Our story began in Dallastown. A miniscule town in Southeastern Pennsylvania that I once hated for its monotony, but eventually grew to love for the same reason. I was a junior in high school emerging from the two casual dating debacles of my freshman and sophomore years. Although I was only sixteen, I was determined to be less foolish about the men I chose to spend my time with and decided to only date guys that I would consider marrying–to avoid unnecessary heartbreak if possible.
I don’t remember much about the classes I took or who I took them with, but I do remember the people that I sat around in Mr. Harr’s English class. Two people to my left was Linnhe, a genuinely cool girl who was dubbed “Viking Princess” by Mr Harr. I was called “Ody,” like the ridiculous dog in Garfield (not too surprising because I looked ridiculous with my pink hair). And right next to me was Eric Martin. I knew who Eric was. He was consistently late for church which wasn’t hard to notice as he was over 6ft tall, and had an odd way of walking with his arms dangling at his sides and his head and neck jutting out in front of his body as if leading the way. I always noticed this trait as I was judging him from the seat that I had been in ten minutes before the service started.
So that was Eric. Strange, but as I soon discovered, quite nice and fun to be around. It didn’t take him too long to invite me to Young Life club, a Christian outreach for teens. I acted interested, but always stuffed the slips of paper in my bag and ignored them. It wasn’t until I found out that a cute guy in my art class was going (let’s pretend his name was Shmeal Shmeshmalda…that wasn’t too obvious, right?), that I decided that YL club probably wasn’t that bad. So I went and had the time of my life.
By the end of junior year, my hair was no longer pink but dark brown, I had become a regular at YL, and I was friends with Eric. Senior year would change everything though….dun, dun, dunnnnn!