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!
The idea of Fir would never be revisited. Another seating chart shuffle would seat us across the classroom from each other and she eventually found a boy she liked through a school dance. It didn’t matter to me though, I had my brothers in arms and the crush had faded. By this point, I actually had friends in high school; a clique to call my own. Though there would always be that split of high school friends and church friends, the clique would be a good influence on me throughout the years.
Moving on to the next topic, Friday night fellowship for high schoolers would be an interesting change. No longer just junior high boys, it would be co-ed and we would be doing more than just playing flag football and basketball every Friday night. We would be split into small groups, which, by design, would separate me from all my friends. This is where Lyn and I would be put in the same small group.
Up to this point I only knew 3 things about Lyn:
- She can be brash, loud and obnoxious
- She was supposed to move to a different state, but didn’t all of a sudden due to some mysterious reason
- She used to have a crush on one of the WQ guys for probably the same reason I used to like Lissa
My interactions with her had been minimal, only briefly chatting with her on a day a bunch of us hung out at a friend’s house. In short, I found her kind of annoying. We were a classic Ash and Misty, always making fun of and teasing each other for any little reason. So, on top of not being with my friends, I had to be in a small group with her. Naturally, it’s an uncomfortable situation; perfect for building character though.
What about the rest of the small group? A few upperclassmen that were very welcoming, a passionate small group leader, and a counselor that was my camp counselor many years ago. All of this equated to a good environment and it didn’t take me too long to warm up to everybody and sort of plug myself into this fellowship’s culture. Yes, I even warmed up to Lyn a little bit.
Warm enough to where I got her a Christmas present. The main reasoning was two-fold. First, I was on a streak of “if you give me a gift for Christmas, I will respond in kind”, otherwise, I wasn’t one to give gifts. Secondly, for the people that did give me something, I think they expected me to give them some half-hearted gift that I found in the post-Christmas sale section. So, I would have this mindset of “challenge accepted, I’m going to prove them wrong”.
The gift Lyn made me was pretty cool in that it was personalized. Perhaps, more impressive was the fact that as long you were somewhat relevant in her life, she made an effort to gift you something unique. For me, my relevance was that we were in the same small group. Lyn had been going on and on about how she really wanted an iDog. Probably accentuated by the fact that I really enjoy Christmas time, I happily set out to purchase it. Remember, it was to prove that I’d get her a gift in return and that it wouldn’t be lame. When I gave her the gift, she was super happy. So happy that she hugged me; it was at the top of her wish list after all.
And then..? Well, nothing.
It was one of those awkward hugs where they wrap their arms around you while your arms are down and you’re immobilized. So I just said “oh okay.. You’re welcome” and the Friday night continued on as normal. You see, I was still at a crossroads with Lyn. On one hand, I still found her annoying, on the other, she was pretty cool.
A couple weeks passed and our fellowship would all be at winter retreat. Up the mountain and away from home in the crisp cool air, how delectable. I never really get a good night of rest on the first night anywhere away from my own bed, so on the first morning I dragged myself to the mess hall to have a hot beverage. I sat by myself as I was still trying to wake up a little bit and didn’t really want to be social. As you might imagine, without any context it looks like a solemn scene and I must be sad or something.
“Hey, are you okay?”
I heard Lyn walking up from behind me and I explained to her that I was just tired. Without warning, she held her hand to my forehead to check if there was any indication that I was ill.
“What are you drinking? Hot Water? Here, let me make you some tea.”
After fixing up my drink, she sat with me to chat a little bit. Others eventually joined us and we played some card games before Breakfast was ready. It was this keystone moment that would eventually lead me to think:
“Hmm, she’s pretty cute.”