Without Borders, an International Love

With 8,597 miles, a 7 hour time difference, and native languages between them, a love between crusader Regina Hauser and Belgium resident Mathis Deville was unlikely. However, now three years strong, the pair has a bond between them that no ocean could break.
Sophomore Clinical Lab Scientist Regina Hauser is originally from Bynum, Texas, population 199. Being from this tiny farm town, Hauser grew close to many in the student body and participated in many school activities and sports. Mathias Deville is originally from Brussels, Belgium with a population of 1.175 million people.
Bynum residents usually flocked to meet any new foreign exchange students that would be living and studying for the school year, but Hauser noticed girls especially flocked to one new foreign exchange student in particular. She noticed this at one of the first football games of the fall 2014 season.
“I remember noticing how strange that most of the girls were surrounding him like bees with honey on the bleachers, but I didn’t know who he was so I didn’t care,” Hauser said. “I was dressed in my volleyball uniform, sitting on one side of the gym, and weirdly enough, I remember what he was wearing. Mathias was wearing a pink polo shirt with khakis. Then I saw everyone adding this guy on Facebook so I added him and saw his pictures but didn’t talk to him.”
After a few months of glances and flirtatious smiles, Deville messaged Hauser on Facebook, and a whirlwind romance bloomed. Soon, the two began hanging out together outside of school and on social media, and they quickly became inseparable.
“The first time I saw him outside of a school setting and we spoke… I struggled understanding his French/Flemish accent,” Hauser said as she laughed about it. “We dated for about two months after that, and it was awesome. We became close and usually pretty inseparable. But then, he started listening to all of the negative comments school boys were saying about me. Since I had rejected all of them and instantly started dating the new boy in school, they started spreading awful rumors about me, so we decided to break up.”
Weeks went by, and Hauser began dreading her encounters with her former boyfriend. Stolen glances and lingering tension was all that seemed to remain between the two, until one day Hauser suspected her sister of withholding information.
“One night my sister told me he approached her to ask about me and that he’d been keeping up with me through her the whole time,” Hauser remembered with a smile. “Mathias started texting me again and we started to become good friends again. On January 29, he asked if we can go out to eat at a restaurant, and after he asked me if I officially wanted to be his girlfriend again. But this time, we were going to ignore any rumors and make this work. And, that’s exactly what we did.”
However, their time together was limited, as Deville had to return home after his exchange year in Texas.
“After he boarded his plane, everything seemed much duller and bland without my best friend around,” Hauser said. “In November of 2015, during Thanksgiving, my mom and I went to visit Mathias in Belgium. We were together again after 6 months of waiting.”
Hauser came to be a crusader after being pushed by Deville to pursue her passions, and to follow her heart into the medical field.
“He’s the reason I came here,” Hauser said. “If it weren’t for him, I would have done a two-year program near my parents, and probably be working somewhere near them. I never would have met all these amazing people or been part of this community if it weren’t for Mathias. That’s just one of the many examples that of how he’s had so much influence and changed my life.”
After learning multiple languages including French to better communicate, multiple trips oversees to not only Belgium, but Spain, France, and more, the dynamic duo has powered through long distance and now vacations during breaks from classes together.
“Due to school and our schedule, we weren’t available during the year to see each other so we planned every end of the year and summer time ….we’ll take turns to visit each other.” Hauser said. “As time goes by, we remain faithful and in love. We both believed that we were soul mates from the day we first saw each other at that football game.”
Despite all odds, Hauser and Deville are excited for what their future may bring.
“From the capital [of Belgium] to a Texas town of Bynum with a population of 199, he found me and gave me life,” Hauser said.

Author: Jasmin Ortiz

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