Dani and I sat in the cushioned pews of the second biggest room of our church building. Courtney, our energetic and lighthearted Sunday School teacher, had just invited the class (basically our entire congregation!) to get into small groups to discuss a question she'd posed.
We exchanged knowing glances with the people sitting nearest us. You'll be in our group, the looks said. And then guy I'd never seen before ambled over to our huddle and asked if he could be in our group. He said his name was Chris.
I'm the type of girl that always sizes up new guys, so this was no different. He was tall with dirty blond hair (my favorite combination.) Though he seemed a little reserved, he wore a slight smirk that belied either a slightly arrogant streak or an ironic sense of humor.
I decided I was going to be his friend.
The next week, Dani and I caught Chris sitting by himself. "Hey! You're not allowed to sit by yourself. Come sit with us. We don't bite." The reserved smirk appeared again, dimples and all. Dani and Chris got chatting. Dani is charming and thin and pretty and perky, after all. So I just shrugged it off.
The week after that, however, I invited Chris to sit with us again. I was still determined to make him feel welcome. "I know what it's like to be the new kid," I told him, handing him a hymn book. "We'll be your friends."
We sang "Love One Another," and I tried (and failed) to smother an appreciative grin. "As I have loved you, love one anothow," Chris sang. His speech impediment was adorable. And later in Sunday School, he shared the most insightful comment. I quickly pulled out my journal and wrote it down, adding a few thoughts of my own. By the time I was done, the lesson was wrapping up, so after the prayer I turned to Chris. "Thanks for sharing that comment. I really needed to hear that."
Our conversation from there was so engaging that we hardly noticed the room emptying around us. "It's just challenging," I concluded, "since I feel like I've spent my whole life taking care of everyone else, and now I'm at a point in my life where I can't. I have to let other people take care of me, and I'm still learning how."
"That's interesting," Chris replied, a little disbelievingly, "because I feel like everyone has always looked after me, but now I'm finally at a point in my life where I can look after other people. He hesitated. "So, I mean, if I can do anything for you..."
It was the sort of thing someone would say, somewhat insincerely, to a person they already mostly knew. Not what a guy would say to a girl he just met. Not unless he meant it.
So I believed him.
"Actually," I laughed, "I'm in charge of this blood drive on Friday. If you wanted to come and offer some manpower, that would probably be really helpful!"
"Yeah? What kind of stuff would you want me to do?"
"I'm not sure, to tell you the truth." I grimaced apologetically. "Tell you what, why don't you give me your number, and I'll let you know what kind of help I'll need?"
"Sure." We pulled out our phones, exchanged numbers, and a little sheepishly, parted ways to arrive very late to our separate classes. As I walked away, I couldn't help laughing a little to myself. Technically, although I didn't really mean anything by it...
I just got a guy's number.