Chapter Six: Kari Returns

KARI RETURNS

Joey Potter: The only thing I want to do to you is give you some advice….. Go home and strum your guitar, or whatever it is you do, and then dream up some fantastic gesture to get this girl back. And never think that there is one day when you have to stop doing that sort of thing, because that’s the worst thing a guy can do is give up the chase.

-Dawson’s Creek, Episode 6.16 “The Was Then”

The good run of success with the last few crushes gave me a new found confidence. So much confidence that I figured trying to get in contact with Kari again was worth a shot. After all, we’d always gotten along in the past, and she hadn’t completely not liked the idea, she’d just said she wasn’t sure.

Really, all she had to go on was a one single long text message, and there was no way she could tell my intentions from that.

So, taking all this into account, I sent her a text, simply asking for her email address, no explanation, and hoped that she’d respond, no questions asked. If she did, I figured I had a shot. Luckily for me, it turned out I did have a shot. A few moments later I’d typed up a quick email:

From: Smith, Liam
Sent: Wednesday, 20 June 2007 10:54
To: Peeves, Kari MS
Subject: Last time, I promise…..

Hey Kari,

 Long time no talk! You may remember that I mentioned previously that I was writing a book about tracking down and interviewing every girl I’ve had a crush on. And I realise you said you weren’t sure about being in involved, but I had a run of success with some of the other crushes I had to contact (Kirsty Watson & Jessica Gaines specifically) and I figured it couldn’t hurt to give it one last shot.

 I’ve attached what I’ve written of the book to this email, it’s not complete yet, and a couple of the chapters that are there are still unfinished, but I thought maybe if you read what I’d done so far.

 It’s all in good fun, nothing bad. I realise how totally insane the idea sounds and I’ll completely understand if you don’t want to partake but I figured I’d go all in as I didn’t have anything to lose.

 Anyway, now I’ve got that out of the way, I hope all is well.

I paused briefly before hitting send, but by this stage pausing briefly seemed to be mandatory for the entire book. There seemed be a moment before I did anything where a little voice inside of me would pose the question: “You realise how badly this could go, right?” Luckily by now I’d learnt if I listened to that little voice at all, this book was not going to get written.

I went back to my work and continued to do everything within my power to push the pending response from her out of my mind.

About half an hour later I received a pleasant surprise.

From: Peeves, Kari MS
Sent: Wednesday, 20 June 2007 11:30 AM
To: Smith, Liam
Subject: RE: Last time, I promise….. [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]

Hey,

 Ok well iv been reading this and figure I might be happy to be apart of this as long as I get it see the final copy before it is shown publicly. You appear to have good intentions so ok, what do ya need me to do?

Victory! I leapt off my chair and did a little dance of joy in the office. This gave much amusement to my co-workers, and couple more “You’re nuts.” comments. But hey, I was on a roll, and nothing was going to be able to bring me down.

I emailed Kari a response and we arranged a time to do the interview over the phone. People could call me crazy as much as they wanted to, nothing in that moment was going to have the power to bring me down.

It dawned on me as I prepared to call Kari that this interview would be a first. Every other crush I’d interviewed had taken place at around lunch time, whether it be at a coffee shop or over the phone.

Praying that she hadn’t forgotten I was going to call, I dialled her number.

A few moments later Kari greeted me from the other end of the phone.

Ever the happy bubbly girl I remembered, we caught up on what each other was doing.

Kari had finished her law degree and was now working as a lawyer for a government department. This made me realise maybe my prejudice against lawyers was beginning to fade… though, subconsciously I may or may not have become overly critical of things she said to me afterwards. Though these were never voiced and I remained friendly because I think deep down inside I knew it wasn’t totally Kari I was getting annoyed with – it the jerkiest of lawyers who had been employed at the law firm I’d worked at in my first job out of school.

She asked if there was any set questions I was going to ask, as with every other girl I met I laughed and said it was about the most informal interview she was going to get. Though she did point out that potentially a set of laid out questions would be a good idea for future crushes. I did acknowledge that there was one question I was asking every crush: had she known I had a crush on her?

She paused ever so briefly and let out an awkward sort of laugh and admitted that of course she had, but this didn’t surprise me. Judging by certain from friend’s reactions I was all far too aware that I had not been the most subtle of human beings when having a crush on a girl, something that would stick in my head… for well… there is a strong argument to use the phrase “for the rest of my life” here as it was certainly always on my mind when I developed feelings for girls in later years.

We talked more, mostly with me on speaker phone as Kari was rushing about her apartment getting ready to go out.

She mentioned that she’d been a little apprehensive about the book at first, only because she had no idea what my intentions were. After she’d seen what I’d written so far, it was all okay.

She told me that she was going to be in Melbourne for a few more months, then she was moving to Sydney for about eighteen months, all for work.

There was a guy on the horizon for her, nothing serious, just a friend and maybe a little bit more.

I told her about working for the data entry company, and law firm before it, the parts of both jobs that I liked, and the parts I didn’t.

She mentioned that she’d actually be in Canberra the following couple of days, but she’d be bogged down by work and wouldn’t even be able to catch up with anyone.

Her siblings were currently all over in England for various reasons and her brother had recently married.

A lot of my brothers and sisters are married,” I’d responded. “Not only that – a lot of them have had a kid. When you have seven brothers and sisters, the numbers seem to increase exponentially. Family dinners are a next level of insane now.”

She laughed at that and then pointed out that big families were great fun. Which I admitted was true.

I have got to compliment the girls multi-tasking skills at this point – throughout the entire conversation she’d been getting ready for a date she had that night. This included doing her make up and brushing her teeth.

We joked about the number of people we’d gone to high school with who were now married with kids. Some had even divorced. Which is a hell of a thing to have happened by age 23.

Kari told me I was welcome to contact her if I needed anything else for the book, or even it was just to say hi. I told I’d keep in touch.

So we said our goodbyes and Kari went off on her date, and I went off to do a victory lap around my house.

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