I allowed myself some time to reminisce this afternoon. I found myself doing nothing important (just driving to my computer supplier) and soon was drifting off into my memories. I began to think about my high school days and one memory in particular brought a smile to my face.
I attended Guido de Bres High School from grades 9 to 11. It was a small, Christian school with which I had a real love-hate relationship. As I began to reach the end of my high school years I realized that it did not offer the kind of courses I wanted to study in grade 12, so I elected to go to the local public school to finish up my high school education. Going from a small, ingrown school of 400 to the massive mayhem of Ancaster High was something of a shock, but having moved many times in my youth I was used to change and really did not let it bother me. Sure I was a bit intimidated by the numbers of people and the general hubbub inherent with 1400 bodies pressed into a few narrow halls, but with so many faces I knew I was little more than a face in the crowd. And frankly that is exactly what I like to be, for I’m really not the type to draw attention to myself.
My first class was computers. We did the standard “meet the teacher” type of exercises and introduced ourselves to our classmates. I don’t recall speaking to anyone in that class. As a matter of fact, I’m quite sure I didn’t.
My next class was history with Ms. Rowe. Woe be he who called her Mrs. Rowe! I walked into the room looking for a place on the side or in the back where I could park myself and be out of the way. I did a quick survey of the room to see if I knew anyone (I didn’t), but spied a seat near the back corner. I headed to it and took a seat. A few seconds later I heard a voice say, “Hey, are you Mark Van Dooren’s friend?” I turned around and speaking to me was a pretty little brunette girl. I replied, “Yeah, Mark’s a friend of mine.” Her next words were just a bit shocking. In a voice that was both urgent and a little embarrassed and just loud enough for only me to hear she said “If you ever tell anyone, I swear I’ll kill you! Do you hear me? I’ll KILL you!” I swallowed hard, having absolutely no idea what she was going on about. After a few seconds of pondering this it finally dawned on me just who she was and why she was so distraught. It had nothing to do with the fact that I knew Mark, but unfortunately I will have to leave it at that, for long ago I swore never to reveal the cause of her embarrassment.
After promising not to give away her terrible secret, we found ourselves becoming pretty good friends. Through that semester we sat near each other and even worked on some projects together. I even went to the local pool one time to watch her swim in a swim meet (hey, I was a teenager, you’ll have to cut me some slack)!
The second semester we shared no classes and I rarely saw her. She began to fade from my memory.
I’ll make a long story short. About a year after we had parted ways in Ms. Rowe’s class she phoned me out of the blue and asked me to accompany her to a murder mystery party. Apparently she had been cleaning off the list of names by her phone, and noticing mine, decided to see what I was up to. I refused her invitation. She persisted. She eventually won.
It was just about four years after that phone call that I married that pretty little brunette girl. In the six years of our marriage the temper that brought about our first words has been – and you’ll have to forgive me here – tempered, you might say. But the spark that caused her to flare up like that is still burning bright. God has taught her how to turn that spark into passion – passion for Him, for her responsibilities, and probably primarily for her family.
I still laugh when I think of the first words we shared. I wish I could say that I had experienced love at first sight, but that would be a lie.
For me it was love at first fight.