If you ask Mr. Brown Eyes, you will probably hear a different version of the love story I am about to tell here. While his story may be more interesting, my version, however he may argue, is more true.
The first time I saw the man who would become my husband I was at a game night at the house he was renting. I'll be honest, I was mostly there because I had a crush on his roommate, but I had also just made a resolution to be more social so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to get to know people from church. I had heard Mr. Brown Eyes' name before, so it was nice to finally meet him face-to-face, but I didn't feel any immediate sparks or gravitational pull toward him. If anyone had told me right then that he was the man I was going to marry, I wouldn't have believed them. I only had eyes for his roommate, who I was convinced was "meant for me."
My crush on his roommate caused me to run into Mr. Brown Eyes on a weekly basis. We didn't really talk, but I saw through his interactions with the group that he was fun, outgoing, quick to laugh, and adventurous. I also saw that a couple of my friends were interested in him, so I unconsciously dubbed him off-limits and probably not my type anyway.
Then one Sunday my whole world came shattering down--Mr. Brown Eyes' "meant for me" roommate showed up at a party with the blonde girl rumored to be his girlfriend. Not that he'd ever given me much more than the time of day, but I was persistently hopeful. The sight of him with Blondie was enough to dash my hopes and bring me back to reality. I mourned for a night, realized how stupid I was being over a boy I hardly knew, picked myself up off the floor, and decided to date.
Not that I ever made the choice not to date; I just didn't do it all that regularly. I guess it would be more accurate to say that a sudden smattering of boys decided they wanted to date me. It was a fun time, creatively evading unwanted kisses and scripting out how to tactfully tell a prospective-suitor he wasn't really my type and he should stop spending so much money on me. During all this drama, when I was no longer mooning over Mr. Brown Eyes' roommate, I paused to look at Mr. Brown Eyes himself for the first time and thought that he would be a fun person to become friends with.
He wasn't in line to date me, however, and I didn't see my shy, introverted self as being his type. One night at a party, as a big group of us were talking and playing games, I felt like he was making more of an effort to be near me and become included in my conversations. I was distracted by thoughts of a date I had been on the night before when I had unintentionally led my date to believe I was more interested in him than I was, so I didn't think too much of Mr. Brown Eyes' attentiveness. In fact, I just brushed it off as being nothing more than a figment of my vanity.
Our story may have ended there had it not been for our mutual nosy-but-well-meaning friend who I will call Mouth. Mouth wanted to know if Mr. Brown Eyes was officially dating a girl we knew who was obviously into him, so she texted him one night while a few of us were hanging out. Mr. Brown Eyes texted back that no, they weren't dating but there was someone he wanted to ask out. Mouth asked who it was. Mr. Brown Eyes responded that he didn't know her name, but she had brown hair and frequently came to game night.
Mouth immediately turned to me. "It's you," she blurted.
I laughed, flattered but unconvinced. "How do you know?"
"Trust me, it's you," she repeated, thumbs flying as she furiously texted him back. "Would you go out with him?"
"Sure," I shrugged.
It's just a date, I told myself, but somehow I couldn't contain my excitement. For the next week I constantly caught myself daydreaming at my work computer, envisioning all kinds of perfect-date scenarios in my head. I decided that if Mr. Brown Eyes tried to kiss me, there would be no need for evasive manuevers. Of all the dates I had been on in the past couple months, this was the first one that I was genuinely looking forward to.
But weeks passed and he didn't ask me out, not even in the brief moments when we saw each other. I tried to push it to the back of my mind and forget about it, act like I didn't care, but I couldn't. So finally I swallowed my pride and asked Mouth if she'd heard anything more from Mr. Brown Eyes.
"No," she said, "but I can text him." Before I could protest, she whipped out her phone and asked him what was taking so long. I nervously wrung my hands as we waited for him to reply.
When he responded Mouth opened her phone and read it. "He said he still wants to, he's just nervous and not sure what to do," she said.
I sighed with relief. And thought the nervous bit was cute. "Tell him we can go hiking," I said. That was what most of my daydreams had entailed, at least.
She did. And the next Sunday I saw him walking toward me down the hallway after church. I'm not exactly a social butterfly, but in that moment suddenly it seemed like everyone wanted to talk to me. I managed to shake them off and allow him to make his way over to me. And finally ask me out on that blessed date. Of course I said yes. But I think I managed to restrain myself and not shout out, "Yes! I thought you'd never ask!"
Our date was on a Thursday. I was so nervous beforehand I made myself sick to my stomach. But that's a story for another day.
Thus ends Part I,
The Brown-Eyed Girl