It has been 10 years since Leila and I decided to get married. I don't say engaged, because it wasn't as formal as that yet. (Also, the word "engaged" makes me think of learning to drive, as in, "Engage the clutch, shift, disengage, and let out the gas. . . One more time")
The reports about Columbine reminded me. It isn't a date that we really have celebrated as an anniversary, but I remember riding in my ride to Boise's car and talking about how I had decided to marry Leila while the news tried to make sense out of the Columbine massacre.
It really was Anna's fault. That is how it all started.
Leila and I had been friends/study partners/in the same ward/dating since I had come back to BYU. I had been dating someone else early in the year and Leila and I weren't dating seriously. We studied genetics together, met for devotionals, ate sunday dinner together sometimes, and went country western dancing on Saturdays.
Right at the of the semester, Leila and I started to admit that we liked each other. I had an internship in Florida that summer and was going to be gone and I remember asking her near the Wilk one night if she would go on a date with me when I got back. She said maybe, we'll see.
Then, just as finals ended Anna got engaged. My best friend was planning on getting married August 13th and I had warned Anna not to get married that weekend because I wanted to go to Craig's wedding. She assured me she wouldn't, then changed her mind and set everything up for August 13th.
While I was walking Leila home that night, I joked that I should bring Leila home with me and tell my family that Anna can't have that day because we were secretly engaged to be married on that date already. Leila cocked her head, thought briefly, and said, "No, the 13th won't work for me."
Suddenly, it wasn't a joke. The funny thing is that it was such an easy decision to make. I agonize over everything, but not this. I said, when should we get married, and we were up most of the night discussing it. Not if, when.
Leila came over the next morning as I was packing and told me that she had talked to her family and the 20th would be a good time.