Valentine’s Day, The First Date, and The Talk
We spent the next two months enjoying college life with each other and our friends. The beach, In-N-Out, movies, studying, Santa Monica’s promenade, and Pasadena shopping. Every free evening and weekend was filled with time together. Rumors around campus had begun circulating and I was getting bombarded with one question…”Are you and the guy dating?” Sadly I had to answer no since we hadn’t even come close to discussing anything like that. With Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, I had given up on the hope that we would have talked about what I was clearly feeling. I wasn’t even sure if the feelings that I had finally admitted to were reciprocated. And then something happened that would change the rest of my life.
The guy and I were sitting in Carol Shelton’s (this is her daughter) writing class in the middle of the afternoon on Valentine’s Day. It was pouring rain outside and we both seemed distracted. I felt relieved when she dismissed us and was about to make a run from the rain for my dorm room when the guy slipped a white envelope into my hands and simply said, “Happy Valentine’s Day.” It was that simple…and that lovely, and ended with these charming words…
“You are a beautiful and compassionate friend whom I treasure dearly. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
No amount of worry, confusion, or uncertainty could have stolen the joy from my heart at that moment. Those captivating words propelled us into a new stage, and the guy finally asked me on what became our first actual date. I didn’t know what the plan was for that date until a few hours before it happened, but the guy decided to take me to Disneyland, one of the many perks of living in Southern California! There was one drawback to this plan. The guy had borrowed one of our classmate’s season passes to have me sneak in with. It was obviously a little early on in our friendship for him to understand that I was a rule follower. The very thought of sneaking anything made my heart beat way too fast. I was seriously stressed for the next several hours in anticipation of the sneak and how guilty I would look no matter how hard I tried not to.
Turns out the concern that people would use a fake ID to get into the theme park was pretty far down on the list of Disneyland’s concerns, and I got right in. That moment went down in our history as a couple as the first time the guy made me push the limits and ask for forgiveness later, now one of the very things I adore about him.
It was the first of several dates before we had “the talk.” That talk that every girl waits for, and most guys dread. The talk that defines your status as a couple. The talk that makes things official. Our talk happened about 4 weeks after that first date, on April 1st. It was only appropriate that the guy chose that date to have such a serious talk, but my mind couldn’t broach that thought. I was happy.
We finished up that school year and parted ways for the summer, sad to be apart, but knowing that time goes fast. That was one of the most difficult summers of my life for reasons aside from the guy. Not having the person who had become my best friend around to lean on during such a trying time made me feel alone, angry, confused, and so completely sad. I was more than ready to head back to Cali in August. Seeing the guy for the first time in three months made my heart skip a few beats. We had technically only been dating for 4 months, over half of that while in separate states, but I was crazy about him.
Fall turned into winter and we were headed home for another month apart. Time passed quickly once again, and we returned early with only a few of our classmates to participate in an intensive course over the last two weeks of our break. Our campus was quiet. There wasn’t the usual chaos that was typically present. The guy seemed slightly distant, and I was completely unprepared for what happened next.
The guy broke up with me.