On any given night, at a certain residence in Newport News Virginia, there was guaranteed anywhere from four to twenty people there watching a movie, singing songs, playing games, eating Taco Bell, or all of the above. It was not unheard of for someone to say (at 10:00 at night), "Hey let's go to the beach!" And of course everyone would follow suit, pack into cars and drive out to the beach. This was my exciting life - living on the edge! My name is Emily and I grew up in a very straight edge home in Suburbia, Virginia. Staying out late and doing silly things with my friends was living it up for me and I wanted to do as much of it as possible. This was also a great coping technique for me as I was trying to over come a recent a broken heart and trying to get over a two and a half year relationship.
One night in particular sticks out in my mind. This was the night I met a strange kid from California named Chris Brockman. When I met him he was setting up his "bedroom" in the dining room of my friend's town house. He had a couple bags with clothes in them and the mattress that was previously used for seating was his bed. I introduced myself and we started talking. As I got to know him a little better that night I started thinking to my self, "Wow. This guy is so ridiculous. There is no way I could ever date him."
Now when I say ridiculous I don't mean this in a negative way. I mean this in a "seriously-and-totally-different-from-me-and-anyone-else-that-I-have-ever-met-in-my-whole-life" kind of way. Despite our differences we became fast friends and started spending most of our time together. He taught me many things that my east coast brain had never comprehended before - such as a love for sunglasses! We spent hours driving around in a 1998 Geo Metro, singing to the radio, going to the beach, shopping, and just having so much fun!
After a few months of spending everyday with this guy I started to realize that I may actually like him more than just as a friend! I remember coming home one night and writing in my journal, "No! I can't like him! I cannot like Chris Brockman! He is too ridiculous and just so Californian!" By that point I had already planned on serving a mission for a year and a half for our church (see the previous post for details of what serving a mission is like). There was no way I was going to start dating a guy and then leave him for 18 months. When we both discovered our feelings for each other were mutual, Chris told me he wanted me to go on a mission. He told me it would help me grow and I would learn a lot from going.
So it was decided I was going to be a missionary. A few months later I left and I loved being a missionary! A couple months out I realized how much I missed that ridiculous Californian and how much I actually loved him. Apparently, Chris felt the same way as I did, and at the same time. We both wrote each other spilling our hearts and guts out. The letters crossed paths and I felt so relieved Chris felt the same way that I did. We corresponded through emails and letters almost every week while I was away. The first time I saw Chris after I got back home, it was like no time had passed. We were back to being best friends and joking and laughing just as we always had. Six weeks after being home, Chris proposed and we were married three months later.