The first time I ever saw Chris, he was playing in his Ska band called Martyr 2:10 at my church’s coffee house/hang-out place known as ‘The Fire Escape’. (Get it? Like, escaping the fires of hell?) Very Christianly clever! It was the summer before my Junior year in High School. I was 16 years old. This mysterious band of cute boys had never played at the ‘Fire Escape’ before, and all us regulars would later recall the evening as a night full of “skankin” (I mean the ska dance kind of skankin’) and some serious teen crushing. NEW BLOOD!!
Conversations of this nature were heard at every turn: “Which boy are you totally crushing on? The saxophone player or the drummer? I like the trumpet player because I think he might have totally looked at me!! (squeal!)“
My best friend Rebecca mentioned something about how hot the drummer was, and I remember casually agreeing with her without really assessing the skinny, tall, bleached-blonde spiky haired WONDER behind that red drum set. (Mr. Chris Clark). I think I was preoccupied with someone else at that time, but I don’t remember who. Probably some older boy named Andrew or Andy. (I dated like 100 Andrews or Andys in High School…)
It was an evening of coffee-drenched hormonal chaos… the first day of the rest of my life.
It was announced that the band would be leading worship at church the next morning as well, so, come sunrise, the young girls flooded into the small sanctuary with holy zeal. That’s when I got my first real look at him…
(I may or may not have repositioned myself that morning in such a way that he could see me clearly through the mobs of gawking girls.) He was so cool and foreign. Not foreign like from another country, but foreign like from another school. And he wore necklaces and earrings. Umm.. hotness.
It took awhile for my group of friends to officially mesh with his group of friends, but it eventually happened. One night we were all at my friend Sammy’s house and we all decided to sit down and watch a movie. (Teen Translation: HOLDING HANDS IN THE DARK session.) Chris (whom I still didn’t know at the time) sat up on the couch and I sat on the floor by the fireplace. I was engrossed in the movie because (alas!) I had no one to stealthily hold hands with under a couch cushion, when I suddnely felt something hit me on the shoulder.
I looked down and saw a sour gummi candy lying by my foot. I quickly spun around to see which one of my girlfriends had thrown it, but instead, there was Chris- with a box of sour gummi candies in his hands and a mischevious smirk on his face.
And the rest, as they say, is history…