My dear readers,
Your request to not take so long with my next Installment did not go unheeded. However, I really am so frightfully busy, that... well, I'm going to give you the "short and sweet" version instead. That is, if you can get through the whole thing, without any pictures. ;)
So, picking up more or less where I left off...
Our friendship, at least for me, accelerated at an alarming pace. He was a true kindred spirit-- a quality I had never before discovered in the male species, outside of those in my own family. He was kind, gentlemanly, had a sense of humor very much like my own, and his tallness was (no pun intended) definitely growing on me. Above all, I was struck by his intelligence. We communicated 3/4 of the time through an online medium, and he actually knew how to write. In fact, he sometimes used words that I had to look up in the dictionary. (If that isn't an attractive quality, I don't know what is.)
Before I quite realized it, he was one of my very closest friends, and I began to care very deeply about his life. More deeply than I was willing to admit to myself. After all, I was not looking for a boyfriend, and a romantic relationship between us seemed very imprudent considering our positions in life at the time. And anyway... surely he wasn't interested in me like that.
Like it or not, as time went on, I started wishing terribly that he WOULD be interested in me like that. Because I was beginning to experience something that I had never before experienced in my life: unrequited affection. Yes, I was very, very fond of him. That I loved him, I would not allow to enter my vocabulary, because I knew that for me, really being in love would be a one-time thing... and I had no indication that he would ever return my feelings.
Well... little indication. Some of the things he would say to me did seem awfully... fond. That he cared for me, I had no doubt. But in what way... that is what I didn't know. I got so many mixed messages from him. One day I would feel particularly beloved by him, and the next I would get the impression that I was just misreading everything, and he was really just being nice to me like he is to everyone. And goodness knows, I didn't want to act like I was chasing him. I would never be satisfied unless he felt for me as I felt for him completely of his own accord, without any prodding from me.
Most of those up-and-down feelings took place while he was about four hours away in his first semester in post-dual-credit college. I saw him twice during that time-- once on my birthday, when I was very surprised to see him go out of his way to join me for a the day trip I had been planning, and once during Thanksgiving break when he came over to my house-- for the first time without a group of friends-- and we watched Shop Around the Corner and hung out with my family.
Then came December. I thought the past several months had been an emotional roller coaster, but little did I know I hadn't gotten on the real roller coaster until now. I entered a place of extreme confusion as to where his affection lay. Circumstantial evidence persuaded me that it could not-- could not possibly!-- be with me. But then, just after this emotion-freezing information, he was dropping some of the hugest hints and asking the most suspicious questions I had ever encountered.
Finally I was, to be honest, just plain fed up with the whole thing. In the midst of a cryptic conversation over Facebook messenger on the night of December 18th (leading into the next morning), I decided I had had enough. He was not going to wiggle his way out of the conversation this time. I was just going to ask him about his feelings for me and have done with it, risking the friendship that I had come to hold so dear.
After still more cryptic-ness, the truth was revealed: we had been in love with each other for some time, neither of us admitting it to the other, or even ourselves-- particularly him, who was so entirely convinced that he shouldn't have feelings for me that he had never accepted the fact that he did. Until that night.
Then came the struggle of what should be done about it. Should we date? Court? Both? Neither? If neither, then what? How were we to behave to each other?
I won't go into the details of all that, but we started "officially" dating on January 24th of 2017, upon which occasion he took me to Panda Express for lunch and then to my favorite, adorable tearoom/cafe for tea and gelato. (This only served to confirm the excellent choice I had made in deciding to go out with him. ;))
We used this period as a time to get to know each other on a romantic level better and see how that played out. We weren't keeping it a secret, but we didn't make our relationship public on Facebook just yet. There was no pressure, and no rush.
But it soon became very clear that we were serious about each other-- too serious to downplay anything. So one evening in April he presented me with a beautiful locket, with pictures of us inside and a romantic inscription on the back, and asked me to court me quite officially and openly.
A year after our first confessing feelings for each other-- a year full of both joy and suffering as we went through life's challenges-- on Christmas Eve of 2017, Caleb took me for a walk on the path near my neighborhood. When we reached this little bridge, which I have always thought quite romantic, I saw that it had been decorated with a gorgeous Christmas bow. On further inspection, I saw that there were rose petals sprinkled across the bridge, mixed with the snow that was currently falling. (Not suspicious at all, amirite?)
Then, as we stood on the bridge, Caleb asked if he could be my husband. It was all perfect. What he said, the significance of the day, the fact that it was snowing (!!!!), the ring... and of course, I joyfully accepted.
Now I am looking forward to that fast-approaching day when I am forever united with the sweetest, most romantic, dearest and best man in the world.
~*~*~*~The above (at least, most of it) was written for our wedding website.
Guys, I'm getting married.
The wedding is June 16th. (A mere two weeks and one day!!!!) And yes, of course that is the big event I am planning this summer-- did you all really think I didn't know I was hinting? ;)
Now, a couple of things.
- This doesn't necessarily mean I'm not going to continue my bookish installments. I might just. I flatter myself, we do have an amazingly bookish love story in many respects that I would love to write out dramatically. ;) Let me know if this interests you.
- For now, instead, I am going to do a Q&A post! I know many of you will have questions popping up in your head. Just comment below, and I'll get to them in the next post. :) They can be about anything related... details about Caleb, specifics on our story, the wedding, what it feels like to be in love*, etc., etc. Whatever you want. Bombard me! It will be much easier to write in a timely fashion when I know exactly what you are wanting to hear.
For now, I'm outta here! "Things to do, things to do..."
*Disclaimer: That was a tease. Extremely open-ended questions such as that one may actually need to be skipped over for now. ;)