To place it in time is difficult. Those years were a blur of socializing and studying. It was somewhere after tight-rolling and feathered bangs, but somewhere before internet and Y2K fears started cropping up.
The D.C. looks the same today as it did then - a dark cavernous room with a tiled, tiered floor; fold-up tables which no one actually sits at to eat, cafeteria smells pervading every nook and cranny, homemade poster paints taped precariously to the walls announcing school events, the tenacious coke machine that continues to fight every healthy-eating guru in the state.
The top tier was where I usually stood, or leaned, depending on how nonchalant I was trying to be. My girlfriends and I had the secret, unwritten rule of meeting there, cramming for afternoon-period tests, catching up on gossip, going en mass to the square-paper-issuing bathroom stalls to make sure our names weren't graffiti'd anywhere.
And like a deleted scene out of Glee-gone-bad, I remember the flock of boys, all of them my friends, when they marched with determination to our perch. Standing directly in front of me, they dropped to their knees like football players in a locker room.
You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss your li-i-ips...and there's no tenderness like before in your fingerti-i-ips...
Panic is an understatement, even for an extrovert like me. The boys, obviously extroverts themselves and gathering steam in a crowd, watched me squirm with delight, their laughing eyes intent on my red face as they dramatically flopped hands over their hearts, their voices off-pitch as the tune went up the scale.
But Ba-by! Ba-by, I know it! You've lost that lovin' feelin'. Whoa, that lovin' feelin'...
When the lyrics ran out, the boys were smart, leaving no awkward dead silence at the end as they quickly rose to their feet, giving high-fives to one another and relishing the now-silent cafeteria audience. One of them scooped me up in a big bear hug that made me laugh nervously, then in relief that it was over.
To this day, I still find myself pondering that moment... was I the nerd who didn't know it? Or the kid-sister who could always take a joke? Either way, I have to smile. It was funny and spontaneous and - I may be disillusioned, but I'm hoping - innocent. It was also awkward and loud and off-tune.
Why was I chosen? And was Chosen a good thing?
Interestingly enough, this will not be the only time I will be sung to. Only the next time it happens it will not be awkward or off-pitch. And there will be no wondering...why was I chosen? And is Chosen a good thing?
"The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17)
Resting in Him Who Gives Songs and Life,