17 September 2013


It's so easy to forget. Angel and I began courting in March 2010, and there's been no question of our togetherness ever since, but our relationship came into being through little questionable moments during the 2008-2009 school year--moments that, though so precious to me, are all too forgettable.

Our only picture together from that school year: at his graduation.
In May 2009, Angel pleaded with me to go with his family on a trip to Chicago to visit their relatives, because I was leaving for Malaysia in two days and he wanted to spend as much time with me as possible. And I said no because 1) I'm pretty sure my parents would have not given me permission (for the record, I was 17 and he was 24) and 2)it's really weird and awkward to go along on a guy's family trip when you're "just friends" and it might make people suspect something that was not true.

He told me the night before I left that he was praying for thunderstorms so that my plane to Malaysia wouldn't leave, so that I could stay.

One cold winter's night, Angel dropped me off at my car in our college parking lot after an outing with friends, only for him to tell me that it's very bad to drive immediately after turning on your car when it's below freezing temperatures. So he told me to sit in his car and stay warm while the engine in my car warmed up, and then he gave me a 5 minute lesson in how to drive a stick shift while we waited in his car. I've never heard gear-grinding quite that loud but it didn't seem to fluster him.

In January, he told me he was so happy I finally had my driver's license so that now I could give him rides instead of him always having to give me rides.

Once, Angel didn't hang out with the rest of us and play games on Friday night because he was going on a date instead. How annoying.

He woke me up in the middle of the night with a somewhat incoherent phone call, saying, "You never really gave me any guidelines or parameters....are you going to the International Graduates Banquet?" I said, "I thought that was only for seniors." "No, anyone can go," he said, "Jeffrey and I are going, you can ride with us." I bought myself a ticket. Turns out Jeffrey didn't go--he said God told him not to, and who can argue with that? Angel and I still drove together because I didn't know how to get to the banquet hall.

Angel joined the cast of the on-campus tv show that I worked on--being in front of a camera isn't something he likes to do at all.

About a half-dozen times, while studying together, he proposed that we go get some dinner. I'd ask, "Who else is going?" and he'd say, "Nobody." and I'd say, "Sorry, I can't."

One night, Angel, Jeffrey, and I wanted to eat dinner together. Jeffrey didn't have any money, and Angel and I had little. Angel and I split the cost of an $8 pizza for the three of us to share, and Angel bought himself and Jeffrey each a bottle of pop out of the vending machine. I had enough money to buy a bottle of pop, but I was cheap, so Angel said I could share his.

One Saturday evening he called and asked if I wanted to go do something, I said that my little cousins were over and we were playing board games. Did he want to come? Angel came over and spent one of his last few evenings as a college student playing dominoes with my little cousins and I.

Angel took this selfie on MY camera when I wasn't around. Is that not a 'bad guy alert'?

I remember thinking, "Man, if I was Angel's girlfriend, I don't think I'd let him spend  this much time with Rachel."

One day he walked by my studying table and said, "I have to buy gifts for our Bible study leaders and I'm really bad at picking out presents, can you come with me quick to the bookstore and pick out something cool?" It's an errand, right? That sounds legitimate. I went. We listened to Rich Mullin's "If I Stand" on the way.

He told his landlady all about me--what exactly he said I don't know, but it was enough to make her seek me out at his college graduation and sit with me, asking periodic questions about the gifts of the Spirit and theological matters of that sort.

I remember glancing toward the parking lot to see if his car was parked next to mine, and smiling when I saw that it was, because once he found out where I always parked, it usually was.

Once he called me at 10:00 pm and said, "I'm just leaving campus and I saw your car in the parking lot. Are you okay? Are you still studying this late?" And I told him, no, I was fine, I was at a ballroom dance lesson.

I didn't have any money on me, and he bought me a taco when a group of us went out to Taco Bell. I made sure to pay him back with a dollar the next time I saw him, and he was happy to accept it.


It's a good thing I did leave in May 2009. These are the moments when we began, but Angel wasn't actually ready for me back then. He liked me, sure, he wanted to hang out. No commitment, or anything of that sort. He was kind of a bad guy. After I left to Malaysia, I squashed any blooming hopes that had started to spring up in my heart and told myself that I was silly, I was mistaken, none of these little moments were anything other than just friendship with a cheeseball of a guy. When I moved back to Michigan in the fall, Angel wasn't there, and I was fine with that. In March 2010, he came back, and I was fine with that too.

2010 was the year for us--but it wouldn't have happened without the friendship, the suspicions, the tears, the laughter, the adventures with friends, and the one unexpected kiss of 2008-2009


  1. This post really got me thinking. So many of those moments, and moments in my life, are so forgettable, but so precious when one looks back. The tiniest little things that now I look back and think "hmmm..."

  2. wait wait wait...what unexpected kiss? I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT THE UNEXPECTED KISS! way to leave me hanging, girl :P

    these are awesome moments. hah, hah, want fun college memories! And wow, he say your car at 10 and called you! That is really really nice of him!

  3. I hope this has a part two where you continue because I loved reading the story! My husband and I dated for a year before breaking up for five and then getting married. Real life love stories are the best of all.

  4. I don't think he was a bad guy. He was probably just confused and scared about what to do next.

  5. Oh my word, this reminds me so much of my relationship with Dean. We were "just friends" for almost two years. When I said goodbye to him when he was going to Malta for a year I cried so hard the man at the toll booth was worried I couldn't drive.... but we were "just friends".

  6. I want to know about the kiss too!

  7. So great that you remember all these moments.


  8. Aw I loved this post! It's interesting, thinking back on all those little moments and realizing what they really meant.

  9. I love stories like this. Especially because it makes me sad when people give up everything for a relationship. I think it's so important to get on the plane, go to Malaysia, live your life, and if they're there when you get back, well that's something special.

  10. Sweet story! Reminds me of most of our guy friends in college who also snuck random selfies on all the girls' cameras. haha I think they just think they're being cute when they do that. :P

  11. What a lovely post. It really is all those little things that are the building blocks of a good relationship. I bet they didn't mean much at the time, but looking over them now, all at once, you can see how much you each cared =)

  12. awwwwww this post is just really cute. what a great friendship to build on!

  13. What a cute post! Iz's and my relationship began as a friendship and I feel like we're stronger because of it.

  14. This is so sweet. All the little moments of a relationship (or beginning of a relationship) are so beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

  15. I think it's so cool you've known each other for so long. That first picture is adorable! You are beaming, and you both look so happy.

  16. Very interesting post! Angel really cares about you and I am glad that everything has turned out fine. My best wishes to you both. I am a new Follower of your blog from the Comment Promise Blog Hop. Have a good Wednesday.

  17. Great story! Solid friendships make for some really solid marriages (in my opinion). :-)

  18. I love reading people's stories of how they met and how their relationships start.

  19. wow, you got me thinking about all the precious moments in my life. They say everything happens for a reason and am glad you found yours. x

  20. Thx for sharing thse precious moments Rachel.


  21. What a great story. It's amazing how things really do work out in the end! :)

  22. Thanks for sharing your great story! What a great reminder to appreciate those little moments in life that you can look back and definitely see God at work.

  23. Awww I love this so much. Those pre-relationship moments are so funny to look back on, when everything's unknown and uncertain.