Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 15 Zach and Hannah

While not exactly high school sweethearts, Zach and Hannah went to the same high school in small town Madison. Hannah was 16 years old and Zach 17. Hannah’s friend thought Zach was cute, but Hannah didn’t think he was all that.

One fine day during summer break, Hannah was in her car at a stop sign. At the exact same time, Zach pulled up to the stop sign on the opposite road. “Hmm, he is kinda cute”, Hannah thought.

After noticing him at the stop sign, Hannah began stalking Zach. She would leave him little notes and gifts in his car and his locker. She noticed he wore friendship bracelets so she thoughtfully made him a friendship bracelet out of colours she noticed he liked to wear. Zach didn’t know who the bracelet was from, but he thought it was kinda cool so he wore it around his ankle. His ankle was not visible to Hannah so Hannah thought he never wore it.

Hannah remembers signing her notes with her name and number and asking Zach to call her. Zach remembers that he had no idea who these notes and gifts were from.

Someone else might have given up at that point. But Hannah was going to grow up and become an aggressive community organiser, so she didn’t let Zach’s silence stop her. She recruited help and organised an action. She got the German exchange student who was staying with her family to call Zach and convince him to go out with her. Zach remembers thinking Hannah was whiny and politely declined.

Someone else, crazier than Hannah, was also after Zach and she threatened to beat Hannah up if Hannah didn’t back off. Hannah backed off. Zach went off to college in Colorado.

During her high school senior year, Zach was visiting Madison and noticed Hannah. “Hmm, she is kinda cute”, thought Zach.

When Hannah went off to Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois they began a once a week platonic email correspondence. Hannah was dating someone else and now the tables were turned. Zach found an excuse to visit Hannah by dragging his younger brother on a ‘college visit’; he drove through a foot of snow on winter break from Colorado to Galesburg; he took an internship in Chicago to be closer to Knox College and Hannah. And that’s when things, finally clicked. It was summer 2000 and they were at last in the same place, at the same time – metaphorically and literally.

Not for long. They separated when Hannah went off to Russia to study Russian and Zach went off to Mexico to study Spanish. In the five months they were apart, the only contact they had was one eight minute phone call.

But study abroad programmes come to an end, and Hannah and Zach eventually returned to the United States. If you’re guessing Chicago, you would be right.

Hannah and Zach were married in 2006 and are now living in Chicago with their one and a half year old baby boy, Mateo.

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