Ryan Weidmaier is going to some bible college in New Brunswick, Canada. I remember the first night we met. I arrived at CRU on the third level of the school and did not know what to expect. It crossed my mind that the group could be fanatical and crazy, or on the flip-size, dead and numb. What would I have done if they were either?

Of course, I ended up loving it and I can honestly say it’s because of a simple three-minute moment I had at the end of that first night. I was prepared to leave. My writing tools were packed away in my sack, already thrown across my shoulder. I headed for the door, but was stopped. Three guys stood in front of me, smiling and bright-eyed. Ryan looked down at me from six feet and nine inches while John R. smiled politely and looked on curiously. Josh O. stood there a moment, cracked a few jokes, and was quickly off to see someone else. He could never hold still too long… not really.

“Dude! You’re into emo???”

Ryan had seen my “cheer up emo kid” patch on my sack and became somewhat ecstatic.

“Uh–yes.”

I’ve forgotten the rest we talked about, but I remember when Ryan hugged me. He hugged me, even though I didn’t know him too well, but it was still ok. In fact, it kinda made my night. Because for the first time in my life, someone besides my own father, had hugged me and made me feel delicate and fragile, as a girl ought to feel. Most of the time, guys will slug me in the shoulder or playfully shove my head when I’ve said something stupid. No one had hugged me and made me feel like a girl.

He’s coming home in two weeks.

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