I don’t love you. I don’t like you. I admire you.

I was heading to class one Wednesday afternoon after eating a heavy lunch of rice and beef stew. I was 15 minutes early so I did not expect to find many students there yet. This was the first class of the semester for my engineering course at Busara University. Therefore, most students would probably arrive late or not show up at all.

As I entered the class, I quickly surveyed the room looking for a good seat where I could listen to the lecture without distractions. I saw this girl seated in the middle of the room busy texting on her phone. She looked up for a second and our eyes met. She held my gaze as if waiting for me to initiate a conversation.

I tried to open my mouth and utter a greeting but my tongue was stuck to the roof of my mouth. She grew impatient at my awkwardness, looked outside the window on the left side of the room, then continued texting. My heart sank at the missed opportunity and I was not confident enough to walk up to her and introduce myself.

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Anyhow, I quickly snapped back into reality and found a seat positioned in such a way that I could keep stealing looks at her even as the lecture went on. I took my seat and noticed that she was brown skinned, had dread locks, green earrings, and lipstick on her lips. She wore a white t-shirt, blue jeans and black flats.

In no time it was 2 pm and the lecture started. I found myself unable to concentrate; all I wanted to do that afternoon was behold the beauty of this lady. I forgot that I was in class for a moment and stared in her direction for a number of seconds. I envisioned myself and her seated at a café, laughing excitedly as we shared a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. A buzzing fly wakes me up from my fantasy; I look towards the front of the classroom and see the lecturer smiling back at me in a way that suggested that she knew exactly what was going on with me.

I felt so silly and purposed to focus my attention on the lesson for the rest of the afternoon. After the lesson, I wanted to be one of the first to get out so I could watch her leave from outside and maybe find a way to talk to her. However, this was not to be. An old friend of mine stopped me, and we began chatting. I watched my angel get up and leave before I could create an opportunity to spend time with her.

Dejected, I walked back purposelessly to my room. I opened the door and told my roommate about the girl I met in class that day. I couldn’t get her off my mind. In that moment, I felt like I could jump over the moon for her.

I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering four years later. Memories of that angelic lady still linger in my mind, though I no longer feel the same way I felt about her the first day I saw her.

Did my love for her die, or was what I felt for her merely a strong feeling of admiration? A wise man declared,” Love is patient; love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not rude, it is not SELF SEEKING.” One thing I was guilty of on that day was being self seeking. My mind was locked into thinking about how I could use her to satisfy my desire not about how I could add value to her life.

But then again, I wonder why we men get awestruck by ladies. Is that feeling a romantic jump-starter given by God, so that we can become friends with the other person before taking things further? Is there a Biblical way to act or not act on these feelings?  Let me know what you think in the comments section.

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