My emotions were a mess. I loved my boyfriend, I hated change, and I didn't know how to go about ending things between us. But there was hope in my heart at the same time.
This boy who I had cared so deeply about for years suddenly seemed like he was interested in me - a lot. It was fate, destiny, something...But that didn't change the hard facts of my current situation.
I cried all night.
I cried from anger. I cried from shame, sadness. I shed tears of happiness as I thought about the possibilities the future may hold if I was single. I cried in pain and confusion.
When the sun rose the next morning my mind was made up; I knew I had to take the chance that I'd been waiting my entire life for. Breaking up with my boyfriend of almost two years, who I'd been through a lot of 'firsts' with was hard, so hard in fact that we both cried. I can't say he seemed surprised, he knew it was coming after the early morning incident and didn't try to defend himself or apologize. We both seemed to accept that fact that it was over; somehow I think we both knew it had ended long before we ever ended it officially.
We stood in my parent's driveway, the blazing colors of fall all around us and hugged.
"I'll miss you." He said into my hair.
"I'll miss you too." I sniffed, my cheeks wet with tears. He pulled away and kissed me gently, I returned his kiss.
Then he walked away.
That was the last time I ever saw or heard from him.
All our history together wrapped up and sealed away in a corner of my heart. The end of one chapter, the beginning of something new.
I gathered myself and began to prepare for his homecoming; we hadn't seen each other since...Well, in a long time. What would it be like?
When he called that night and I told him it was officially over his reply was;
"Good, I've never been a cheater."
That was the first night we ever blatantly flirted. Although there had been hints all throughout our relationship, he had never been so obvious in his innuendos. One of the last conversations we got into was about how good of a kisser he was (don't ask me how we got there!); "I wouldn't know." I said. "Oh, you will."
With that imminent promise hanging between us he arrived a few days later.
Our first meeting was emotionally charged for sure. The moment he stepped out of his sleek blue car looking super sexy in his leather aviator jacket I wanted to rush him. I stood where I was, like a lady, and waited for him to come to me. He sauntered up to me and stopped just a few inches from me, a lazy smile tugging at the corner of his mouth.
"Hey." He said.
"Hey." I said back. Secretly, spicy scenes out of every romance movie I’d ever watched, were rushing through my head. Would this be the moment he brazenly took me in his arms and swept me up in a kiss? We smiled at each other and I could smell the spicy scent of his cologne. Although I remained steady on the outside, I was melting like butter inside.
"So are you going to hug me or what?" I laughed and fell into his arms and the awkwardness between us subsided; only the emotionally charged tension remained.
We spent every spare moment of that week together. He'd been in town for a few days, we flirted, laughed, talked, and yet nothing more serious had taken place. I was a bit frustrated as I was sure he would initiate the kiss immediately and then we would spend the rest of the week as little lovebirds, but he didn't. I was talking to a friend his last day in town, sharing my bewilderment that it hadn't happened yet when she said; "Just kiss him! What are you waiting for anyways? Besides, if he leaves and you don't kiss him you'll always wonder what could have happened; you'll regret it if you don't." With those teenage words of wisdom running through my head I hopped into the passenger seat of his coop and we zoomed off together. I sat in agony. Those words running over and over in my head; "You'll regret it if you don't."
My palms were sweaty and I'd stopped talking a long time ago so awkward silence filled the car, although he didn't seem to notice. I kept glancing out of the corner of my eye at him. Calculating the situation and my plan of attack. Should I do it in the car so he couldn't retaliate? Should I wait until we got out? How they heck did someone decide when and where was appropriate for a first kiss anyhow!? No wonder this was supposed to be left to the boys, it was much too stressful!
I cast a side long glance his way again only to see him watching me this time.
"What?" He asked smiling that adorable smile at me.
And then I launched myself at him. Yes, while we were driving. The seat belt cut into my chest as I strained to lean across the console placed so awkwardly between us and plant a chaste little kiss on his cheek. There. I'd done it.
The look on his face was worth the uncomfortable effort I'd had to put into the whole ordeal; I wasn't sure if shock or confusion would win out over his expression. Wait...Confusion? For a second I panicked thinking maybe I'd totally misread all the signs; my insecurities came rushing back at me like a flood. What had I just done? It took a moment for the shock to subside and then the car found the side of the road and he was there, his hand around the back of my neck pulling me to him. He did not kiss my cheek, he kissed me full on the lips. His soft, supple mouth touched mine and the warmth of his lips was nothing compared to the fire that ripped through my chest.
