Reid smiled back, and then he said something that stopped me in my tracks. He said…
And, for a moment, the world stopped spinning. Really! Or maybe not, but that’s kind of how it felt in that instant. From Reid’s end of things, he’d say that there wasn’t anything particularly significant about his remembering my name. He just used to be really good about remembering people’s names. But I tell him that he’s lucky he did, ‘cause, the truth is, I don’t know if we’d have ended up getting hitched if it hadn’t been for his excellent name-recall. For me, it was that very moment, hearing those beautiful words—“Hello, Lani”—that really catapulted Reid onto my radar screen.
I’m not really sure why those two little words had such a profound impact on me, but they really really did. It wasn’t just that he remembered my name. I think it was the fact that I didn’t expect him to remember my name. I was really taken by surprise that someone who had barely made a blip on my radar screen was greeting me personally. It shocked and enthralled me. All of a sudden, the cogs and wheels in my head started spinning and speculating and reading into things. All of a sudden, I was determined to get inside of this Reid character’s head. Unlike Isaac, he was a quiet, mysterious, keep-to-himself sort of guy, so there was so much I suddenly wanted to know about him. I don’t think I thought of anything else for the next few hours.
Later that afternoon, I took a nap, and Reid showed up in my dreams… twice. In the first dream, we were just sitting on a couch staring at each other. In the second dream, we were at my grandma’s house playing card games with some of my family around her kitchen table. I remember waking up from those dreams and thinking, what’s going on? In the space of a few hours I had gone from barely noticing this guy to dreaming about him. I wondered to myself… is God trying to tell me something here?
Regardless of their actual source, those dreams served the purpose of further fueling my determination to get to know Reid better. Later that evening, we headed to the courtyard of Reid’s apartment complex for “ward prayer.” (Ward prayer is a tradition in many BYU student wards in which the congregation gathers together on Sunday night to sing, pray, and sometimes eat together.) Once there, I scanned the crowd for that quiet, scrawny kid, and I struck up a conversation with him. As we talked, I had an epiphany: Reid had the most amazing smile I had ever seen. I’m sure it had been amazing all along, but now I was actually paying attention, and I definitely liked what I saw. After the prayer, we kept chatting. Meanwhile, I was getting high on those giddy twitterpation hormones… perma-a-grin and all. I hardly noticed the other people who joined in our conversation until Isaac showed up.
He appeared seemingly out of nowhere like a blast from the distant past, but, of course, very little time had passed since he and I had hung out together. He was his usual self, smiling and bubbling with energy. And he was, of course, completely unaware of the cosmic ramifications of Reid’s “Hello, Lani” that sent a meteor into my soul. Isaac… We had become good friends, and I did enjoy his company even though his silliness was occasionally irritating. So I found myself in a bit of tough spot when Isaac suddenly said, “Hey, Lani, some of us are going for a drive. Do you wanna come?”
There I stood… Reid to my left—mysterious, humble, thoughtful, older man with a stunning smile. Isaac in front of me—silly, loud, hilarious, younger man who was much less threatening to my carefully-laid plans for my future. Should I accept Isaac’s invitation for a drive and enjoy an evening of laughter and silliness? Or should I decline the invitation and continue my conversation with Reid?
To be continued…
Read the final installment here!