While waiting to move from my Aunt and Uncle’s house in Oregon to Idaho with my sister, I acquired a lot of down time. I made myself useful by doing household chores during the day and making dinner in the evenings. Usually with the assistance of a Sous Chef; my slightly older and awesome male cousin T. I would also doddle about on the internet when I had nothing else to do…usually by noon. At the time ‘MySpace’ was a very popular online destination for me, and fellow young adults as well. And that’s where I met him.
The condensed version of how I met L: He emailed me through MySpace because he was to be stationed with the Air Force in Mountain Home (where I would soon be living) and was trying to make friends before arriving from Italy. Me being the out-going person that I am responded enthusiastically and began getting to know him. We emailed back and forth 3-5 times a day. I was beginning to get to know him as well as any friend I had, in fact, better than. Here are a few details so you know a bit about him too: He was 20, we shared the same Christian beliefs as well as a admiration for strange humor. He was from a small town in Texas, he joined the Air Force right out of high school and was working as an enlisted Firefighter. After a week of conversing through email we decided to take it to the telephone.
My stomach was all a flutter the first time I heard his voice. It was just as I had imagined it. Calm, light-hearted and with a slight southern draw. I didn’t realize the feelings I had developed for him while we emailed each other the previous week. This was crazy and I knew it. But the free-spirit inside was driving me on, this was exciting!
By the second week of chatting I was completely wrapped up in L. I impatiently waited for his phone call from the moment I awoke, I checked my email obsessively just in case and talked incessantly about him to whomever would listen. I hadn’t met him in person but he already had my heart. I felt silly, but I couldn’t help it. Not long after I realized how much I cared for him, he confessed his attachment to me. He genuinely liked me and his feelings were growing deeper every day. “I have something to ask you and I know it might be a bit weird since we are in different countries. Would you mind not dating anyone, well, dating just me actually?” He wanted me as his girlfriend adding “At the risk of scaring you away I had to ask, because I know your value and I know it won’t be long before another guy will notice it too”. I of course, with my tummy all a flutter and my heart racing, readily agreed to not date anyone else. I was off the market, and waiting to meet my boyfriend. Hahaha, yes I knew it was weird and maybe a bit naive. But I didn’t care. Something was different in this relationship, there was a gravitation-like pull I had never felt toward someone.
A week later L asked me to fly to Italy so we could meet sooner, instead of waiting until February. I’m not going to lie, February was four months away and kind of felt like a painful sentence of time to endure. I also had been dreaming of going to Italy for years and that dream was now within my reach. He even offered to take me to Florence for my 18th birthday! How could I say no? What reason did I have? Everything inside me screamed YES! I knew getting my parents approval might prove a bit difficult but I’d figure something out. I had to go. I told him yes, he began arranging my flights, and I had a ticket to Italy within a few days. In the meantime…
Getting around my parents without lying was kind of challenging. I knew if I was totally honest about how I knew L, or for how long, that they would 100% object. “This guy could be a child predator!”, I could hear it now. Any good parent would freak out and completely object, rightfully so. But I knew L was a good guy and I knew he would never harm me, this just felt right. So I did what any 17-year-old would do, I bent the truth. Ok I bent half-truths. They believed what I offered them though, without any pointed questions that would have caused me to outright lie. They gave their consent with only slight hesitation, and were happy for my dream of seeing Italy to be realized. I did feel guilty about this, and eventually I told them the whole truth. They were a bit shocked by my twisted truths and smooth manipulations, but by that time I was 18 and they really couldn’t do anything about it. All I got was, “Oh Lace…You’re lucky he was a good guy. That could have turned out really bad!” Along with a few displeased glares from my mother.
But before I could fly off to Italy to meet the love of my life, I had to take steps to establish my new life. Ya know, the one that I was going to make for myself in Mountain Home, Idaho? I have no idea why I decided to move to a town I knew was boring and brown. What kind of life could I make for myself there? The place was isolated and dull, it offered me nothing I desired when it came to opportunities or diversity of people. “At least L would be there after the new year” I thought to myself as I packed once more, “He would make life in small town USA more exciting”. But really, what was I thinking before I knew L would be there? Who knows? I sure didn’t, still don’t actually.
Here goes nothin, time to move in with my sister. *Gulp*