Since we’re on part 6 of this series it’s time to get real serious. No long intro today. Just getting right into the meat of the story.
Part 6 starts now:
My boyfriend Michael and I have been dating now for a solid 8 months. I’m not going to lie, it’s been some of the best 8 months of my life. We went to the Playa’s ball at Jesuit, Ursuline’s brother school where he attends, and he punched a guy in the stomach because he was trying to hit on me too forcefully. I know I shouldn’t think this is heroic. I am a feminist, I should be disgusted by this outward display of manly testosterone, but man, it was cute.
On my birthday in January he told me he loved me and sang Tim McGraw’s “It’s Your Love” to tell me. I swooned, hard. We went to Snowball together, the seniors only dance, where I broke both heels from dancing so hard. We got caught making out when his mom wasn’t home and I wasn’t supposed to be over there. His mom thought I was a “hussy” and I had to remember to never be over there when she wasn’t. Actually, I just avoided going over there for the next few months.
We went to prom where I wore a $13 dress and a flower in my hair. We wrote each other notes and chatted on IM during the day. I got in trouble during history class and I had to tell the whole class what we were talking about. Luckily it wasn’t anything too embarrassing. He gave me a blue pendant necklace and I wear it every day. I think it brings me good luck.
We attended each other’s graduations from high school. We took our first trip together where we drove to Panama City Beach Florida. Two cars full of our friends and Michael drove almost the whole way while I played Britney Spears and danced distractingly.
He came with me to London where my parents take a group of students from Southern Methodist University (where I’ll be attending in the Fall!) to study abroad at Regent’s college. We were together when the London bombing took place, which my mom missed by mere minutes, the light went out as she was leaving the station. We traveled to Ireland together and toured all of London.
We have nicknames for each other and even invent a way to say goodnight to each other that we have used every single night since November. We say it, in our special way, every night, without fail. All my friends make fun of me.
Besides traveling, we’ve spent the summer playing tennis with my little sisters, watching movies, eating half gallons of blue bell ice cream and trying out a new flavor every week, and looking at the stars on a blanket in the bed of his truck.
Now, summer is coming to a close and it’s time to answer the real question: should we stay together? We are attending separate colleges, him at Texas A&M and I’m going to SMU. It’s a three hour drive, but we’ll both be very busy. He’s joining the Corps of Cadets (not because he wants to, because he got a scholarship and his brother did it… and his Mom really wants him to.)
Thinking about not being together doesn’t seem possible to me. But I know that it will be hard and I know we’ll have to deal with a lot of jealousy and miss the time we do have together.
One day in the car with my Dad, I let him know how I’m feeling, “I just really want to stay together. You know Dad, I know I’m only 18, but I think he could be the one.”
My Dad smirks, and answers as sweetly as possible, “Helene, you know I love Michael.” My Dad and Michael do seem to have an incredible bond. They even go to the movies together. My Dad doesn’t have any sons and Michael’s Dad lives 4 hours away.
“But I don’t know if this is forever,” he continues. “He is one of the finest young men I know, but I don’t want you to get your heart broken.”
“No Dad,” I say plainly. “I don’t expect you to understand. But I do think this is the one. I know that we met young. I’m not saying we’re getting married any time soon. I’m just saying I’m pretty sure I just know that I should be with him for the rest of my life.”
Michael and I plan to meet later that day and I know that I need to bring up our status. We go to the park near his house to go for a walk and then grab a a gyro at his favorite restaurant. I straighten my Hollister jean skirt and head to our spot.
He’s already there, reading the plaque nearby. He reads every plaque or sign possible. If there’s information, he’s going to read it. It always makes me laugh. He turns and I can see he’s holding flowers. He’s holding my favorite, stargazer lillies. He waves and I run over to jump in his arms.
“What’s the occasion for these?” I ask. Oh no, could this be bad news?
“Look,” he starts, “I’ve thought about this a lot. And I don’t want to break up. I don’t see the point. I hope you don’t either. I really think we can make this whole long distance thing work.”
A smile spreads across my face and I nod.
“I don’t want to freak you out or anything,” he says, blushing, “but I could see myself marrying you. Not now, I don’t want to be children. But this has been some of the best times in my life, and I’d like to continue it.”
“I feel the exact same way,” I answer.
“Helene it’s going to be hard. We’re going to get jealous. I won’t be able to talk all that much and I know you’re going to want to go to sorority and fraternity parties. But I don’t care. I would like to at least try.”
I can feel the tears start coming on. I try to stop them, but I can’t help it. “Let’s do it,” I say through tears.
We decide that even if we can’t talk much during the day, we’ll be able to say goodnight, every night, no matter what.
Later that week it’s time for him to go to College Station for Texas A&M’s freshman orientation. My family tearfully says goodbye to Michael. I stand in our driveway bawling my eyes out as I watch his red truck drive away, the hot summer wind whipping my hair.
It will be hard to make this work, but I think it will be totally worth it.