Disclaimer: This is one of many stories of how I met my wife, substituting real names for fictional ones from the Fire Emblem series. If you happen to know who I’m talking about, I ask that you respect these stories and keep any comments or names to yourself. Thanks!
In our fellowship, our theme for the year was “No Borders”. It was perfect for my grade, since we had spent so many years embracing the natural gender divide. It was monumental at winter retreat when we collectively decided to make more attempts to interact with the opposite gender. It was pretty cool to be normal; sitting together at meals and teaching the girls how to play the numerous card games we knew of. Additionally, it was nice to get to know the youth group as a whole. Truly, our borders were broken down.
The Sunday after retreat ended, we tried to have lunch as a grade. Imagine trying to organize 20+ hungry high schoolers as a high schooler, let alone finding a place to fit everyone. When we decided on a place, Lyn volunteered to go ahead and reserve some tables before the lunch rush beat us. Not wanting to stay behind to deal with the stragglers, I volunteered to go with her. And so did Matt. And weirdly enough, I felt slightly disappointed by that. A missed opportunity to have a short one on one time? I shook it off, there was grade lunch to focus on.
Winter break ended and school resumed. For the next couple of weeks, I kept catching myself daydreaming about Lyn in a romantic sense.
Within the past few months, I had gotten to know the better side of her in small group and over small conversations here and there. Our jokes and teasing with one another had turned more playful. Whatever animosity I had against her before was gone. All good things, but where did these romantic feelings come from? A logical being, I traced my thoughts back to that one moment at retreat. Her kindness and care were the tipping points. An irrelevant crush? No, this was a real crush that I couldn’t shake off, but I didn’t want that to ruin our budding friendship.
As you know, I learned a lot about poetry in 9th grade and my friends and I were above average at writing poems. So one Saturday morning, I decided to channel my feelings into a poem. Writing it made me feel better and less love struck. Despite some forced rhymes and cheesy lines, I was pleased with my final product. I was so proud of it, that I posted it to MySpace and Xanga, where it actually got some nice comments from my peers and whatever the equivalent of “likes” where.
Other than for the validation of others, I posted it with a small hope that maybe Lyn will read it and think it’s her. You see, I had a hunch that she liked me too. The ways we interacted, I couldn’t help but think there was something there. Then again, what did I know as a sophomore in high school?
Anyway, it happened. Lyn and I would have the occasional conversation on AIM and our friendship had grown enough where I wouldn’t act dumb and/or lie to her. So when she asked me who that poem was about, I kind of froze. As much as I wanted to have this conversation, I did not anticipate having it so soon. I had some perception of if I told her I liked her and the feeling wasn’t mutual, then our friendship and small group might be weird. I avoided the question a little bit until I finally caved in and told her how I felt about her. Here I am wearing my heart on my sleeve telling a girl that I like her behind the safety of instant messenger, but I was so nervous that I almost threw up.
Of course, she told me she didn’t like me and there was the “let’s not be weird” talk. But when you’re 15, sometimes you just can’t help it. I recall passing by her the following Sunday; our eyes met and I sadly looked away as we walked by each other. That Sunday night I would get a message from her. We talked about how I was being weird and distant, and I apologized, but what was I supposed to do? I felt so dumb for writing that poem and for telling her. I could have waited for an opportune moment. I could have said things differently.
As all these negative thoughts filled my head, that’s when Lyn told me she actually liked me this whole time.