Act 1: Cindy (1 scene)
Act 2: Amy (4 scenes)
The Campbell Connection
She walked into Life Connection at Valleydale Baptist Church, into the Common Ground House, a run down house that sat across the street from the church, used for sunday school classes. It was October 2000. I was still hanging out with Amy Wible, so my mere thought was "Wow, she's cute."
The next week, she didn't come back.
The months went by, Christmas came and went, and in January, I made the fateful phone call to Amy Wible to tell her how I felt. Just a few short weeks later, Stephanie Campbell came back. When she came in, I said "You're... Stephanie Campbell, right?", which was funny, because I knew exactly who she was. "Yes," she said... and then she thought hard, "David?" She thought hard to remember because she was actually trying to remember, unlike me, who creepily knew who she was to begin with.
She was the darn cutest thing I'd ever seen, and all throughout Life Connection, I tried not to stare at her. Couldn't help it. She was sitting with Jennifer Pritchett, so when class was over, I tried to get the lowdown from Jenn... who informed me "I don't know who she is, Dave".
So, I snuck her phone number from the class roll/sign up sheet and decided to call her a few days later. I used some lame excuse about inviting her to Bible Study at Sybil's, which I was actually going to be teaching that particular week (I remember teaching about David & the transfer of the Ark of the Covenant, and remember that Stephanie Nipp was taking notes--it made me feel really special that someone of Stephanie Nipp's godliness was actually taking notes on stuff I was writing).
So, there at Bible Study, I asked Stephanie out--Campbell, not Nipp. She said yes... however, she didn't know it was a date. She thought that, since via email and phone, I was telling her all this stuff about this place called The Deuce and how awesome it was, I was inviting her to a group gathering... when actually, I was asking her on a date.
Okay, so this part is fuzzy... Steph says our first date was she and I going to see Jodi Watson, Mamie Clark and Caroline Blackburn's talent show (these were girls on my WalkAbout team at the time) at Briarwood--it was rained out because of bad weather. So, we went back to The Deuce, where Michael cut cheese right in front of her...
...Sidebar: This wasn't the first time Mikey had been dumb during one of my dates. The first time, I was going out with this chick named Melissa Gilchrist, who was absolutely gorgeous. We had what I considered the "best first date that never turned into a second", and I partly blame that on Mikey... Melissa and I came back to The Apartment and found a slightly buzzed Mikey with a really buzzed Kelly Something under a blanket, giggling and being stupid. Perhaps I shouldn't want a girl like Melissa who would bristle at such things, but she did--and we never went out again.
Steph, incidentally, laughed at Michael, saying "Oh, I have a little brother who does that all the time" (this, of course, would be Tyler)
Anyway, the next few months were a blur... we went out, had a good time, enjoyed each others company. We double dated with Justin Glenn and Jennifer Pritchett a few times, once at a children's playground, another time the boys cooked dinner and we all watched The Parent Trap. All the while, I'm liking this girl. A whole lot. One date took us to another talent show for Oak Mtn Middle School to see Kourtney Kelley perform, among others, and then we eventually did get to see the re-scheduled Briarwood show. Another date had us watching Gone with the Wind, her favorite movie... this tells you how much I liked her, because I detest that movie. Funny how much we'll do for the people we like.
One weekend, she goes to Georgia with her cousin to see a friend (DeLisa, who just got married) then onto South Carolina to see another cousin, brother of the first said cousin. When she comes back, she tells me that somehow, she figured out what a great guy I was, and how much she kinda did like me, and she wanted to see what happened. Music to my ears. We sat on the couch and held hands and everything.
She, however, isn't liking me as much... I think I scared her. You gotta remember that I'm the first guy who has really been all about Stephanie since... well, ever. She dated a guy named Robert before, but it really didn't amount to much (I've seen his picture, I can guess why). So here comes this guy, me, being all about Stephanie Campbell, and it freaked her out.
