A Nomadic Love Story….Part Three, A Mystery Gift

Somehow after Halloween my group of friends began to merge with another group of friends, most of whom made up the cast of characters at the Halloween party on Sandage Avenue that I attended even though I knew all of five people.

So two and a half years into my seminary life I found myself making new friends, which is always a bonus, especially when those new friends like to celebrate birthdays by going out to eat fajitas. Paul Davidson was one of those new friends.

Thanksgiving came and went and finals hit hard. We all breathed a sigh of relief when Christmas break officially began. Usually after that sigh is exhaled you begin to pack to go home for the holidays in an excited frenzy, but not me. I had to work until right before Christmas Eve. What can I say? Rent had to be paid. It seemed that all my friends, new and old ones, left as soon as it was possible though, leaving me all alone. Or so I thought.

Paul, having also to work hard for the money, had to remain in Fort Worth long after everyone else had left. Being the only two people remaining behind leading up to the days before Christmas, we of course hung out together. The only other option was sitting alone in an empty apartment, watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” all by yourself, crying like a baby because you hate that you have to work and you can’t be at home cuddled up on your parents couch watching “It’s A Wonderful Life” holding a cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows and sprinkles made with love by your mother.

Not wanting to be alone Paul and I decided to go Christmas shopping together one day. It was probably the one day we both had off and could actually do something with another person, outside of work. We headed off to Hulen Mall, which in hindsight was CRAZY because Hulen Street is absolute chaos at Christmas time. But we braved the traffic and crowds to shop for our family.

I think we walked the length of that mall three or four times. I learned Paul has really good taste in clothes. He learned that I was obsessed with GAP. I mean, what other store has such a distinct, wonderful smell? There’s no other clothing store I have ever walked into and before touching a piece of clothing, taken a deep breath just to get in the mood of….GAP.

A few days after our shopping day, Paul and I both headed off for our respective homes in Mississippi and Louisiana. After we had all returned from a relaxing, but rushed, break we all spent some time just hanging out before classes resumed. One day on my way out, not too long after returning to Fort Worth, I found a GAP gift card taped to my back door. WHAT? It couldn’t be true. Forty dollars of FREE GAP MONEY! My day was made. But then I realized, there was no name from whom had sent it. Hmmm…it was a mystery, and I like a good mystery. The writing was in a girl’s handwriting. I immediately texted two friends, both of whom denied it was them. Who could it have been then? No other girl I knew who was there would have done it? I said I like mysteries, not that I was good at figuring them out. Did I mention I am also really naive when I started writing this story?

A day or two passed and I had finally narrowed the giver of the free GAP money down to Paul and another guy friend. But I couldn’t figure out which one. And why would either of them give me such a great gift anyway? Could one of them be interested in me? If it was Paul then I had a problem. He was Tanya’s ex. Those lines were not to be crossed.

I had to find out. I went to the only source I could go to: Mindy. She was friends with both guys and I figured she had to know something. Her response went something like this, “Well, Paul just had such a good time with you shopping the other day and he knows how much you like GAP and he does this kinda thing all the time. He doesn’t like you or anything though. He’s just a really nice guy who likes to give people things.”

Ok, I guess my very naive self will buy that little tale.

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