This. Was. HAPPENING!
I'd dreamed of this moment for years but nothing prepared me for the actual moment. So many years of pent up emotions finally realized with a kiss. Not even the console digging into my side could dampen the bliss of that moment. Later, when we debriefed that moment, he told me that he had planned to kiss me, just one, long kiss before he got in his car to head back to Oklahoma. I rolled my eyes and sighed at the stupidity of boys... again.
The End (JK, it was only the beginning!)
So there we were, young, in love, and positive we wanted to get married -NOW.
When you're 17, still in school, and somewhat estranged from your parents there is no easy path down the aisle.
My life took a very abrupt turn at that point, I went from very withdrawn and moody, avoiding my friends and family, to being cheerful, actively involved in relationship, and talking to my parents again. To say my parents were thrilled with this development was an understatement. My mom always said he was already her son so it wasn't hard at all to welcome him into our family. That didn't necessarily make the idea of allowing your teenager to get married any easier.
We talked, and talked, and talked.
My mom wasn't sure if I was ready. She wanted me to go to a Christian music school to develop my musical gifts more, I wanted to get married immediately, dad mainly stayed out of it.
There were lots of deep heart-to-heart conversations and a lot of prayer. I was feeling very broken that my parents wouldn't support my decision to get married and after one particularly moving time with the Lord I knew that I needed to submit to my parent's as my authority and put aside my dream for a time.
I remember going to my mother's room, standing outside the closed door with my hand on the doorknob trembling, I was already sobbing before I ever made it inside the door. My mom looked up from her Bible surprised and asked me what was wrong. "I want to honor you as my parents," I choked out, "I'll go to school first."
Tears welled up in my mom's eyes as she looked at me in amazement.
"You're never going to believe this, but when I was praying today I felt God tell me to release you to get married, it's your season." We both cried together, laughing, and smiling. I felt my heart soar knowing that my mom was on my side.
"So, what do we do now?" I asked.
"Let's go talk to your dad." Mom brought dad in and we all sat on their bed together. "Tell him." Mom encouraged.
"Dad, I want to get married this summer." I said hesitantly. I starred out the window contemplating my words, he knew they were coming, but would he support me in my decision? We waited in tense silence. "Well," He said at last, "Let's plan a wedding." I squealed and hugged him. Bursting with excitement I ran to call Jeremy.
The ring came on a cold winter day at the end of December. He came home two days after Christmas and showed up on my doorstep. I ran out to meet him and threw myself into his arms. It'd been almost six months since we'd last seen each other. I breathed in his scent and kissed the side of his neck gently. Warm fingers entwined he took me to a charming coffee shop overlooking a partially frozen waterfall in a nearby town.
"Let's go down to the falls." He said.
"What!?" I looked down at my ballet flats and contemplated the long treck down 6 flights of stairs in the snow to the base of the waterfall. I shrugged, "Okay."
We slipped and slid our way down the stairs, the only two sets of footprints.
The sound of rushing water roared in my ears. The waterfall was half frozen and the mix of ice and running water was breathtaking.
He coughed, I smiled. We both looked away.
"I," My eyes flicked to his and we both stood there for a moment before he grabbed both of my hands and dropped to one knee in the snow. "I love you, you are my everything, my other half, and I never want to be without you. Will you marry me?"
I knew it was coming the whole time, and yet it was so special all the same. He slipped the icy circle onto my finger as I fought against the raging emotions inside me. Was a simple yes really enough? When your heart has wanted something for so long, and reality has finally seen fit to catch up, it's like everything slow down and speeds up at the same time.
Reality crashing with hope and dreams and the future colliding with the past; my heart could hardly take it.
And then we were married. In a plush backyard wedding. The wait was excruciating and we almost eloped, but I'm glad we held out for the big day, it was everything I'd ever dreamed of.
Ironically my husband and I ended up at the ministry school that my mom had wanted me to go to before I got married. She said it was God blessing her with a "two-for-one" deal, but that excursion is a whole other story ;)