I know this is long, and probably boring, but this is how Matt and I met and fell in love, if any of you are interested. I just typed it all out, for some reason, I guess for posterity's sake, but then thought, "maybe I'll put it on my blog." So here it is:
For part 1 read here:
I made it rather difficult since Matt lived in Riverton and I in Logan, but we made it work. Our emails continued, although they took on a noticeably romantic vibe. We were able to see each other quite a bit despite our long separation. We were pretty happy… for a couple of months, but then, just like in high school, I wanted to keep my options open. I liked college and there were a lot of boys there that I found interesting. Of course, now I see how heartless I was, how Matt truly loved me, but at that time, I knew what we had couldn’t last. He was going to leave on his mission and the long-distance thing would be hard to keep up. That and I knew that he loved me and that scared me. Love? He was my first real boyfriend. How could I even know what love was?
So then it happened: the worst mistake of my life. Breaking up was the right decision at the time, but I was not wise, smart, brave, kind or something enough to do it correctly. So what did I do? I ignored him. I mean, not completely, but enough that he didn’t know what the heck was going on. I am truly embarrassed about how I handled the situation and how I hurt him. Of course, as if to make matters worse, Matt was completely above the type of pettiness that I exhibited. He confronted me and through a very emotional conversation, I broke up with him. Despite how cliché it sounded, I said that I still wanted to be friends and I really meant it. Despite how much it hurt him, Matt agreed to it. Who would have thought that “I could have my cake and eat it too,” as the saying goes. I could date other people while keeping Matt in my back pocket just in case. It sure wasn’t enjoyable for Matt, but how could it have been any other way. We needed each other.
I wasn’t heartless. Really. I loved Matt so much, but I wasn’t in love with Matt the same way he was in love with me. It didn’t feel right and I wasn’t ready for that type of relationship anyway. Sorry. I know I don’t need to justify my actions anymore, but I just feel so darn bad about it. A few months later, Matt was about to leave on his mission. I had made arrangements for my friend to drive me down to Riverton to attend a farewell party and listen to his talk. Unfortunately, there was a miscommunication and I was left in my college dorm, helpless. I didn’t have a car to drive and I certainly wasn’t going to walk. So instead I just cried. I wasn’t going to see my best friend for two years and I didn’t even get to say goodbye. My heart ached thinking about how he would feel about our unresolved end. For all he knew, I could be married by the time he came back. At that moment my roommate, Jackie, volunteered to drive me down. She had no reason to make that 3 hour round trip drive that evening. Usually I can’t accept that type of offer, but how could I refuse. Jackie knew the intricacies of our relationship probably better than anyone else. She knew how it important it was. I was late, but I was there. I did attend his farewell party and I did get to say goodbye.
The next two years went by pretty fast for me. I wrote to Matt a few times. He wrote to me a little more than a few times, but once he realized that I wasn’t the letter-writing type, he started to only write when written to. I still get crap for the scarcity of letters I sent out in that two-year period. I didn’t realize it, but he thought about me often. Not in an obsessive, can’t focus kind of way, but he always kept a picture of me – or rather, a poster by his desk. It was supposedly one of those motivational posters with the word “determination” written across the bottom in bold letters followed by some inspirational quote, but the picture was of me rock climbing. A tribute to all our adventures.
I knew Matt should be coming home soon. I was looking forward to it. When the day had come, I nervously took out my phone and dialed his home number. He answered and we spoke a few words. It was a little awkward and he didn’t seem nearly as excited as I imagined he would be. Even though I was silently disappointed, I thought, “Finally, he is over me” and willed myself to be happy about it. It was a bit of a relief. I didn’t need to feel awkward or worry about what I was going to say to him. We went dancing as friends. We went climbing as friends. That’s all we were: friends. Isn’t that what I wanted?
I moved home over the summer, but I didn’t really have many friends at home, except Matt. We started spending a lot of time together. I came over to his house often to use his computer since mine wasn’t working very well. Or was that just an excuse? I don’t recall. I remember that I started to feel a little different about Matt. I would sit a little closer to him. Our conversations got a little more flirtatious. Even though I was aware of this, I pretended like it was nothing. Not a big deal. We’re just really good friends.
We planned a trip to Maple Canyon with some friends. We were going to spend the day climbing and then head watch the Manti Pageant in the evening. We all had a lot of fun despite the rain, and even though I didn’t want to admit it, I was very attracted to Matt as he climbed up the cliffs of Maple Canyon. We went to the Manti Pageant and sat next to each other, wrapped in a blanket and then in one moment, I realized that it had gone too far. He held my hand. That was not in my plan. There was this other guy from college who was coming down to visit me in a couple of weeks, a guy that I had liked for a while and now this. Although surprised and confused, I enjoyed it. I felt good for him to hold my hand in the way that only he can. We camped out that night and I fell asleep to the nagging question, “What should I do?” I continued to not only hold his hand the remainder of the trip, but to continue to enjoy it. I had a speech prepared about how it wouldn’t work, about how Matt still needed to date people, and about how I still wanted to date people too. People that weren’t him. Unfortunately, we never had any privacy the entire weekend.
The next day we were both up in Logan making preparations for the school year and he was my ride home. I knew I couldn’t drag it on like I did the first time I broke his heart, so I tried to be direct. Seeing his heart break was awful, but hearing him say that we could no longer be friends if we weren’t going to be more than friends was more than I could bear. So there we were. In the car crying, knowing that our relationship was now over.