Love Story

Part One 
You know how most love stories go, right? Boy meets Girl, Boy falls in love with Girl, then Girl falls in love with Boy and Boy and Girl live happily ever after. 
That's the normal course of things.
Well, our story didn't follow that path.
In fact, our story took a path that went in the complete opposite direction. 
Picture this: Boy meets Girl, Boy does NOT like Girl, and Girl thinks that Boy has cooties. Then, Boy and Girl grow up...and Boy STILL doesn't like Girl. Although Girl no longer thinks that boy has cooties, they STILL do not fall in love.
See what I mean?
NOT the normal path.
Well, the above run down is the condensed version of how our story starts, and if you've read ANY of my posts on this here blog, then you know that homegirl does NOT do condensed versions.
So let me start at the beginning (hey, stop rolling your eyes. It's MY love story. I can draw it out as long as I want).
Graham and I met as little tykes at my aunt and uncle's pool one summer. His older brothers were close friends with my cousins, and so we found ourselves at the same summer hang out for many years. Believe me, it was NOT love at first sight. We were about five years old, and as you know at that age, the opposite gender holds absolutely NO interest. In fact, we spent the next five summers avoiding each other at all costs.
Then we grew up, as children do, and in the summer that I turned fifteen, our paths crossed again. We had a couple of mutual acquaintances, and had arranged to meet up with them to go see a movie or something. Somehow, Graham ended up riding in my sister's car with us. And in another mystery, he convinced my sister to let him drive her car. The conversation went something like this:
Graham: "Hey Michal, can I drive your car?"
Michal. "Um...I guess so."
Then about ten minutes later, after Graham had been driving for quite some time already:
Michal: "So, Graham...when did you get your license?"
Graham: "I didn't."
Michal: "What?!? Well, you at least have your permit, right?"
Graham: "Nope."
Again, there was no love at first (or would it be about twentieth??) sight on this occasion, and needless to say, we did not hang out again after that night. 

Part Two

Fast forward three years. In the summer that I turned eighteen, our paths crossed again. I would like to say that THIS is the part of the story where Boy and Girl fall in love...but then I would be lying. Because, you see, while I had noticed that little-Graham had grown into a handsome big-Graham, that was thankfully devoid of cooties, he had noticed that little-Whitney had grown into bratty-Whitney (his words...not mine, of course). In my defense, I will admit that I have a bit of a sassy/sarcastic personality, but "bratty?" C'mon. I wasn't that bad. I just made a bit of a rude comment to the dude, and instead of seeing it as the joke it was, he chose to take offense. Now, this was a big hiccup in the whole "Boy meets Girl" story, because I had decided that I liked big-Graham. And it took him SEVERAL months to get over that initial comment and realize that he liked bratty sassy-Whitney. But, wear him down I did, and after a few rocky months, Boy finally decided that he "liked" Girl. 

Part Three

For the next two and a half years, Graham and I were inseparable, and I grew quite attached to the little bugger. Surprisingly, he grew pretty attached to me too. We were young and in love, with no plans for the future, but blissful in our aimless wanderings. Then life, as it usually does, caught up with us, and we knew that we needed to face what it had to offer us.
There comes a time in every young LDS boy's life when he has a decision to make: to serve or not to serve. And by serve, I mean leave for a two year mission to some distant locale. Graham had always known he would, but thought of it as a future event; something that would happen "someday." Well, for him that "someday" had arrived, and it was time to turn in his papers. I was 100% supportive, and so very excited for him. But when the day arrived and I had to watch him walk through the airport security gates, tie his shoes, and then turn around for that final wave before he boarded his plane, I thought my heart would surely break. But I survived.
The next two years were hard, but so very rewarding, and my boy came back as a man (as cheesy as that sounds). Two years in Peru will do that to you, I think. I remember the day he came home. I was terrified that he would see me and say something like, "hey...thanks for being an awesome pen pal for the last two years, but I think we should just be friends." Lucky for me he decided that he still wanted to call me his, and by the end of the year, we were engaged.

Part Four

To be continued...

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