The Chase: How it All Began

10:28 AM

Clark and I attended high school together. My freshman year he was in my English class, but I had heard tell of this “cutie” from my sister and her friends; my older sister was a senior at the time and was in marching band with Clark.

Since the late summer, before school but during the infamous band camp, Katie (my sister) had been talking about how she had to find a match for Clark. Once she jokingly told me I should go after him, but not seriously. You see, even my sister could admit to my awkwardness. I kept to myself, was a rather large individual, and was just socially slow. Since my sister never seriously suggested Clark to me, I saw him as a challenge. I just had no idea what a challenge he would be before I met him.

I met Clark in English class, though he sat on the other side of the room. How did I meet him? He began dating one of my friends. They had known each other in 6th grade or something like that and rekindled their flame at the beginning of our high school careers. Although the romance did not last long, it lasted long enough to make an impression on myself (and a few other girls).

During their romance, however, I attended a movie with them. Not just them, but them and two other couples.

Oh, yes. I was the seventh wheel.

Not being allowed to date until I was 16 had advantages and disadvantages. The advantages? I appreciated it more. The disadvantages? I was the third, fifth, seventh, and even ninth wheel many a time.

Anyway, the movie with Clark. At the end of the movie we were all walking around the “mall” the movie theatre was in. (I put “mall” in quotations because it wasn’t an actual mall, but it was once.) Well, we were all walking around and I dropped my sister’s name. Clark (not in his brightest years) asked how I knew Katie. I then answered, “She’s my sister.”

Clark seemed dumbfounded. It was at that moment I realized that he, like the rest of the boys in band, had a crush on my older sister.

After that day, Clark talked to me a bit more. At the end of every school day I would meet my older sister in the band room. Conveniently, Clark would come over to say hello to me and run into Katie. Other times she wouldn’t be there and he would still come and say hi, but there were fewer of those occurrences.

He may have had a crush on my older sister, but I used it to my advantage. If ever I was at a loss of something to talk about with him, I would bring up something involving Katie: the fact that she was dating a GI, where she was thinking of going to college, how she mentioned Clark once in a blue moon- anything I could think of. I used the fact that he liked her to gain a relationship with Clark. While the relationship was only friendship, I was determined to make it more than that.

After all, I was 14… so I had two years to work on it. Although it actually took three years, not just two, it was well worth the wait.

To this day Clark and I can joke about the crush he had on Katie. Now he looks back and supposedly wonders why he never looked right in front of his face. As a girl, however, I know that sometimes it takes boys a little longer to see the obvious, more-so than it takes them to see what’s not so obvious.

I found a journal entry from my freshman year. After the Christmas band dance (oh, yes, they happen) I wrote an entry about how I wanted to marry Clark. No joke. Here’s what it says:

“At the party, there was something different. He danced with me and didn’t say one thing about Katie. When I took his Relient K CD and ran with it, attempting to “keep it”, he wrapped his arms around me and held a little bit longer than necessary in order to convince me to give it back. I know it may sound silly, and I know someday it may change, but right now I know he’s the one. I just know it.”

OK, totally cheesy and it sounds unbelievable, but I promise you it’s there. I remember praying that Clark would come around, but God had different plans for us at the time.

I needed a challenge, you see, to develop myself. Without the challenge of Clark, I would never be who I am today. No, it’s not right to base your person on a boy or reinvent yourself for a boy, but everyone needs motivation. God saw that, and He had a purpose for “the chase”. I prayed more, I focused more, I worked harder.

Now I see that I should have been working more for myself and my relationship with God rather than for Clark and a relationship with him, but somehow I think they intertwined.

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