Back in high school, I had this friend, let’s call him Mark.
He was a year older, even though we were in the same grade, and he easily had half a foot and 100 pounds on me.
I remember trying to shake his hands and barely being able to grip around his massive mitts.
We both played sports – me soccer and volleyball, he football and wrestling – but we also both participated in the arts.
We were in band together as well as choir, and the dude could sing.
Thinking back on it now, he was a bit of an outlier – there wasn’t anyone else like him.
As big as he was physically, he had twice the heart.
I remember he had this huge high school crush on a friend of ours.
She was gorgeous, a cheerleader, super popular. Yes, I realize I’m writing another high school movie here, but as much as it’s cliche it’s TRUE.
For the sake of the story let’s call her Hailey.
He seriously had it for this girl though. He’d talk about Hailey all the time – at lunch, next to me in choir, at church. If I had to guess it was close to a year that went by that he pined away for her without any action.
I don’t know why Mark never tried to ask Hailey out.
But then, there was this church dance.
Mark took the chance to go and ask Hailey to slow dance with him, and she accepted.
Again, Hailey was cool! And church dances were kind of a judgment-free zone where everyone was there to have a good time.
Yet, that slow dance to “End Of The Road” by Boyz II Men meant something to Mark.
It meant he had a chance.
It meant she liked him – at least enough to dance with him for three and a half minutes.
He was on cloud nine the rest of the dance.
I can only imagine him going home that night, unable to sleep, fantasizing of the life he and she would have together – little linebacker babies and all…
Over the following weeks, he stirred and stirred. He wanted to ask her out but was too afraid of the high potential for rejection.
But with a bit of encouragement, he finally mustered up the courage to go and ask her out.
He was a man on a mission, finally ready to take action.
He’d never done it before.
He didn’t know what to say or how these sorts of conversations go.
He found her at lunch, approached her, and asked the question as a few of us watched from across the quad.
The response…well, I’m getting ahead of myself.
The thing is, Mark is a lot like every single creative I’ve ever met.
And if you’re a creative, you know Mark all too well.
Because at one time or another, we’ve all been Mark.
I’ll tell you why on the next page…