MK was someone that I worked with in fast food. We started working together when I was only 15 going on 16 years old. He was a little older, about four or five years perhaps. He was black and he was very handsome. I remember having a crush on him for a very long time but knowing that there was a significant age difference (especially with me being in high school), and the fact that he came into work every night with a woman that I initially presumed to be his wife, I knew it was hopeless.
At one point MK and the woman both quit I believe. Then they came back a year or two later. That is, if memory serves. We’re going back a few years now… As it turns out, this woman was his cousin, not his wife as I had presumed. I was closer to turning eighteen so I was a little hopeful that there could be something. However, he smoked, and I’ve promised myself since I was a kid I would not date a smoker. My dad smokes so I know first hand how gross it is to be around someone you love and have them smell of cigarettes and to worry continually about their health. Eventually, MK quit, all on his own.
We grew a bit closer was I was out of high school but it was still a work friendship and that was about it. I do recall that he was the first person I worked with to make a comment about my being white and going to a private high school and how different life was for black people and people living in Detroit. It was not an angry or malicious comment. It was an honest conversation and as he got to know me better, he learned I didn’t fit the stereotype he was referring to.
Towards the end of MK and I working together he found God. Having come from a Christian high school and still excited to talk about faith and God it was an awesome connection that we shared. He left the fast food restaurant for an office job that he is probably still at. I say probably because we lost touch several years back.
Around the time that MK found God and we started talking more since he had left our mutual work place, I was reading and obsessed with the “Left Behind,” series of books. For anyone unfamiliar they are Christian novels based on the idea of Armageddon or the end times, specifically dealing with the Rapture, when the believers are all taken to Heaven and suddenly vanish from this Earth. What ensues is a time of trials and tribulations where non-believers have a chance to repent and believe before the world comes to an end. The book series focuses on the challenges of those times and the world powers happening, the Anti-Christ, etc.
Any book that really captures a reader’s attention has a love story to it, right? Of course, the “Left Behind,” series did as well. A young college girl, a reporter and previous non-believer who is ten years older and still a virgin. They are a perfect match and fall into the purest form of love during these dark and trying times. Reading these books made me yearn for a Godly man. A man that I could see myself going to church with (though I was not a church goer myself) and someone that I could experience spiritual growth with. MK now fit the bill entirely. I’d long had a crush on him, he was very handsome, articulate, funny, shy, and Godly. He was very devoted to his faith and was an all around nice guy. A mutual friend insisted that MK was gay and had been spotted at gay clubs but I refused to believe it. The mutual friend happened to be gay and had a little crush on MK as well.
MK and I hung out a few times in person meeting up for dinner or things like that. He even attended my best friend’s wedding with me. He came to my home on a couple of occasions and we’d have amazing, long phone conversations. I loved listening to him talk. I was certain that if I married MK then I’d have the religious/faithful/Godly love I was dreaming of. I could see him fitting into my family and with my friends.
The only kink in the works? We weren’t dating. Finally after a few years of our friendship I confessed my feelings for him. I left it on a voicemail because I was too cowardly to call again later when he may answer. It took him a while to call me back but being the good guy he was, he did call back. He told me that he was very surprised by my confession and had never thought of me “that way,” but if we wanted to try dating we could. Not exactly the reaction I was hoping for. I didn’t want to try anything if he wasn’t actually interested in me. So that dream crashed and burned.
We still maintained a friendship for a while but MK had his own demons to fight. He suffered from depression and would often isolate himself. I was no stranger to depression myself so it was another thing we had in common and would talk about together. Eventually though we drifted and somehow haven’t found our way back together as friends. Maybe it will happen one day… If not, I wish him well. He was one of the kindest souls I had ever met which was a bit part of what drew me to him. I hope that he has found happiness. As for me? I miss our friendship but I know that while I’d had this idolized idea could be, we never were more than friends.