So I think I have successfully waited long enough to keep those of you left hanging from literally not giving a damn because it has been so long since my initial post on the relationship between Chris and I. If you need a refresher on part one, click here. This story will take several “parts” to tell.
So Chris and I went to this wedding as friends. Of course I was secretly plotting his girlfriend’s demise the entire three hours up there. We picked up two of his friends on the way. When we got there, Chris and I grabbed our bags and walked into the motel room. Let me rephrase, that. We walked into the motel room that had one bed. I was so glad he wasn’t paying attention to my furious blush. He walked into the bathroom to put his suit on and I scrambled to throw my dress on before he came out. I could barely make eye contact when I had to ask him to zip up the back of my dress.
The wedding was really nice and the entire time I could not stop thinking about how close we were sitting together. You have to remember that Chris and I hardly touched for the year and a half we had been friends. We later danced together at the reception. I wish I could have remembered the song we danced to. All I remember thinking was, I am so in love with this guy. And then the pang following it when I remembered he had a girlfriend back in the Cities. I wanted to ask about her. Where they met, why he didn’t bring her as his date, when did they start a relationship?
Did he ever look at her the way he looked at me on the dance floor that night?
I remember later on, I was waiting for him by the doorway into the reception hall, and he joined me, slipping his arm around my waist, and I couldn’t help but think that he was just caught up in the moment. Because he had a girlfriend.
Not long after that, we found ourselves outside under the lamps and for one breathless moment, I was convinced he was going to kiss me. He never did, though.
After the reception I found myself caught in a circle of his group of female friends from college. They were all talking to each other about where I was going to sleep. Talking to each other, but never once looked in my direction. There was no way I was going to go with those girls. Rumors and whispering behind my back be damned. It probably didn’t help that those girls were friends with Chris’ girlfriend. I don’t even know how it happened, but Chris and I wound up back in the room with one bed. We got into pajamas. I think I was wearing some sort of gawd-awful tee-shirt thing. We watched TV. We laughed and joked around. And somewhere in there, he put his hand on my waist. And somewhere in there, I told him that I loved him. And somewhere in there, he kissed me. I can’t remember what dress I was wearing that day, or what song we danced to. But I remember every single moment of that kiss. And somewhere in there, in a heartbreaking, achingly beautiful moment, I wished my first time could have been like that. It should have been like that.
Like many girls, I was 17 when I foolishly cast aside my self-respect, my body, and lost my innocence with a guy that meant nothing. What I didn’t realize until that night was, I may have given my body for the first time to someone else, but I gave myself to Chris. The part that counted. Because it should have been him. It was always him. My heart knew it all along, my mind just had to catch up with it.
I wish I could say we immediately jumped into a relationship after that. I wish I could say we officially became a couple. But he still had a girlfriend. (Probably shouldn’t mention this to any of the future grandkids.)
Life has a funny way of throwing two people together at inopportune times. But as rocky as those first three years were, I know that, like infertility, those trials were there there to bring us closer together. I didn’t understand it at the time, and I spend some days crying over the unfairness this relationship brought. But I look back on that I realize… I was 18. Chris was barely 21. We were so young and yet both of us stuck it out, something most people our age couldn’t imagine doing.
My mom had told us she thought we were going to get married. From the moment I met Chris, I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him. I knew it when I was introduced to him, but it solidified into so much more that night of the wedding. It was like love at first sight all over again. There were times during those first years, that it would have been far easier to just part ways. But I believe we were mature beyond our years, and learned the true value of what marriage means, far before the rings were placed on our fingers.