Stu and I left camp together and drove our way to Albuquerque. We listened to our favorite CD a few more times, had more talk. It was a fun trip but still harder to be as chipper for both of us because we knew this was the end. When we got to town we had dinner at Cracker Barrel together, and then my mom insisted that we come by their house so she could meet Stuart. She was determined to meet the guy I had been spending so much time with even though I kept telling her that we were just buds! I was going to be living with my Grandma again when I got done with camp, so the plan was that we’d stay over there that night since she had a spare bed. Well, we went to my parents house, and Stu drank a huge glass of grape juice while he entertained my parents and brother with stories about his WAR travels and such. It wasn’t a long visit because Stu needed to get to bed since he was driving all day the next several days. When we left though suddenly a Wendy’s frosty just sounded SOOOOO good, so we stopped to grab a couple of those.
Once we did get to my Grandma’s house we decided to finish watching a movie on Stu’s computer while we ate our frosty. Can you tell we were stalling?? 🙂 Stu told me that he’d show me how to play a game called “Lazy man’s mercy.” I knew he was just making something up because he and his dad had this basket ball game they called “lazy man’s 21” and I still have no idea how that works. But after the movie he took hold of my hand and just held it. THAT was lazy man’s “mercy” ha ha ha!! The “girlfriend” alarm kinda went off in my head so I made some joke about it, and then asked him if he was ready to go inside. We were still in the car out in front of the house. He said very definitely “No!” and then came that awkward silence that I told you about earlier. Turns out we were both wrestling with our thoughts. I was thinking, “Okay, well what now?” and he was really trying to figure out what to do. He finally gave himself the same advice that he always gave other guys who came to him with “girl issues” and that was “GO FOR IT!” 😀
The next words out of his mouth I will NEVER forget! He kept staring straight ahead out the car window, but he said, “Ya know, you’ve really messed up my life.” Wow! Interesting way to forge ahead for sure. 😉 I told him I didn’t mean to. He went on to say that he had everything all figured out, how he was going to get married, and what he was going to do and yadda yadda, then I came along and now it was all messed up. 😀 The he told me, “I don’t know if I like you, but I do know I like things about you.” Another interesting line, but I knew what he was saying, and since I still hadn’t really responded about what I really thought, he was probably hedging his bets.
Well, that conversation may have started out strangely, but it opened up a door that I never thought would happen. We ended up talking outside in the car till about 4am!!! And by that time Stuart had found out that he DID indeed like me. 😉 And I very happily let him know that I liked him too!
I felt bad after the fact because I realized that my Grandma had been worrying most of the night because we never “showed up.” And looking back we should have just had our conversation inside, but who can think clearly at a time like that?? We did go inside and Grandma was kind enough to fix us a pancake and bacon breakfast then we went to our rooms and sacked out for a couple of hours. Stuart still had to drive back to South Carolina where, he assured me, he would no longer have a girlfriend. 😉 He teasingly calls me a “home wrecker” but I remind him that he had the first move! It was so strange to me that after that one open and honest conversation about how we really felt about each other we both “knew” that we were meant to be together. I had heard people say that before, “When you meet the one you’ll “just know.”” But in my dating experiences I found that to be so frustrating. Because the guys certainly seemed to “just know” but I never did. Now it made sense. All I can say is God works it out, and I did indeed know that Stuart was “the one and only” for me!! We did not mention marriage in that conversation, or any conversations for quite awhile after that, but we both did know.
Now the tricky part was telling my family the next day. Ha! I had been working so hard to make them believe that we were just friends and that’s all there was to it, and now, 12 hours later I had to convince them that there might be something there after all. 😉 Stuart and I decided that we still were not “dating” but by then who needed it? Besides it was totally long distance for us after he left for school. I had experienced long distance relationships before as well, but nothing like this one. I can almost say that I was nearly obsessed thinking about Stuart all the time! 😀
I went back to camp and he got busy “breaking up” at school and we talked as much as we could and e-mailed a great deal. Then one day, out of the blue, the topic of marriage did come up!
To be continued…