So here is part one.
"To love would be an awfully big adventure." -Peter Pan
Love stories are always remarkable things. How in the world can two people born in different worlds somehow end up in the same place together at the same time? I was born in Romania. He was born in America. Somehow, I ended up in South Carolina attending a Church where his Dad was an assistant pastor.
Our love story is formed of late nights on the beach, coffee shops all around the world, early morning texting, flirting, making mistakes, writing letters, messing up, and trusting God. Here it begins.
When I was fourteen, I was pretty insecure, shy, and awkward. I wore jeans and sweatshirts pretty much everyday. Not to mention I'm pretty sure the only pair of shoes I owned were converses. I wasn't the kind of girl who grew up liking and flirting with boys. I'd had several crushes, all of which I'd never talked. I was an observer, I noticed people from the distance, and all that.
It was summer. Middle school was over. All my friends were suddenly in relationships and dating guys. My Mom had always been tight about dating with me, and I wasn't allowed to date until I was at least sixteen. My sister had told me I should wait until I was old enough to court. But still that idea bothered me still. What did I think about dating? I remember sitting down on my floor, with a bible and a journal and deciding how I felt about my future in dating/courtship. I decided I'd wait to court. Strict courting sounded like the best choice for my life (I later realized the courtship I had in my mind was far from what I believe now to be God-honoring and right. More about that in a later part). Emily was proud.
On the other hand, one green-eyed boy was growing up in South Carolina. He was social, talkative, and was popular. His brunette hair, his gorgeous eyes, his handsome face...he was also popular with the group of girls in my Church. He was tall and skinny. He played the guitar, he was against video games, he was wise and mature in the Lord. In conclusion, he was everything a girl could want. I would laugh at the girls who giggled about him in circles at Church. At once point a girl told me I was the only girl in the Church who didn't like him at all. I was fine with that. I didn't want the popular guy.
So I sat in my little corner of the world, played my guitar, sang Taylor Swift, and dreamed of a prince coming and sweeping me off my feet. I waited, and I waited. I wasn't about to date anytime soon so I pushed romantic thoughts from my mind. I convinced myself I wasn't going to like anybody until I went to college. Again, I was fine with that.
That summer I was fourteen, a group of kids would go to the beach every Sunday after Church. We'd splash in the waves until our eyes were strained with salt water. We'd run down the sandy shores, we'd laugh until our stomachs were sore. When it started to get dark, we'd make a fire in a fire pit we built on the beach and play guitars around it. We worshipped. We sang country songs.
On one late June night, the green-eyed boy was playing his guitar (guys with guitars are the most attractive thing ever). He was playing "Your Beautiful" by James Blunt. I remember feeling so free, so young, and so me. I looked around. The beach sky was a dark orange, the music was soft, the fire was throwing sparks at my face, and I felt strange. I looked at the boy, his hair blowing in the wind, his sunburnt face looking down at the guitar, his long arms strumming...everything was so perfect. I looked at him with a feeling I'd never felt before. As those campfire sparks flew in my face, I felt sparks flying inside of me.
But of course I didn't like him, I thought.
He'd a senior. I was a freshman.
Every girl likes him.
There was so way.
So I tucked those thoughts in the back of my mind. I thought that was the end. But it was the beginning.
Come fall. Come my freshman year. Come his senior year.
Things changed. We became really good friends. He saw me as a friend completely and only. But something about any email he sent, anytime he liked my facebook status, every time he sat next to me...sparks flew for me. I went home and cried some days. I didn't want to like him. He was popular. And what happened to waiting to fall in love?
In October, it all fell together for me. We did a guitar talent show act together for the youth group talent show. Just me and him. I sang. He played that guitar of his. We played You're Beautiful by Phil Wickham. I still remember that night.
After all the hours of practice, after the coffee breaks, after the sitting together, the facebook flirting, my freshman self knew I liked him. I really liked him. I didn't know why. I didn't know how. But I did.
To Be Continued.