Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Budding Friendship

Make sure you've read Part I of my husband and I's story.
If you already have, lets keep going.

After P and I met on October 29th, 1999, something inside of me was forever changed.  At the young age of 13, I knew he was the one God had planned for me.  Now, I had years of figuring out how to make it work and protecting both of our hearts enough to still see that when we were of age.

It all started so simply.  His first e-mail to me was an e-card using words like 'Howdy and ya'll' and a giant picture of a cowgirl.  I guess he was intriqued by the fact that I was from Georgia?  From that day on, our friendship just grew.  We had the same sense of humor and strange draw to each other.  We e-mailed for a few months before somehow connecting on the phone.  By this time, I had found out that he had just started 'dating' a girl.  At the time, I was so disappointed but looking back now, I am so thankful for their relationship.  Their parents were so good about teaching them the proper way to approach dating.  It was the truest definition of 'courting' I have ever watched.

Over the course of the next few years, we kept talking and talking and talking.  He became my best buddy.  I remember hanging up with him one day and thinking,
"I know why I love Paul so much!  He always makes me belly laugh!" 
We had so much fun!

This is from his visit.
Then, during the summer before my 10th grade year, I decided to attend a boarding school.  Before I left, I asked my mom and dad if he could come down to Georgia and visit.  It must have been nothing short of divine intervention, because at 15 and 17 years old, both of our parents agreed.  He rode a bus...for 25 hours just to see ME.  

That week, I recieved my first kiss.
At the movie theater watching 'America's Sweetheart's during the helicopter scene.  Not that I remember or anything.

As cheesy as this sounds, I remember being so relieved that he had gotten MY first kiss.  I didn't want it to go to just anybody...

After a few days, I got kind of tired of him because he kept trying to kiss me!  Not in any weird way but I had never even kissed a boy and I just wasn't there yet.  Anyways, by the end of his visit, I was ready for him to go and so was he (I think his mom still might hold a little grudge for that one...haha). 

I left for my boarding school, calling him every so often, but because of the harbored frustration, we kind of went our seperate ways for a bit.  After a few months, I decided to come home and go back to my normal high school.  Somewhere in there, we got back in touch, and our friendship started back up where it left off...just good buddies.

At this point, he was dating a new girl...that I wasn't particularly fond of.  I knew she threatened my goal of protecting his heart and I wasn't going to stand for it.  Over the course of the next few years, while they dated, I made sure to stay as close as possible.  I wasn't going to let this girl have influence over the man that I knew he was. 

Unfortuantely, he did start making some less than ideal decisions...nothing big, but not what I could stand by and watch, so I let him go.  I remember writing him an e-mail saying, 

"If you want me, you have to work for me.  Please don't contact me anymore, your decisions are tearing me apart.  If you decide to grow up and be the man that I know you are, please let me know." 

To this day, that was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I lost my best friend.  I thought he was gone forever.  BUT, much to my surprise, at the end of his Navy boot camp I received an phone call.

"Hi Jeanne.  It's P.  I'm calling you back."

His deep, comforting voice gave me such relief.  It was OVER.  I quickly got off the other line and we began to catch up.  Before getting off the phone, I layed it all out there for him.  I told him that I loved him and I couldn't watch him make decisions that we BOTH knew were not good.  If he wanted me as a friend, he had to be who I knew that he was.  I wasn't going to let him settle for what was comfortable.  We agreed and we were back on track.  PHEW!

At that point, I was a junior in high school.  I had dated a few boys, here and there, but nothing serious.  Nobody could make me laugh like he could.

Although he was still dating his girlfriend, he started saying things that just didn't line up.  For instance, I told him that he would be one of my future kids' Godfather.  He got VERY upset with me and told me that he 'better be the father'.  WHAT!?!?!

He had a girlfriend!  He was so upset about this conversation that he even called his mother.  Whatever.

Well, my senior year was a particularly rough year.  By the time prom came around, I really wasn't interested in going solo.  One night, I kind of dropped a hint that I wanted him to go with me but it ended there.  About a week later, he called me to say that he and girlfriend had broken up and he was coming for prom.

I can't even tell you the excitement that ran through my veins!  I knew that it was the start of something good...

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