I first saw her at the International Student orientation. She was there because she had heard some German students were coming. Having been born and raised near Germany to American missionary parents, she was curious and excited to meet others who spoke German. I happened to be the Nepali boy sitting next to one of these German students. She came with a group of Japanese students and it was clear she enjoyed hanging out with anybody from anyplace.
I would not call this our first meeting though. We exchanged greetings and that was about it. She was most certainly beautiful and attractive. Her eyes drew me and she certainly gained my attention. A few days later I saw her running across campus. She waved and screamed “aren’t the guy from Nepaaaaaaaal”. I yelled back but she was long gone. And from there it was mostly bumping into each other here and there. Nothing really interactive. We were at a small college and so there was plenty of opportunity to have mutual friends and acquaintances.
Our fist conversation occurred in the library. I was doing my math homework in one of the rooms next to the computer lab. I was the only person in this relatively large study room. She knocked, poked her head in and asked if she could do her homework at the other end of the large desk. I was glad to have company.
I was focused on getting my work done but soon we started talking. She asked me about my background and my family. I was happy to share. I then asked her about her background and listened. We talked about our majors, our families, our faith and everything else. I can’t remember if I got my work done that night, but I really enjoyed the conversation and interaction. Being an international student can be a lonely experience, especially coming from Nepal. While there were other international students there were only two others from Nepal. In many ways this conversation in the library meant a lot to me.
Not much happened in the ensuing weeks and months. Over next few semesters we started to have mutual friends and so we often bumped into each other at different social settings. However, during the second semester of our sophomore year we hung out quite a bit on the dorm floor of a mutual friend. We ate together, watched movies together and stayed up really late talking about all sorts of stuff. That is when I first felt a really strong connection with this beautiful American woman.
Then our junior year she become involved with the International Club as the President and I served as Vice-President (this arragement still exists to this day by the way.) As a result we spent a lot of time together and became very familar friends. I started to feel an inner attraction towards this beautiful person. I enjoyed our club meetings, our phone calls (all business of course), and all the interactions in between. I was sad to see the year end.
Then lo and behold as if God had moved heaven earth to bring us to gether she moved next door for our senior year. I was sitting in my apartment drinking a beer with my roommates when she came up the stairs, walk by our apartment with a bunch of boxes and announce that she was in apartment 7 (I was in 6). I couldn’t believe my luck! I was really excited.
I didn’t tell anyone I had feelings for the girl next door. But my roommates and friends tell me it was pretty obvious. So, all senior year we played this game of denial. Everyone around us knew we liked each other and wanted to try the relationship – but we pretended like it would never happen. There were too many barriers to overcome. Without saying it we told each other that this would never be, so just enjoy the final year of college and get on with our lives.
And that is exactly where thing were headed until the week after graduation. We were both emptying our places out and many of our friends had already said their goodbyes and left. I bumped into her at the mail room and walked back to the apartment together. I told her I had some extra food if she wanted to join for a quick bite. She accepted the invitation. Then as the food was warming up she asked me who my first love was. And without missing a beat I broke down and poured out my heart.
We cried, we hugged, we talked all afternoon and all night. The freedom of being able to love and to be loved was exhilarating. I was in love and love said she was in love too. We set aside all the barriers we would have to overcome and plunged in head first without giving a second thought. We have been inseparable ever since!