The beginning of our romance, the real romance gets off to a rocky start. Our first Date was amazing, he took me horseback riding. We shared lots of late night talks and cuddles. He was a Divine kisser. But we were just dating. I just got out of a really long, four year, off and on again relationship. I would not be jumping into anything. He was a one girl kind of guy but respected that I still needed time. By the end of our first month of knowing each other it was my birthday. I was going to be in my twenties! But, the ex wanted to visit. He still thought we had a chance and that if I would just SEE him that I would forget about Chris. I was with him for four years so I wasn't ready to completely throw that away forever so I told him okay. Now I had to tell Chris that the ex was coming up for a visit. I wanted to be honest with him and not hide anything. I told him that the ex knew we were dating and that we would still be dating once the ex left. He wasn't so sure. But, that didn't mean he wasn't going to not try!
That Friday when I got home from class there were flowers waiting at my door. Chris had gotten me a birthday bouquet and left it for me as something to remember him by while he was visiting friends back home and I was visiting with the ex. I think I swooned a little! A guy, FIGHTING for ME! This was new~
The ex came and it went as expected. He judged everything and everyone in my life. But the hammer came when he yelled at me in front of my friends when he didn't like that I wasn't paying enough attention to a movie we were watching. I missed a part because I had a few friends walk in to tell me happy birthday and had to ask him what I missed. He promptly got up, sternly told me he would rewind it and that I would pay attention this time. This kind of treatment wasn't new to me, behind doors he often told me I was acting stupid or repulsive if I talked too much or wasn't appalled by something on TV enough. But this time, this time he did it in front of people. And I saw in their eyes hurt, hurt for me because they were beginning to understand the hold he had on me. The emotional hold he controlled me with and I didn't like those looks. I was too independent and confidant now to garner those looks. I was dating a guy that NEVER made me feel like the ex did. I was dating a guy that encouraged me to be my own person. I was not going to take this anymore.
The ex left that day knowing that we were not back together and that our break was in fact a complete breakup and I was not interested in getting back together. Chris returned expecting me to tell him that I got back together with the ex, but instead was pleased to find me running into his arms and laying the biggest kiss I could on him! We snuggled together all night simply content to just lay in each others arms.
That was not the end of the struggles though. That wasn't our actual turning point. That was yet to come. We still only dated each other but we refused to put a title on it. And then, I agreed to go to a Ring formal with the ex at his college. It wasn't something that you just brought any date to, your parents were there, so I felt I had to be there for him. I explained to Chris that it meant nothing to me but I had to be there for him, it was too important. Chris being the laid back, "I refuse to show any jealously", kind of guy he was said that he understood. So that October, over our fall break I went to South Carolina for a ring dance at the Citadel and Chris went to Maryland to visit his friends and family. The weekend in South Carolina was really nice. The ex was a complete gentleman and understood that I was happily dating Chris. And when Sunday rolled around I rolled out. But there was a problem. I missed Chris. I missed him like I hadn't seen him in months rather than days. But, I had to return to Raleigh to waitress and he was in Maryland for the rest of fall break. This sucked. Luckily for me though, there is always someone who wants to pick up your shift at a restaurant! After a few phone calls I had the next few days off! Now, now I had to see if Chris even cared. Maybe he was over this yoyoing, maybe he was visiting another girl up there. Maybe he just had other plans. I called and asked what he was up to, after some small talk I then asked him how to get to Maryland. I told him I was on 95 north and wanted to know how to get to Maryland. He was confused at first but once he realized that I had not, yet again, gotten back together with my ex, because of him, he was ecstatic! I drove for over eight hours and arrived at midnight with a truck that was breaking down to have my Northern Cowboy hugging and kissing me before I could even get my seat belt off. My Mom knew what I was up to, my Dad didn't have a clue until years later.
I was in love.