Setting: Baptist Bible College, Springfield, Missouri
I met him during my sophomore year in college. I was 18. He was handsome. He had big muscles. At 18, you kind of always go after handsome with big muscles. He played basketball. I was a cheerleader. He grew up in Germany with missionary parents. I took German in high school while living in New Zealand with my missionary parents. We were meant to be. After one "date" he decided that he didn't want to go out with me. (I think we hung out one afternoon and he kissed me.... yes, on the first date. Don't judge. Remember that whole speck/plank thing?) So, I was momentarily broken hearted until I found out that he had other girls he was hanging out with (and kissing) all at the same time. In fact, I forged a friendship with a couple of the girls he had kissed, and we bonded over our mutual misfortune of having fallen for him. I also became good friends with his sister, and we spent plenty of time together so that I didn't really even miss him. I moved on.
Setting: Nashville, Tennessee
I was teaching at a private school, living my life when my brother told me that this blast from my past was going to be at a missions conference at my brother's church. My brother and I shared an apartment, but we attended different churches. So my Mr. Germany was coming to town. I had mixed emotions, but I made plans to attend the meeting where he would be preaching. I went. He preached. He was still handsome, still muscular, and still single. The following three weeks were kind of a blur. He stayed in town for a week or so, and he made his intentions clear. After the first few days of flirting, he starting talking about serious things. Marriage. Mission fields. I was skeptical. He had broken my heart (however slightly) 5 years before. I wasn't sure if he could be trusted. He told me that he had some meetings to preach in Florida and would be gone for two weeks, but he was going to use Nashville as a temporary home base and would be back. And so he went. And so I waited. I didn't hear from him much while he was gone, but after two weeks he flew back and I happily picked him up at the airport. Then he started talking details. He was on furlough so he had churches to visit. The plan was, though, that he would be back to Tennessee in November (this was September) and he wanted me to fly back with him afterward to his sending church in Texas and meet his pastor. Then at Christmas, I would go to Germany with him to see if I liked it. We would go from there. He left me with the appropriate sentiment of two people in a serious relationship. Hugs and goodbyes were exchanged, and he drove away to California to return a car he had borrowed for his furlough.
I never heard from him again. I called his cell phone, and he never answered. I left voicemail and got no response. I emailed but got nothing. They always say that no news is good news. Probably not when you are planning to marry someone.
Thankfully, I had been guarded a little to begin with. I was surprised but not devastated. I didn't waste any time looking at Bride's magazines and picking out honeymoon locations.
He is now my Facebook friend. He didn't have the decency to officially dump me, but he did accept my virtual friend request. If he were an active Facebooker, I would harass him endlessly about our upcoming nuptials. After all, if an engagement plan is never called off, isn't it still an engagement plan? I would pick out flower arrangements and post them on his wall for his approval. I would ask if he wants to wear a black suit or a tuxedo. I would send him invitation samples and ask how to spell his parents' names, just to make sure I get it right on the final printing. We would definitely have German chocolate cake as the groom's cake. I mean, it only makes sense, right?
I don't waste time thinking about it. I am not sad or angry or bitter. It gave me a fun story to tell you. But really, if any of you guys ever talk to Seth Richards, could you please tell him to call his fiance?