Ruthie and Brant
(as told from Ruthie’s extremely unbiased perspective)
Part I – The Early Years
I guess we technically met in 2003, but I’m not sure if we ever actually talked then. I moved to College Station and into the Bryan University Ward for the first time in January. Brant had been there for years. Actually, he’d lived in Bryan his whole life. But, he had a girlfriend at the time I arrived and I wasted no time in going after another interest (that would be Cash, for those of you trying to figure out the reference). We were only in the ward together for a few months before Brant left on his mission. Brant’s most vivid memory of me during this time period happened when he was sitting behind me in Sunday school and I was sitting next to Cash. Apparently Cash was trying to hold my hand, but I was very determined to pay attention to the lesson, not him. At one point I impatiently turned and gave Cash a very stern look after which he ceased all attempts at physical contact for the remainder of the lesson. Apparently Brant was very impressed. I, on the other hand, only have one vague memory of Brant during this time, and that was the day of his mission farewell in March or April. I was surprised to learn he was going on a mission for two reasons – he looked much older than a 19-year-old, and he had a girlfriend!
Part II – Setting the Stage
The next time I saw Brant was three years later. I had been home from my mission for about a month and taken a trip to College Station to see old friends and find a place to live. I planned on moving back a few weeks later. I went to the ward on Sunday and was sitting on the left edge of a center pew. When Brant walked up to hand me the sacrament tray our eyes met for a brief moment and he broke into that beautiful, shy half smile that still melts me to pieces every time. There was something about his deep brown eyes and dark mysterious complexion that intrigued me. I didn’t know a thing about him, but I wanted to go out with him. At some point during that day I found out his name. I also found out that he was the Ward Mission Leader. Perfect, I thought. Being a newly returned missionary the chances of my being called to the ward mission were very high – the perfect setting to get to know each other and maybe – just maybe – I might even catch his eye.
My hopes were partially fulfilled when shortly after my moving back to the ward I was indeed called as a Ward Missionary. Only one problem – somewhere in the weeks since our last meeting Brant had started dating someone else. It was torture! I felt so guilty! We were spending time together at least once a week in our callings, and it was so easy to flirt with him! I became increasingly confident in my opinion that if we could only go out a time or two we surely would discover that we’re perfect for each other! I also was developing quite a strong opinion that the girl he was dating at the time was not right for him. Even the sister missionaries serving in the ward at the time agreed that we were perfect for each other! Why couldn’t he see it?!
After a couple months things did end between him and the “other girl” (who, by the way, is a dear friend of mine. I have nothing against her. I just honestly didn’t think they were right for each other). For a brief time I thought I would finally have my chance. But my hopes proved false once again when I learned he had reconvened an old relationship with a girl in another state. Soon he was released as Ward Mission Leader and as the months went on I gave up hope of ever getting to date him. The girl from out of state came to visit a couple times and I even met her and thought she was a wonderful person. By the end of the year Brant and I only chatted occasionally at church and I was expecting to hear any day that he was engaged.
Tune in next time as the plot thickens in Part III - The Preliminaries!