I met Kristen when is was 21. She transferred to California State University, Fullerton to play on the Women’s Volleyball team. She was one of my best friend’s roommates, alas we naturally became friends. Kristen was nothing less than a corky, tall, blonde and a charming human from Idaho with the whole world at her stance. She was beautiful enough to make my brother develop a crush on her as well as everyone who ever had the pleasure of stepping into her personal radius.
Leah, Kristen, a few others and I went out for a girls night to Downtown Fullerton. Over an amount of time we fell into a routine of men flocking Kristen, Leah asking people how short they are in response to them asking how tall she is, and I– well, I floated around between the two of them. Until one evening our routine changed forever.
There was a tall guy with strikingly good hair and piercing blue eyes who began to “stalk” us, and when I mean “stalk us” I mean “stalk” Kristen. From Bar to bar, street to street this guy followed “us” like a lost child in a crowded Costco.
The night of vodka cranberries and Corona Lights had ended. The doors were locked. The engine was on. We were buckled up when the “stalker” insisted on getting Kristen’s phone number.
Leah voiced her thoughts in says, “I mean, he has some serious balls to come up and ask.” We sat in the car squished like sardines as Kristen tentatively gave away her digits. I sat silently shaking my head back and forth in disapproval of the stalker gaining her number.
Let me explain my reason why, I had just gotten back from spending a month in Italy. The land of aggressive mammas boys with bad breath and the thought that they can feel me up under my dress without my approval. It is also safe to say that I trusted a total of 0 humans after getting spiked by a bartender in Rome. I trusted nobody. Not the kind hearted stranger or the aggressive one. Jeff’s desire and goal to win Kristen was less romantic and more of a threat in my defensive and victimized eyes.
It seemed as if Kristen found more than just some guy and that she found somebody after that infamous evening. Thus, Kristen fell in love. She fell gracefully and as beautifully as she is. Their love was and remains simple and effortless. There were no barriers between the two. That’s the way it should be, simple, fulfilling, and easy.
I have never believed in “love at first sight”, unless if I am walking through a dog shelter, then yes I believe in love at first bark, if I must. I became enlightened as I stood on that hillside in La Habra taking photogenic photos of Kristen and Jeff.
Jeff did something that is rare in this world, back on that cold night in Fullerton. He listened. He payed attention to his body, his being and heard himself screaming that “She is someone. She is somebody. I must not let her go.”
Jeff and Kristen enlightened me in realizing that “love at first sight” is less of a sight and more of listening, trusting and taking the risk to reach out for that love.
Because there is no reward if there isn’t any risk. Love at first sight is risking your heart and trusting in it at the same time.
Jeff took that risk and Kristen followed as simply and effortlessly as it should be.
Also, thank you Kristen for ignoring me and listening to Leah because she is usually right. Thank you Jeff for reframing me and changing my outlook to notice that not all men with drive are out to hurt, for inadvertently teaching me to trust people and mainly for loving my friend with boundless and tender love that she deserves.