Friday, November 1, 2013

Gratitude: The Empty Seat

Bus rides are interesting things. They can make, or break, a trip. It had been a fun week touring with the choir in Mexico. It was always good to go home though. On the bus we were enjoying each other's company, playing games and singing songs. A game of "name that tune" started gathering the attention of many on the bus. That was when I saw him.

If I had used one word to describe him it might have been geek. He had black plastic square glasses and unkempt hair. His khaki pants were wrinkled as was his shirt, although the shirt was also too big. He got into the game and I silently hoped he would not see the empty seat next to me. Of course he did. I sighed on the inside a little and told him that I want the aisle seat. So I stood and let him pass. The game died soon after that and the only sounds were of people talking quietly to one another.

"Hi," I said feeling just a little awkward "I'm Rachel"

"Chris." he replied with a smile. I did notice that he smiled very easily.

"So-" I trailed off not really sure what to talk about.

He raised his eyebrows at me "So, um do you like movies."

I relaxed a little. Movies were something I could talk about. I watch way to many movies.

"Yeah what kind do you like?"

"Well mostly science fiction." It was another point in his favor.

So we talked about movies; Star Wars and Lord of the Rings and several others. When that topic ran out we moved on to books and music as well. The conversation was nice and the bus ride went quickly.

We said goodbye as the slowed into the school parking lot. He moved back to where he had originally been sitting to get his stuff, and I didn't really think any more of the conversation with the geek.

As fate would have it we were soon assigned to sit next to each other in choir. It didn't leave a lot of time for talking, but he always gave me this half grin and a French greeting of which I could only make out bonjour to mean hello. I didn't understand the rest of it at the time because at the time I was not a big fan of french. Spanish in my mind was the most romantic language.

Just a few weeks later I found myself on another bus; same choir , same geeky boy. I didn't sit by him right away, but he caught my attention when he asked me to swing dance in the hallway while the jazz band played on stage. I laughed and had a great time. After that I did sit by him. We found more to talk about. We even held hands. By the end of the trip most of my girlfriends were swearing that we were made for each other and that we were destined to get married. I laughed. How could I really be in love with the geeky boy with the wrinkled clothes and the very sweet sideways smile?

We began spending all of our free time together. We went on a few dates. And soon I was asking God "Could I really be in love with this geeky boy with the sweet smile?"
We got engaged, and then six months later we were married. We had known each other for less than a year.

Now I would like to fast forward from that moment to six years later. Six years later I am even more in love with him. Six years later we have two and almost a half children and he is an AMAZING father. He is a loving man; an honorable man. So today, on this first day in November I am grateful beyond words for one empty seat and one geeky incredible boy who filled it.

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