Finally, during her senior year, she grew so weak that she had to stop attending classes and finish her course work at home. Just as her mother feared, she never got to go to a high school dance.
Kim became despondent. Over and over, she watched a videotape of The Blue Lagoon, the story of an adolescent boy and girl who fell in love while stranded on an island. She went through a rebellious streak, smoking cigarettes, two packs of Marlboros a night, even though she knew the smoke would harm her already weak lungs. She would sneak her mother's car out at night, racing it up and down Forest Lane or the Dallas North Toll way.
One night, at the end of her rope, Dawn finally screamed, "What
is the matter with you? Why are you trying to destroy yourself?"
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Dawn, who always tried to have a soothing answer for her daughter, for once couldn't think of anything to say.
David Crenshaw was something of a legend at Presbyterian. Loud and robust, he was famous for trying to impress girls with crude jokes. No one had ever heard of a cystic fibrosis patient doing the things David did. For instance, when he wasn't in the hospital, he raced midget cars at a local dirt track.
"Our goal was to raise him as if he weren't
sick." says David's father.
In truth, David never did act particularly sick. A prankster, he conducted wheelchair races and tomato throwing competitions in the hospital's third floor hallway. One night he took some cystic fibrosis patients to a go-cart track in thirty-two degrees weather.
"He had this sense of immortality about him." Dr. Kramer remembers.
For two years David stared at Kim. He would walk past her door, working up the courage to pop in and say hello. Kim would look at him in his tennis shoes, blue jeans and white T-shirt, his eyeglasses held together by a piece of tape and with a brief smile she would go back to reading her book.
David was undaunted.
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For months and months, David waited patiently as Kim was courted by other third-floor boys - blond-haired boys, sophisticated boys, richer boys.
Then, early in the fall of 1989, when he and Kim
were out of the hospital, David made his move. He
called her at home and asked her to dinner.
But David kept showing up at Kim's house. He took her to Sound Warehouse to buy tapes. He took her bowling. He took her to watch him races while she sat nervously on the metal bleachers at DFW Speedway.
"Oh, God," she said to those around her,
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