After we had our first kiss, our relationship quickly morphed into one of those relationships that I had always made fun of. I was crazy about Steve. He made me laugh, he was confident, athletic and he was the best kisser! I couldn’t keep the butterflies at bay. Along with our love for making out was our equal love for the show Survivor. It all started 18 years ago when we would get together to watch our favorite reality TV show. Because of our friendship, we found excitement in the mundane and seemingly small things. At this time Steve was trying to decide where he wanted to go to college. He was an amazingly talented football player that had played quarterback and was being recruited to play safety. He had offers from a few universities and was trying to make his decision. I had already made mine. I was going to Utah State. A school 2 hours north, in Logan, Utah. Although Steve had a scholarship offer from Utah State, I assumed he would go to the University of Utah and that we would be going our separate ways for college. I stayed out of his decisions for where he would go because this was his future and his possible future career. I didn’t want to sway him one way or another so I mostly listened to him as he expressed the pros and cons of each opportunity. The idea of going our separate ways gave me a pit in my stomach. I had known for a long time that my feelings for him were deeper than a typical high school relationship but I had zero desire to freak him out with my expressions of love, so I kept them to myself. I had never seen a high school relationship work out long term so I braced myself for our inevitable goodbye.
I remember one night in January of 2001, I drove my little, red, Ford Festiva up the winding streets to Steve’s house less than a mile from my own. It was a cold winter night and I rushed to his house. I only had an hour to spend with him because it was a school night so my parents liked me home by 9:30. I parked on the street and walked up to Steve’s front door. He opened the door before I even had a chance to knock. He was excited to see me and clearly had something to tell me. He welcomed me with a hug and as he wrapped me in his arms he said, “Guess what?! I am going to Utah State!”
This may seem like a small thing, but it was a major turning point. We were going to college together. Our love story didn’t have to come to an unwanted end. All of a sudden a future with him was a real possibility and not only was I ecstatic but Steve was as well. We were falling, HARD, and I was letting myself embrace it. I had never planned on falling for someone while I was so young, but I couldn’t help it and I felt propelled toward my future with him. We went to dances, spent countless dates together and shared so much laughter. It really was sweet and beautiful and innocent. A relationship built on a solid friendship.
Oddly enough, I knew I loved him. I had loved him since we were juniors, but I never had the guts to tell him. I was so scared of losing our friendship so I quietly kept it to myself. The months went by and our friendship and relationship grew deeper with each passing day. Graduation was quickly approaching and I wanted to tell him before we graduated because now I knew I had to take the risk…he needed to know that I took him seriously.
I decided to be really mature and write him a long love note finally putting into words that I love him, in his yearbook. Yep, his yearbook. Because in high school, the yearbook is the ultimate sign of lasting love. As they say in the high school flick of our senior year, Can’t Hardly Wait, “The yearbook is memories frozen in time, people!”
Steve and I exchanged yearbooks and I got to work on revealing my actual feelings. Putting it into words wasn’t hard. My feelings flowed. I had so many emotions that had been building for years. I knew exactly how I felt, the fear I had was letting him in on my feelings. Tonight, as I reminisced, I found his yearbook buried away in an old dusty box. Reading what I wrote is actually super sweet. It stirs up those feelings of newness. I genuinely cared for him:
Well, there is no one place to begin. You are so amazing! I have so much appreciation for you and it grows every moment we spend together. There is not a second that passes by in the day that you aren’t foremost in my thoughts. Thinking about you helps me realize how worth the wait through our friendship was. I knew from the first time we talked that you were someone worth fighting for. I knew we had something special and the potential for an incredible friendship from the beginning. Our friendship has far surpassed my expectations. The thought of you in my future makes me happy and I can’t wait to see where Utah State takes us. The best is ahead of us, I am sure! There are times you look at me and I honestly melt. I know that sounds cliche, but you make me feel special without saying a word…it’s what you say in your eyes. You make me happy and because of that, I love to be around you! Thank you so much for your friendship. You have made high school the most memorable time of my life thus far. I know I am a wuss when it comes to telling you my feelings, but I am sure you know how I feel. I couldn’t hide it if I tried! I care for you more than I can put into words; I love you, I really do! Thank you for the memories, I can’t wait to experience life ahead with you.
Love you always,
Cheese ball central, but real. Love comes to anyone, at any age. That is the beautiful thing about love, it intertwines with everything we experience in life. It is the root of happiness, sadness, passion, and anger. Love is everywhere. What is amazing is that our love has grown exponentially with every moment and every experience we have had together. I believe that it is because of this base, this beginning, that we are where we are at now. He knows me at my best and he knows me at my worst. He accepts me and actually helps me feel appreciated through the weaknesses that I have. Can’t wait to see what is ahead! Here is to a lifetime of anniversaries ahead! I love you babe!
On a side note, for those interested in seeing the full story, KSL news did a story on us last night. Best surprise ever. I am thankful every moment for the love and support I get from Steve! Here is the link!