Chronicle II | The First Date

On our first date he picked me up in his cool red Honda CRX. The year was 1992.  He was totally dreamy – a goldenly handsome, gentlemanly Christian boy. I knew I was the envy of many well deserving girls in our church. And I had only recently stood in their shoes, envying his beautiful ex.

Through youth group connections, we found ourselves hanging out in the same crowds for the first time. After getting over the shock of his glowing good looks, it was his intelligence that attracted me to him, and his good Christian ways of being.

We were 16 and 20. I was no Queen. But he was definitely a King.  At least, unbeknownst to him, I had given him residence as king of my heart, though we hardly actually knew each other.

His 20th birthday was approaching so I seized the opportunity to give him a card. In it, I empathized with his recent break up and wrote, ‘may you find the girl of your dreams,’ of course secretly hoping (knowing?) he would find me. He had, after all, just been through a heart-wrenching breakup with a true gem of a beauty. She was absolutely gorgeous and kind. Oh, and they had matching red cars.

Chad in his Red Honda CRX

Chad in his Red Honda CRX

He picked me up at my house.  My mom walked us out the front door and told my 20-year old date, “have her home by… (thinking. thinking…) 2!”. Yes, she was telling this 20-year-old boy to have her 16-year-old daughter home by 2am.  No worries. He was the dreamy Christian boy that came from a great family that everyone loved.  What could go wrong?

She could not have been more right.

My memory fails me somewhat… If it wasn’t our first date, it was one of the first few that we went to a park and laid on the ground under the starlit heavens. We were talking about God and our beliefs about Christianity. Just then a dove flew over us. It was a sure sign. (Okay even though in hindsight I realize it probably wasn’t a dove after all, saying a pigeon flew over us just doesn’t describe the sacred moment we experienced.)

Among the spiritual doves and chirping crickets we played a game where you draw cards that ask questions and beg for honest answers.

The card I read to him said, “You are on a date. You knew your date had a curfew of 11pm, but he/she tried to persuade you to stay out longer.  Do you listen to your date and stay out?  Or do you honor their parents and get them home by their curfew?”

“I would get you home on time, so there was never any issue about us seeing each other again,” he affirmed.

Is he for real? I dreamily wondered.

On a subsequent date soon-after, he kissed me. This night he found me makeup free, a rarity from the previous months of me trying to woo him with my most glamorous self.  After the kiss he said, “you are beautiful with or without all that whale lard on your lips.” Romantic… not so much.  Sweet, yes…

***************

After rushing home from work one evening, I ran to my phone to retrieve any messages.  Yes!  It was him!  He wanted to see me.

“Meet me at the community pool,” I suggested.

“See you in twenty,” he agreed.

We spent the evening lounging by the pool, talking and reading by moonlight.  Our discussions about God continued, as well as ones about our goals and dreams in life.

We found ourselves on interweaving paths.

“I love you,” he freely said.

Completely surprised, I giddily answered, “Really?”

“Yes!” he resounded in a spirited Tom Cruise, excited sort of way.

“I love you, too!” I sincerely replied.

to be continued…

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