The very first time I met Alex…I don’t remember it. Apparently I was wearing yellow flip flops, talking about how I couldn’t decide what to major in, and declaring that I would not be an engineer because I didn’t want to have to take chemistry. Our mutual friend was telling me I shouldn’t base my whole career off of one quarter’s worth of classes.
Alex silently agreed with me.
Anyway, I don’t remember that day at all in relation to Alex. I do remember getting smoothies with all the guys, and relaxing because classes were almost done for the year. You could say he just didn’t make much of an impression on me – you’d be right. Alex is not known for his outspokenness or his wild ways. 😉
After that, we didn’t talk for TWO YEARS. That’s right, it wasn’t until junior year of college at a Christmas party when I finally introduced myself to him after a mutual friend dragged him over to talk to me…and it didn’t exactly take off from there!
Our mutual friends kept inviting me to hang out at their apartment on the same nights that Alex “just happened to be there.” After the fact it’s easy to see that they knew something I didn’t. I thought Alex was nice, but nothing really past that. I noticed him around College Life (our Christian fellowship group), and knew him to be a hard worker. After all, he was getting his degree in aerospace engineering. He’s a lot cooler than me, I know.
Finally near the end of senior year, when we’re JUST about to graduate, my good friend Katie and I were hanging out one day (March 6 in fact…I remember this conversation well) when she mentioned something that went like this: “I probably shouldn’t even tell you this, but we’re so close to the end of school that it probably doesn’t matter. I’ve just heard some things around. Do you think Alex likes you?”
“ALEX? No. No way. He barely talks to me. Surely he’d try to initiate SOMETHING if that was the case.”
But the conversation stuck with me, and I decided to message him one day on Facebook, just to see what would happen. I asked him how he saw God and engineering working together in his life, and told him I was just curious because he seemed like a thoughtful person who might have some insight. He responded, and we began talking back and forth for about a month when finally we said something like, “We should hang out on campus in between classes and play games or something.”
On April 4, 2013 – six years ago today – we met up outside Bainer Hall where his class let out, and we walked to the Tercero dorm rooms to sit in the lobby and play Rummikub. Later that day I met up with another friend (who was also in on the big secret of Alex being into me). She told me, “I saw you walking with someone…you know who I’m talking about. I took a picture.”
I played dumb. But yes, I knew who she was talking about. And I will forever be grateful for this very first picture that was taken of us together on our way to our first hangout.
The timing of Katie’s revealing of “the secret” and the way that Alex waited around for me for so long is something that I can only attribute to God’s perfect timing. We both got to experience college for four years separately, making lifelong friends and building our faith, something that may have been distracted by a relationship. And as I’ll share later, His timing was also evident as we continued our relationship during the summer after graduation.
Part Two about our first date a few weeks later!