I had never truly believed in love until I met you. I had spent countless adolescent years pretending that I knew what it felt like and even acting upon experiences of instant attraction only to be left wanting. Love had eluded me, but somehow you were different. And I knew it the first time that I saw you.
It was the first Sunday at summer school at university, 2007. I was sitting in the front row of the chapel in a congregation of about 80 other freshmen waiting for someone to give the benediction prayer so that we could leave church and mingle with our new peers. A tall boy, about 18 years old, 6 feet tall with a bigger build, approached the pulpit. He had medium length chestnut hair that swooped to the side, and flipped up with lighter sun-kissed streaks. His cheeks were flushed and rosy as though he suffered from a medical condition of Rosacea. A pair of bold Buddy Holly glasses framed his blue eyes. As he ascended the stairs and took his place in front of the microphone with folded arms, I turned to my friend Annie. “That one,” I said, motioning to the boy with a subtle nod of my head. “What are you talking about?” Annie whispered back. “That one,” I repeated, “That is the boy I’m going to love.” Annie sighed and shook her head. Although it had only been a week of school, Annie was already all too familiar with my boy crazy ways. As she and everyone else in the chapel bowed their heads to pray, I gazed up at the boy on the stand again, taking him in. My mind echoed my words as my heart’s pace quickened: “That one.”