My mind meanders in lots of different directions when I'm drifting off to sleep. The other night, my head nearly popped off the pillow when my mind decided to realize that it has been almost exactly 10 years since I met Bryan. Over a third of my life has been spent with my favorite guy by my side. We've had such a beautiful journey together so far, and we love to tell each other our love story. We crack up and get all sentimental when we start playing the "Remember When," game. I want to keep telling each other that story, to tell our kids that story, and to always remember it in the same kind of detail that I do now, so I decided to start writing it out. I'm not going to promise that I'll post these with any kind of regularity, but as the memories decide to surface, I'll work them into the blog.
We met as 18 year old freshman college kids at our alma mater- Point Loma Nazarene University.
So here goes...
The Night I Met Bryan
I didn’t know what to make of this guy… we’ll call him John (to protect the guilty). He would seek me out to sit next to me whenever we showed up to the same campus event. He would call me at night in my dorm to invite me to hang out the next day. Now, he had waved me over to sit with his buddies in the caf. But he never asked me out. And to be honest, I was super confused. And slightly annoyed. But he was likeable and I was totally down with making new friends, so I kept going with it- I just wanted him to cut the tension and let me know if this was a friend thing or a more than that thing, ya know?
I took another forkful of tuna salad and listened with amusement as he and his friends made typical freshman boy banter around the lunch table. “Hey Crystal,” he suddenly turned to me, “Me and my friend Bryan worked on a video that we’re showing tonight at Time Out for the start of the 30 Hour Famine. You should come.”
(Note: For the uninitiated in the lingo of early 2000s Nazarene youth-groupese, the 30 Hour Famine was an event to raise awareness about world hunger and raise funds for impoverished kids. Time Out was our on campus Bible study that met on Wednesday nights.)
And here we go again. I thought. “Sure, I’ll see if I can make it.”
That night, I strolled into the Rec Room well after Time Out had started, just as the video was starting up. The boys had climbed on top of a landscaping cart and taken a video of their perspective as they rode down the campus mall. Real cutting edge stuff. John was in the back behind the projector.
I walked up to him when Time Out ended, but the music was so loud that we had to practically shout into each other’s ears to be heard. We walked outside on the patio to escape the noise, and I saw a guy with wavy brown hair and glasses loading gear into the back of a media services cart.
“Oh! Let me introduce you to my friend, Bryan!” John said, pulling me over to him, and back into the deafening music. When Bryan turned around, I thrust my hand towards him and yelled, “HI! I’M CRYSTAL!”
I looked into his kind brown eyes and felt the breath momentarily squeeze out of my lungs as a shock of joy warmed me from the top of my head to my toes, then bounced back to nestle in my tummy. When he reached back to shake my hand, I was caught off guard when my right hand was met with his left. In a flash of understanding, I realized at once that his right arm was hanging limply at his side, and that his left hand was strong and gentle as it held my own. I felt my cheeks blush.
We tried to say something to each other, but the music was way too loud, and the boys were in the middle of cleaning up, so I waved goodbye to them and headed back to my dorm.
And as I drifted off to sleep that night, I thought about the cute boy with the wavy hair, glasses, and sweet smile.
Photo Cred: Nicole Ponton circa 2007