The following day was a Thursday. July 7th, to be precise. Chris and I had seen each other every day since Sunday, for as many hours a day as we could spare. And I was pretty hooked.
Not that I was pushing for being in a relationship right away. I mean, four awesome days is still just FOUR DAYS. But I could tell we had understanding at this point, and that was enough for me, at least for a little while.
And then we went to Institute.
I'd been going to Institute regularly. Institute brightened any of my mid-week doldrums by exchanging uplifting scriptural insights with friendly, intelligent people, and Chris was no exception to that. When he came in and made a beeline for the seat beside me, I was awfully pleased.
I remember turning, just slightly, so that my knee was against his. I thought it was a pretty low-key gesture, just reestablishing the broken touch barrier. No big deal. It was fun, paying attention to him and not feeling like I was being completely ridiculous, like so many other times when I'd had a crush on someone and felt like I needed to play it cool. Whatever, I'd decided. This is who I am and if someone doesn't like it, they don't have to hang out with me. I glanced from Chris, to our touching knees, back to Chris. I felt a little smug.
I was not prepared for what happened next. The class had settled into its usual rhythm. Brother Nichols had posed a question, class members were answering. I was content to listen, so I rested my hand in my lap rather than raising it.
And then Chris took my hand.
After the initial reveling, I was livid! What do you mean, 'he's holding my hand??' He DARN WELL better mean something by it! I mean, hello, he's holding my hand in front of my ENTIRE DATING POOL! If he's just messing with me, just holding my hand for fun...oh man. Oh man. I am so mad. So mad. It's time for a Conversation, stat! I wasn't gonna push things, but he is NOT allowed to hold my hand in front of EVERYONE IN THE WARD unless he means business!
Chris and I had already discussed that, after Institute, he would be helping me unload luggage from my car. I was going to be dog-sitting for the next two weeks, and could use the help. When we were finished, I wasn't eager for him to leave -- we needed to have a Conversation, after all -- so I invited him to come downstairs. "Dude, you have to see their fancy 'man cave.' It's got a giant projector and everything." He obliged.
In their basement media room, we sat on the couch. "It's freezing down here." I scooted close to him.
We got talking, but that eventually devolved into Chris' right arm around me, tickling my right side. I grabbed his hand with my left, but he was undeterred: he started tickling my left side with his left hand. So i grabbed that one with my right hand.
I hope you're getting the proper mental picture here. My arms, crossed over myself, holding both of his hands in a paltry attempt not to get tickled. Flirting 101, my friends, and we were both scoring A+.
But then the silence crept in, and there we were, snuggled on the couch, holding hands. It was no longer about tickling, or even flirting really, but the simple fact that we were that close, and okay with it. The silence stretched thin, and we broke it at the same time.
"So I think we need--"
"I wanted to talk to you--"
We laughed, nervously, and I let go and turned a little to look at him. "Go ahead," I said.
In what has become classic Sara-and-Chris style, we actually got off on a tangent, then, of all times. Something about how funny it was to refer to a conversation as a DTR while said DTR was actually in progress. (It stands for "defining the relationship," in case you didn't already know.)
Then Chris rambled for a while, about how he would only be around for the summer, and he'd totally understand if I didn't want to deal with that, not to mention how he was sure I could do better, and he'd see if I felt like it was a waste of time, but...
I couldn't take it anymore. "Chris. Are you asking me to be your girlfriend?"
He blinked a few times, clearly baffled by this incredibly forward girl he barely knew. The clever, energetic one with the big eyes and the fearless smile. The one he knew was going to be important to him, though he didn't know how or why. "Yes."
"Good, because the answer is yes."
And that was that.
Four days was all it took, and then Chris and I were exclusively dating.
It's a running joke in our marriage now, how I took all of the initiative, how I plowed ahead and didn't look back, how he would have done something if I would have just waited a cotton-pickin' second.
But any of my friends can tell you I'm a terribly impatient person.
I'm just glad that Chris didn't mind.