For the second time in his life, hope had been rekindled in him through the friendship of a girl. He had been extremely lonely since the painful breakup with Jen when he gained a refreshing new friend named Meghan. He no longer spent almost every night alone, waiting online for old friends whom would never show. Instead he knew that sometimes the phone would ring, and she would be on it wanting to talk to him. She was calling merely to talk with him because she found some worth in him - and that made all the difference.
Meghan was beautiful in every aspect. Physically she had long slender legs, shapely hips, flat stomach, impressive figure, and a child-like pixie face, cuter than most can imagine. Her eyes were an indescribable green, her long soft hair a dark shade of brown, and her eyebrows thin and curved. She often wore sparkles around her eyes, improving her already fairy-tale looks and making her seem out of place in the mortal sphere of existence. Incredibly enough, she was completely ignorant of her true appearance.
Her true beauty lay in her very spirit and mind. She had grown up enjoying the ease with which she manipulated the attentions of boys of her age. As she matured she deepened and hated who she had previously been. At this point in her life her humility soared to the point where she became an inverse of her former self. Whereas before she felt she had been aloof and arrogant, she now became so humble that she could not bear to consider herself attractive. This gave her an almost irresistible gentle spirit now that the beauty of her true character was freed.
However she was yet an incurable flirt when it came to boys. Since she had relinquished control of her former manipulative skills, she now was completely unaware of the effect she had upon nearby males as she flirted and talked with them. Her looks captivated them, and many were enamoured, believing that they loved her and misinterpreting her friendship for the return of this love. Often she would not become aware of their mistaken beliefs until they practiced untoward advances upon her. At this point she would become confused and hurt, having to bruise their feelings to prevent them from furthering their mistake.
This was her curse - to attract many boys who believed they loved her, yet be afraid to love anyone herself. She had seen so many of the opposite gender hurt by herself that she feared being hurt in the same way herself. Therefore she guarded her heart, never allowing the necessary trust and full commitment of emotion that love would require of her. She did not know if the right boy had not yet come along, or if he had and she was unable to love him.
They shared a friendship out of mutual respect and shared experience. Both had controlling parents who continually frustrated them with illogical rules and constant suspicion that grew from a serious lack of understanding and appreciation. He knew that she feared causing boys heartbreak because it had cut asunder many of her formerly close friendships, so he made her a promise. Never would he expect anything more than friendship from her - she would never have to worry about breaking his heart as she did with others. It was not that he found her unattractive or did not think that he could love her, but he never wanted to risk hurting her or losing her friendship. Nor did he believe that he was anything resembling the boy with whom she would one day fall in love and so deserved.
He sought only to be a true friend to her. So many of the boys she knew caused her pain as they tried to become more to her than mere friends. They were over protective and jealous, so he strove never to show his worry for her too much or even pretend that he had any claim to her time. She was quite capable of taking care of herself, and had many male friends competing for her attentions already. He would take what she would give him gladly, but never seek to expect anything of her or impose upon her in any way.
Ironically enough, the main obstacle to their innocent friendship were his parents. He kept the knowledge of Meghan from them as long as he could, because they tended to dislike his friends and especially disapproved of all female friends they had not chosen. They slowly found out detail after detail about her through his younger cousins, because he had had no reason to keep her a secret from them. His parents also took great affront at a female calling the house for their son. This was against a taboo from their childhood that he refused to accept, and the day came when he decided to secure a separate phone line in order to avoid further problems.
This quieted matters a great deal, but soon they would become more difficult. His parents decided that they badly wanted to meet this girl kept secret from them with such care. He denied their requests outright, since in his opinion they always disliked his friends and would only cause her to be uncomfortable. They had no reason to meet all of his friends - their sudden interest aroused his caution with good reason. He soon found out they suspected their 'friendship' of being much more, and even irrationally believed her to be his girlfriend, despite his repeated truthful denials of the idea.
It finally came to a head one night at family dinner. He and his friend Martin had been visiting her church for the past two weeks, partially because he knew her, and partly to avoid his parents church. This had worked out well, enabling him to avoid confrontation with his parents concerning religious beliefs and also spend an enjoyable afternoon with Meghan and Martin until evening. This evening when he returned to his family, his parents delivered an ultimatum; either Meghan would come meet them, or they would go to her church to meet her.
This caused him a great deal of annoyance with his parents. He had been happy to avoid them Sunday mornings and afternoons while spending time with her. Now they wanted to pursue him to encroach upon his life yet again. He did not want Meghan to know the pressure which he had been facing from his parents. He feared that she might feel guilt over a situation that was clearly not her fault, or worse that the pressure from his parents to push them into a relationship would destroy their friendship.