May 20th, 2007
We arrived back on campus from Des Moines and I was getting ready to head home (to florida) for vacation. I made quick trip up to check my email and myspace (don’t judge. it was 2007, remember?) before heading out. I had gotten a friend request from a slightly familiar name… Chris Norman. Was that…. Yes, it was. Blue eyes. I quickly clicked through all his pictures. He was adorable. Then Mallory said she had gotten a friend request from him too. Oh, I thought, he must just be friending all of us. Nothing special, right? Along with that friend request was an innocent few sentence message saying how it was cool to meet me and how we should keep in touch. I sent off a quick reply and that started a long chain of emails back and forth over the next few weeks. We talked about traveling, ministry, jobs, missions trips, family, growing up…. Pretty much everything under the sun. I started checking my email ever 15 minutes, hoping to have a new email from him. I remember being on our ministry team retreat in South Padre and sitting in our hotel reading through the emails and starting to wonder if he meant something else. I had some of my friends come read them and say “What do you think he means by that?” I thought I was reading into things, you know, typical girl.I remember getting a friend request from him on Facebook and accepting. I went to take a shower and heard my text message tone go off less than a few minutes later. It was from a Missouri number…. Could it be?…. Yup, it was him. He had gotten my phone number from my facebook page and text me. Kylen swore he was a stalker. I thought it was cute. My phone never left my hand for the rest of the trip in South Padre.
We text constantly. We talked about everything and nothing. Everytime I learned something new about him I was amazed at how awesome he was. Working in a big ministry, a trained EMT, loved to travel, loved his family, had an amazing sense of humor and had this way to make me feel important like no one else ever had. This was all just through text messages and emails! We were heading back to campus from South Padre and we stopped at the Victoria Mall in Victoria, Texas. I ate up some chickfila and headed to the stores to find some shorts for the summer. My phone went off with a text that said “are you busy?” I quickly replied no as I was in the dressing room trying on some shorts…. My phone started to ring a second later, but I had bad reception in the mall so I quickly ran outside and sat on the curb as we had our first real phone conversation. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. There was something about this guy, something different. He wasn’t like any other guy I’d ever known. I think… I think I was starting to really like him. We talked constantly from that point on whether through text, email or phone calls. I spent many nights in the hall of my dorm at teen mania just talking to him. He was arranging to come to Teen Mania for graduation in august, but I didn’t know if I could wait that long to see him again. Things were progressing fast. By June 3 we had already basically told each other that we were developing feelings, and while he insisted that we needed to just be friends and work on our friendship before anything else could happen, I couldn’t help but feel like something was happening… and neither of us could stop it. After going through some crazy heartbreak just a few months earlier I was scared of getting hurt again. I let him know that I wasn’t comfortable with the undefined state of our relationship. He wanted me to feel comfortable and would go to any length to do that. He told me that my heart was a treasure he felt like he was entrusted with and the last thing he wanted to do was hurt me. I felt protected by him. I trusted him. I could get used to this… but I still didn’t know how I was going to make in through the summer to graduation before seeing him again…. and through a tragic change of plans, I didn’t have to.