Unfortunately, weeks passed and I didn't see him in Sunday School, or Wednesday night youth group for that matter. It wasn't until Snowcamp in January that I saw him again... He was too shy to come talk to me, so we proceeded to make it a tradition to pass notes back and forth all throughout our youth groups various fall and winter retreats over the years, and occasionally send email (back in the early days of it!) to each other.
In high school we got to know each other a little better, as we ran in similar circles of friends, and after high school, when I went off to college, he was one of the few friends from back home who bothered to keep in touch with me. We'd occasionally chat on AOL's Instant Messanger between our classes and even met for lunch a few times when I was visiting in town some weekends. We also met up at a few local concerts back home as well.
Eventually he started coming down to visit with me and my new boyfriend at the time, joining us and a few friends for a weekend camping trip, coming down with his then girlfriend for my birthday... when he started playing World of Warcraft with us online, we really got to know each other better, as we all played way more than we should, although it was a great tool for keeping in touch with people who didn't live nearby.
Near the end of his relationship with a psychtic girlfriend, he started spending more and more time visiting me and my then boyfriend at college. I felt bad for him, I really did - the girl was crazy and hurt him real bad! They eventually broke up and he came down at least once, sometimes twice, a month for the weekend just play WoW and hang out with us, I'd assume as a distraction for how he was really feeling inside.
It wasn't until my 2nd cousin's wedding that June (2006) that I had a sort of epiphany - something at the wedding got me thinking and led to the reminder of why I hate the ending to the movie "Pretty in Pink."
Since most have seen it, Molly Ringwold's character has this best friend, Ducky, who's head over heels in love with her - he'd do anything for her and give anything to be her boyfriend. Unfortunately for Ducky though, she's in love with a popular rich jock-type. They date briefly, but break up right before the prom. She still decides to go anyway, to prove to the popular rich kids who broke them up that they can't break her. And of course Ducky offers to be her date so she doesn't have to go alone. Ideally, she should end up with Ducky at the end, right? I mean, he's always been there for her, even after the popular rich guy gives in and dumps her for his superficial friends. But no, rich and popular apologizes for being stupid and she ditches Ducky at the dance for him.
There's a similar plotline in the movie "She's All That" as well, where she has the best friend who'd do anything for her and give anything to be with her, but she pursues the popular jock instead.
I realized hubby was kinda like the best friend in that movie and I was the main character. I thought, "why not give the best friend a chance?"
The only problem was though, I was still with my then boyfriend and didn't have any valid reason to break up with him at the time.
So I kept my mouth shut.
It got really difficult though as the months went by and he visited! I started looking at him differently... he looked really hot when he came down for my birthday weekend, all cleaned up wearing dress clothes (he had just come from an interview). On Halloween, it took everything in me not to jump him! I told my roommate about how I was feeling and they strongly urged me not to do anything with him while I was still with my boyfriend, as he had been cheated on before. So I resisted the temptation and continued to keep my mouth shut. It wasn't until something somewhat major happened that put a strain on that relationship and I was able to finally have a valid reason to break it off.
Nearing the end of my relationship with my ex, my now husband and I got to talking online. I remember exactly what I was doing the night he figured it out - we were both playing and talking in World of Warcraft. I was playing my night elf rogue in the Alterac Valley battleground, stealthing around and snagging the horde towers at their base. He was telling me about how his parents were trying to set him up with a girl that attended his dad's Monday night class, and how his siblings had said they wanted to approve of any of his future girlfriends, after the mess of Psycho and he was talking about what bad luck he's had with girls over the last few years. I just casually threw out "Well, you never know, maybe your luck will change soon." Honestly, I didn't know how he felt about me anymore - he used to make suggestive comments here and there about us over the years and would comment about how he was "next in line" if my boyfriend and I broke up, but he hadn't said anything like that in a long time, and I didn't want to just flat out ask.
The next night, he was leveling a character in Darkshire and I came to help him out on my rogue. He said he had a question for me that had kept him up thinking, but he wasn't sure if he was just reading too much into it. "What did you mean last night when you said 'Maybe your luck will change soon'?" I asked him what he thought I meant by it and he asked if I was implying that I was interested. I forgot who said what, but I did admit I had been crushing on him for months, but didn't know how he still felt, do to the aforementioned reasons. He admitted he really fell for me back in high school and never stopped. Now at the time of this conversation, my boyfriend was still staying at my place. I told now husband that honestly, I didn't see things lasting too much longer with my boyfriend at that time and that I really wanted to take a break from that relationship once he moved back into his place. He completely understood.
We continued talking about the idea of us dating if things didn't work out with my boyfriend after our 2 week break (I really did want to give the guy a chance to get his act together and although I had wished I could have broken up with him prior to Thanksgiving, circumstances made it so that wasn't an option and I really wanted to wait til after his finals were over to actually break up with him if things hadn't changed). The first night of the break, my roommates and I had some friends over for drinks, including now husband, who came down on a last minute whim and decided to stay the weekend, and my boyfriend whom I was on a break with. After most people left, now husband stuck around and we watched a few movies on tv together til we both got tired and he left and stayed at my boyfriend's place. He came over again the next night to hang out and we watched some more movies on tv and then he left to go home.
We had made plans to attend our church's annual Wonders of Christmas production the following Saturday and since he had to go to work, we had agreed to meet up later to see his brother's band compete in a Battle of the Bands competition back home. I didn't bother inviting my boyfriend because the last time he went to Wonders, all he did was make fun of the music and skits and complain about the creepy old guy sitting next to him, and I didn't bother inviting him to see the band because we had invited friends from high school to join us and it's not like he knew any of them.
This was the night of our first kiss.
After the Battle of the Bands, we got some Taco Bell and then he dropped me off at my parents house. As I went to get out of the car, I heard him call my name. I went to turn around to see what he wanted but before I could, he had grabbed onto my arm and pulled me toward him, kissing me. I smiled, we said good night and told him I'd see him in church the next morning.
Later in the week, he asked if he could take me out to dinner, so I said sure - it was a fun dinner out, but it wasn't an "official" date.
Now hubby and I had agreed we'd wait a bit after the break up before to start dating, but with Christmas and New Years right around the corner, neither one of us really wanted to be single for the holidays. About a week after the break up, I texted him on my way to work on December 23rd (I know, I know, texting while driving = bad) and asked him "Can I be yours forever?" He texted me back saying "Forever and ever!" Good thing too - within the first day or two of being single I already had guys at work asking me out!
We spent that Christmas and New Years together - celebrating Christmas Eve with my family, Christmas day with his, and New Years with friends.
They always say that when you find "the one" you just know, and within our first few months together, I knew. He claims he knew back in 8th grade, it just took me nearly 9 years to realize it.
Now that's not say everything has been perfect - I think I've had more arguments with him than I have with any of my past boyfriends, but we attribute it to us having similar personality traits and having known each other so long that we know which buttons to push without even thinking about it!
We got engaged shortly after our 1 year dating anniversary and were married in our hometown on September 13, 2008, after knowing each other for nearly 11 years, and being a couple for almost 2.