I FIRST MET JILL when we were both students at the same college. Jill was the dream girl that I saw from a distance and I never really thought I would ever get to know. She was on the tall side with a sort of wild mane of dark hair and a lingerie model body.
As I later found out, back in high school, she was the type of girl who dated only rich boy football heroes or student body officers; that sort of guy. She was the high school homecoming queen and the girl most likely. I never would have been able to date Jill back in high school.
One night, in the spring of her senior year in high school, Jill went out on a date with the son of the richest man in town. They got in his big convertible with the top down and drove through a soft spring night. Jill thought they were going to see the latest movie.
Her date decided instead to drive around town shooting people, more or less at random.
Jill wound up on the floor of the passenger side of the car curled into a ball of fear, figuring that she was the next one to die.
However, her date calmly parked the car and walked into a liquor store to get a little booze to liven up the evening. It was a bad mistake for him and probably lucky for Jill.The little old lady who owned the liquor store was filling in for a sick clerk. The little old lady, seeing a guy walk into her store with a drawn gun, reached under the counter and came up with a big, nasty revolver. Without pause or hesitation she shot the boy down. In the process, she very probably saved Jill's life.
After crazy boy was shot down, the police had to pry Jill out of the car and carry her to an ambulance. After she got out of the hospital, she spent quite a bit of time in therapy. By the time she got out of therapy, Jill had no interest in dating and absolutely no interest in the ego maniac type of boy who normally winds up with a girl like Jill.
I'm a tallish boy, strong and maybe a little handsome with the kind of handicap that isn't usually discussed in polite circles. My handicap is that, back in college, I was a scholarship winning engineering student. (You don't think that's a handicap? Tell a girl you're a scholarship winning engineering student and then ask her for a date.)
I was painfully shy and it took Jim weeks to get up the courage to ask Jill out.
However, my shyness was exactly what Jill was looking for. She had tried the ego boys and now she wanted someone who thought, instead of just expressing himself. Jill would never have dated me before her experience with crazy boy. However, Jill now took what was, for her, a big chance and started dating me.
With Jill on my arm, I gradually became a much more confident person. I could deal with people socially and mix in with other college students or even the adults we occasionally socialized with. I was smart enough to realize that the change in me was mainly the fact that I had Jill with me. I liked the change and wanted to make it permanent.
By the time we graduated from college, I would describe myself as one hundred and ten percent in love with Jill. I bought a ring set on credit and worked up a really great proposal. Unlike in the cartoons, I delivered it without a hitch and she accepted!
One fine day Jill and I graduated from college and we got married the next day. Neither Jill nor I had family in the area and we took advantage of a mass wedding thing, to save the cost of an individual wedding.
I had interviewed with several companies while I was still in school. I had good grades and a real understanding of the engineering areas in which I was trained. With the confidence I had gained from dating Jill, I was a dynamic interview and I got several good job offers.