Dinners at the Mellow Mushroom and Johnny Rockets were miserable, as both times, she re-iterated that we were just friends. Then, Common Ground's Beach Retreat had us driving down together, with Emily and this guy named Derek, where Stephanie flip flops again that she likes me/she doesn't. It's like I was dating Steph Kerry or something... "I liked you before I was against you"
I had just left Parisian, and had taken a job at Cox Radio working for the Oldies 106.9 (which soon became 106.9 The Point on 9/10, which then became 106.9 The Eagle last year). Parisian was interesting, because my bosses, Bart and Jamie, had been hearing about Stephanie since the first day I went out with her. We all shared an office, so they knew about her. And they heard that it might not happen.
Rabbit trail: Kinda funny, because my co-worker 'round the corner, Lisa, also heard about Stephanie (mostly because we emailed back and forth all day). Lisa and I reconnected earlier this year over lunch, and to her surprise, I had married that Stephanie girl that last she heard, wasn't working out too well. Funny how life works.
She has all of her new found friends over for Memorial Day at her apartment for Steph Campbell's Mmm Mmm Good Memorial Day meal, where she cooks all night, and I find out she has a crush on someone else... of course, it only last for a few days, but it still sucked. She even went out with Jason Quinn, though I knew that wouldn't go anywhere, but it still drove me nuts that after one date, he got to meet her family and sister, and after all this time, I hadn't done so yet. Darn it.
You'd think by now that I'd get the picture... but as Steph says, "You kept asking me out, I kept going." July 4th, 2001, 3am... I was hanging out at her apartment, her roommate Suzie gone for the night. We had been watching movies all night, goofing around... and wrestling. Now, every guy in the world knows what happens when you start wrestling with a girl you like--and it did. We had our first kiss. And it was awesome.
It didn't last, though. Myself, Stephanie and Jason Quinn, among others, went to Atlanta for my birthday weekend. We got to ride in a plane, which was fun, and we stayed with Emily Eldridge, but Stephanie was mean to be the whole weekend... that was the other thing--she was pretty cutting to me. She liked to poke fun at me in front of other people, and it really kinda hurt... that was her defense, really, because she didn't know how to treat me. On the way home, it was a rainy Sunday morning, and we barely spoke the entire way. She thought I was annoying, I was agitated at her, oh what fun it is to ride in a tension filled car, hey!
By this time, we had learned that Stephanie had taken a job with Georgia Power. I had been praying about Stephanie pretty much the whole summer, so this was my answer. She was moving away to Atlanta, so there, I was done with her. I could move on.
We had been emailing back and forth pretty much since we met, just talking during the day. I actually had about three or four people I talked to all during the day, including Michael Nipp and the aforementioned co-worker Lisa, so when Steph left, I slowly quit emailing. I mean, she'll find her niche over there, right?
For me, that was it. I was a little hurt that I had chased Stephanie, and had been shot down finally, but what's done is done. That was the fall of September 11th, among other things. On a much happier note, Deuce Semi-Formal also happened... I had asked Stephanie--Nipp that is, and she said yes. Steph Campbell went with Earl Salser, whom Ashley & Michael, now dating, tried to set her up with (thankfully, it didn't work).
Aound Christmas time, I met an adorable blonde named Lori. I actually saw her for the first time when I was at the front desk of Cox Radio, and she came to pick up concert tickets she had won. A few days later, she strode into Common Ground, and I said "Lori Smith?" It freaked her out. We became friends, and went out a few times. Stephanie came back to Birmingham pretty much every weekend, because she couldn't--or didn't--find a church in Atlanta. So, while going out with Lori, I would still run into Stephanie from time to time... well, alot. I had mixed feelings.
Common Ground took a trip to the Botannical Gardens in Georgia for Christmas, and even though I kinda hung out with Lori, after we got back, I ended up hanging out with Stephanie. For the record, Lori wasn't crushing on me (and I don't think she ever did) and I didn't know that Stephanie was.
Next: Act 3, Scene 2... "God Bless the Broken Road..."