him glancing my way in between serves. And then when he directed the ball towards me it always seemed softer than how he hit it towards my other team members. Favoritism huh? Well, I definitely took advantage of it.
Right after we finished our game it started to rain, rather quickly and large droplets too. The entire group, players and watchers ran for cover. Since it was late I made a be-line for my car to go home. As I was driving away I tried to put the boy Jared out of my mind. 'I would probably never see him again anyways', I thought.