Often referred to as NH when I mention him here, I've known Nathan Honaker since I was in 4th grade. He truly is one of my life-long best friends, despite the heartbreak that we put each other through in turn.
It all started in 5th grade, maybe with a yes or no note? The details escape me. We had a good three day run.
He moved away to Greenville, SC for our sixth grade year and I didn't really notice his absence. Probably too preoccupied with a crush on a guy that barely knew I existed.
But, seventh grade year was a different story. He came back to Raleigh. And promptly started dating a different girl. Cool, Nate.
We spent time together on the cross country team and formed a friendship through running and our Bayleaf Baptist church connection. I played Yahtzee at his house one evening with both of our siblings and watched him and Oakes battle it out in Ping Pong.
The summer after seventh grade he moved into a house in my neighborhood, approximately 2.5 miles away. Convenient. We would inevitably end up at the pool at the same times and carpooling to and from cross country practice was required.
One hot summer day, he and Oakes requested my presence at the pool and in between a game of Marco Polo while Nathan was coincidentally beneath the water, Oakes revealed that "Nathan likes you."
I don't know why I was so surprised or why I didn't believe him. I mean, this was pre-braces with a boyish runner's body. I was HOT.
But after an abrupt, random, let's-not-date-each-other-but-also-not-date-other-people stage, Nathan and I entered 8th grade at St. David's school as the cross-country power couple.
Our romantic dates consisted of hanging out at youth group, XC practice, and Friday night football games.
For some strange reason, none of them really lent to a perfect setting for a first kiss. And then we mutually decided that dating wasn't really our thing at the Conference Meet 2 months later.
freshman year
Fast forward to the end of freshman year when my parents were planning the family move to Beaumont, Texas. Perfect timing for us to rekindle the romance, right?
While my parents gallivanted to Beaumont to look for houses, Oakes and I were shipped off the the Honaker's for the night. The relationship was still very platonic and we merely hung out and hunted for bugs for my biology project.
falling asleep on skype. #vom
My first night in Beaumont, Nathan and I spent an insane amount of time on my brand new cell phone professing our mutual like for each other. We continued to harbor minimal crushes on each other from afar until they culminated in a very strange long-distance relationship on October 17 of my junior year of high school. 

I finally saw him again for the first time since departing Raleigh when I went to visit North Carolina during the summer before my senior year. 
He presented me with a ring with a ruby stone as a birthday present and I tried not to freak out because unless it's a family heirloom from one of my relatives, rings are lightyears out of my comfort zone. We shared our first kiss on the deck of his mountain house and then I broke up with him mere days later. Okay, so I really suck at timing. 
We had been talking about trying to attend the same college and I was terrified that I was building my life around a boy. Even in my immature mind, I knew I shouldn't do that. 
Several ups and downs later, we are still friends. He is the first boy I ever loved and I know I'm always going to have one of the greatest friend adorations for him. 
We've watched each other grow TREMENDOUSLY since that silly 8th grade relationship. He has matured so much, gained the ability to recognize his own shortcomings, and doesn't shy away from being thoughtful on occasion. He's also about 7 feet tall now. 
This talented Vanderbilt SENIOR is going to do incredible things with his life and A Very Lucky Girl has been privileged to alternately argue and laugh with him over the years. 


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