How Brent and I began
Brent and I didn’t have sparks the first time we met. In fact, I don’t remember how we met exactly but I know it involved a picnic table. It was my first year of Bible College, I had come and left my boyfriend (Nathan), who I had every intention of marrying, back home.
The excitement of Bible College was overwhelming. It was hard to sit in my dorm room and wait for my guy to call and he wasn’t very good at scheduling times so we always missed each-other. He had stayed for an extra year of high school and it felt like I was growing up and he was staying the same. We broke up the fall of my first year there. Our break up was the most terrible of my life. It took from Christmas time until the summer to realize that it was over for sure. He was the one I had planned on marrying for a long time, he was going to give me amazing 1/4 Jamaican babies and it was going to be perfect.
It didn’t take me very long to get myself back in the dating scene. I’ve never been a popular girl but I’ve also never had a problem getting guys to notice me. I was fun loving, full of energy and VERY flirty. Soon I had boys calling and I started getting confused. At Christmas break I had three boys calling me constantly, I had too many choices and I was still in love with Nathan. I had a very fun, but quickly failed, relationship with this guy named Colin. Him and I had a lot of fun together. I remember him and I were goofing around in the school cafe when he pointed over to a guy who was standing and talking to people. He then said “that guy Brent is the hottest and nicest guy in the school, the woman who gets to marry him is the luckiest girl in the world”. I was like “whatever there Colin” and most likely made a reference to his sexuality. Despite our break up, Colin and I continued to hang out constantly that entire year.
I just remember there being so much confusion, really liking two people at once and letting myself be miserable with it all. I decided that Nathan and I needed another chance and he came out with my mom for my graduation and to take me home. Things were COMPLETELY awkward, nothing felt right with him at all. I was miserable because the most fun year of my life had ended. I cried and slept our entire drive home. Nathan and I knew it was over. After a few days I moved back to school property with my girlfriend Christa. We then moved into an apartment with my sister.
That whole summer I dreamed of Colin, I couldn’t wait until the fall. I was going to get him back and it was going to be perfect. It was the worst summer of my life. I was working as a traffic control person in the blazing heat. I’d work for hours and hours without a day off, just standing there in my steel toed boots. It was awful. All I did was sleep and work.
That summer I got news that I’d be getting my settlement money for a car accident I had been in a few years back. It turned out to be an amazing chunk of cash so I was able to go back to Bible College that fall.
I had been hanging out a lot with a friend named Justin that summer, one day we decided to go to the college to see the people there who were training for that year’s leadership team. We were in the student lounge when in walked Brent. I was instantly in awe and slightly terrified of this guy. He walked up to us and said “hi Leah” I struggled to remember his name but out it popped “hi Brent”. We all sat down to a conversation and I felt as though I kept putting my foot in my mouth. I was saying the DUMBEST things and this guy, this GOD of a male, was most likely thinking I was a complete fool. I didn’t really even think that I had a chance with this guy. Brent, with his shinning gold crown of perfection (how niave was I?? ah ha) would need one of those nice girls, the quiet ones. Not someone so rough around the edges and so gosh darn loud.
I was so intrigued by that conversation though. Brent looked me in the eye with such interest every time I spoke. He seemed so mature and responsible (I’m laughing as I write this). I loved how he looked and the things he said. He instantly reminded me of my step-father, Mark, which I was really excited about. In my eyes Mark was, and still is, always an amazing model of a how a husband should be.
It took me a few weeks to realize that Colin was SO not wanting to be with me anymore. I was like a male, not getting it even though he told me over and over again. Really guys, if you don’t want to date a girl, STOP KISSING HER!! He was the first guy to ever reject me and little did I know, it was the best thing to ever happen to me.
The choir director in the school was very excited because I was in a new program and able to sing in the choir. The previous year, he had heard me singing through the walls during my lessons and inquired about me, tried to get me singing in the choir but with the program I was in, I was unable to do so. I was mildly excited to sing in his choir.
It was a great feeling to walk into our first practice to see Brent standing there. I was in the soprano section, straight across from the tenors, the perfect view of Brent. I would often catch myself staring at him. He dressed just like I liked, his thick rimmed glasses, band t-shirts, a goatee. I always dressed funky and always was attracted to guys who dressed the same as well. We always caught one another looking at the other person. Those awkward glances back and forth, making sure they were actually looking at you and then they catch you looking at them, back and forth back and forth.
Our choir had a trip planned to Whistler just to kick start us practice-wise and also have a lot of fun. The flirting started that trip. I kept feeling like such an idiot, I thought Brent was above that. Little did I know he was enjoying every moment of it. We got to spend a lot of time together, I even helped him pick out a pair of shorts. Being around him was so comfortable, the most comfortable I’ve ever been with anyone.
We spent an afternoon in the village at the Starbucks, just sitting outside and enjoying the company of each other and our friends. I kept looking at his lips and imagining what it would be like to kiss them. I must have been so obvious.
Back at school we found out we had a few classes together. I’d sit behind him and stare at his back…that is if I wasn’t falling asleep. I’d also hang out a lot in the cafe at school and wait for Brent to come by, just an excuse to see him again, to talk again. He’d come in the door and purposely look the opposite way of me first and then look over at me…his non-chalant way of trying to be unobvious. Then he’d sit at my table and we’d talk and flirt, it was so much fun.
One afternoon he had asked me if I had the newest Our Lady Peace CD. I told him I had it and we decided to go for a drive and listen to it. His CD player was acting up so we went to my apartment to listen to it. We ended up talking for hours, playing guitar and singing for each other. We sang each other a bunch of songs we had written.
After that day Brent would make the funniest excuses to come over. One day he called me up and told me his roommate needed his computer so he wondered if he would write his paper on mine. I was thinking “there’s a big room full of computers like 20 feet away from you silly boy” but I didn’t say anything, of course he could come over. I laid on my bunk bed and chatted with him while he “wrote his paper”. I remember him looking back at me and telling me I had beautiful hair.
There was a lot of opposition coming my way. So many girls liked Brent. When they found out I liked him they’d say things like “who doesn’t?”. Some one, whom I wont mention (*cough cough* Kristy’s husband *cough*) told me I wasn’t good enough for Brent…ouch. But I kept on the persuit, hoping I was good enough and hoping he’d pick me out of the masses of drooling women.
One night we were at my apartment and my sister had gone to bed. We had a roaring fire and we were both just casually laying in front of it. We did the little flirty wrestle thing and ended up holding hands. I did the stupid typical girl thing…”whatcha thinking”. We then both confessed that we liked each other and had a good, long cuddle. Brent made it very clear we weren’t dating yet, we were taking it slowly…ya right.
The next day we had our first kiss while we were watching a movie. It was the best first kiss in the history of first kisses. It gives me butterflies to even think about it. Every day I’d ask Brent “are we dating yet” and always I got a “not yet”. It was pretty frustrating.
Brent’s brother’s wife (my darling Leanne) knew that I had a crush on Brent. I remember exactly what she said when she found out “oh, you have Brent on the brain?”. I think it was her mission to find him a wife. Her and her husband invited Brent and I over for supper one evening. After supper Colin* and Leanne had to leave but said we could hang out there. Brent and I did the dishes for them and left to “park” for a while (don’t worry, we weren’t naughty…ha ha). I asked Brent again “are we dating yet?” and finally he said “yes”!!
So on this very day, five whole years ago, I finally suckered Brent into dating me. And we’ve never looked back.
*not the same Colin I had dated
The Christmas Banquet a few weeks after we started dating.