Ok, so it's been asked of me late how I met my army guy. I am also dealing with some people who aren't too happy with the fact I finally completely ended things with my off and on boyfriend of the last 3 years. So here the story of how me and the army guy, who I'll call B for ease, met and fell in love. Do note that all that is recalled is my recollection and can be slightly off. I'm sure B'll correct me, lol.
My junior year of high school was a weird one. That was the year that the Arlington school district decided it was time to move the freshmen into the high schools. The first day of class was really interesting since there were new "freaks" for my friends to hang out with. The school was on an "A Day/B Day" system, and so the second day of class I went to photography for the first time. I don't remember that first day of class very well, but I remember even in the first half of the school year this kid who sat at my table. He hung out with this guy I'd known since elementary school. I talked a lot and made conversation with both and soon I had the kid following me around. The kid was B. He told me he was from Alaska and that us Texans were a weird lot and I had to educate him on how Texas really was by kicking him incessantly in the shins. Apparently to this day there are spots on his legs that do not grow hair.
As the school year went on, the weather got cooler. Not cold, but cooler, and I began to drink coffee every day and he began to drink my coffee. We now debate on his motives for this, but it was probably a combination of living with his Mormon sister and the fact he was in love with me. I even would tell him in class he was in love with me. I would actually tease him about this. In addition, he listened to all my boy troubles and my "escapades" that seemed to happen more frequently than reality deemed due to my tendency to tell the same story over and over.
That school year soon ended and over that summer I enlisted in the Army. When school started, he was once again in my photography class where we pestered each other. I didn't do anything exciting over summer break other than enlist in the army, and I'm sure that is all I talked about, well that and feminism and witchcraft. After I graduated, I shipped off to basic training. If you've read my previous blogs, you know that I got hurt there. The part of that story not included is as follows. When I got hurt they let me go home for what was called "con-leave." I came home, and somehow I ran into B and we ended up spending lots of time together and dated. We went to Homecoming and hung at a friend's house. We held hands and that was it. We really did like each other. But when I got back to base, something in my mind changed and I called him in late October to break things off. Every time I called he would change the subject, "lose the call" or some other excuse not to hear what I was saying. When I finally came home, as my previous blog points out, my bff at the time came over with her boyfriend and his brother. That night I cheated on B.
The fact that I did that is inexcusable in a way as I should have had better control over myself, but in my own defense, and he's even stated I did this, I repeatedly tried to break up with him before it happened to no avail. Needless to say, after all was said in done, it was bad. I called our mutual friend Ugh (yeah that's really what we called him, and is NOT his real name) and talked to him about it, swearing him to secrecy because I, not anyone else, needed to tell him. But what does Ugh do, he's talking to a friend of ours at school and the friend asks him something in the regards to repeat himself and he repeats it loudly, B being in earshot hearing all.
Ugh brought B to my house and mouthed "he knows" that afternoon. I talked to B, but he was pretty upset, as he had the right to be. I mean, I still beat myself up over the whole deal, though I would never go back and change what happened. My time with Gary is precious to me and helped in shaping me. However, if I could take away the pain I caused B, I would. B paced in front of my house until Ugh came back with a little pocket knife in his hand, flipping it open and closed, looking at me in just such a way that part of me was afraid but the other part of me knew nothing was going to happen, he was just that hurt. I was his first girlfriend and I cheated on him.
I heard from him once or twice after that. But we really didn't get back to talking until around late 2003. I really can't say for sure exactly when we started talking again, I know it was after the craziest of my crazy ex's and I broke up which was in 2003. In 2004, he came to visit me. That was nice. We talked about what happened in 1999 and how he grew from that and how I had grown from it. He even mentioned how he knew how much Gary meant to me and that he was sorry for my loss, no one should leave this world like that. During that visit, we shared our first kiss. He says we kissed several times on that trip, but I remember one, and it was during Stephen King's latest tv thing about that hospital. It was so bad I can't even remember the name of the show. But that kiss! It was the sweetest kiss ever.
Before he left, we talked about him moving down here. He could live with me, we may even try to see if it could work between us. I was excited. He left and a week went by. I hadn't heard from him. A month turned to 3, turned to 6, turned to a year. I sent a few emails expressing my rage and how he was probably doing to me like all these other guys I had been dating at the time had done, never talk to me after an intimate moment. When I finally heard from him, I was mad at myself for possible meanness I sent in my emails. The quote below was the first email he sent me in 2005, the subject line read "To my Love, Lost or otherwise".
Time blinks by in an instant or a year, who we are and who we were change, solidify, and change again before we can register what is what. Sometimes what we know is lost before it was ever real, sometimes it was a dream and never touched reality at all. A greedy mans fortune I would give to know the truth, to feel the truth. Not meant for me I guess, though not for you either, a flicker of love besides a funeral pyre goes unnoticed. Buried beneath regret and pain, good intentions are seldom that good. When faced with what we want at a unreachable price, do we surrender or want in vain? I know not the answers to these questions, though they haunt my dreams now and evermore. Does my memory match your ghost? Or am I but a shade beside your true love? Cold embraced me, trust left me, and still your face haunted me, one among billions, and still I was not alone, still I could not rest in icy peace. Thy insanity enthralls me and mine own lucidity deserts me, how I wish I was stronger and your unknowing caress weaker. Were you to walk barefoot into Hell, I would be compelled to follow. Though a weak year has passed, I think of you still. Whatever the consequence, I Love You still.
When I checked my email and read that... I swoon a bit reading it still to this day! He followed this email with the tale of what happened when he returned home and it was a sad story. I found out in emails that followed that even his dad had told him to stay here and not go home to Alaska, but he did for his word. He was in Colorado by this point and we talked. We talked, through my boyfriend of the last three years, his girlfriend(s) (I didn't want to think too much of them) and advised each other in all things: love, friends, family, life. Then one day I talked to him, much to the writhing anger of my boyfriend at the time, and he told me he had joined the Army. Most of our conversations by this point were on the phone. Thank God for unlimited long distance! When he told me he joined the Army, I about freaked. I made sure to sound happy on the phone, but I was scared for him. I still am, to be perfectly honest. I gave him my 2 cents about basic and eventually, before he shipped off, he gave me his sister's email address so I could get his address from her.
B always made it clear he didn't like my last boyfriend. He, like all my friends, pointed out the fact that my ex hated me talking to my friends, but mostly my guy friends. B isn't my only guy friend and I think a couple of mine have decided never to speak to me again after me going back to my ex the last time. I don't blame them. My friends have always told me the thing they admired about me most was my strength, and my returning to an emotionally abusive relationship was so opposed to everything I said and did to that point... B stuck by me as a friend, but for the first time, made comments of what he would do if I were his.
So now here we are. He's in the Army, I'm a civilian, yet the shoe really isn't on the other foot. We're both 12 years older and wiser. I keep thinking to myself why I didn't pursue this sooner, but then, everything happens for a reason and I'm not going to question God's actions in this. I know that this is the right move on my part.
He asked me tonight again if I wanted to marry him. I said yes. He then he told me "You know that it'll be difficult being an Army wife sometimes. That I won't always be there to take care of you like I want to?" I told him, yes, I know what I'm signing up for, as it were. And yes, I know what I'm signing up for. I know that when he ships off to Afghanistan in June, I'm going to be alone for a year. I know this, I accept it. If marrying my best friend of the last 12 years, who's stuck by my side despite me putting them through hell in the beginning, is how I can serve my country and be happy as ever, then so be it. The slight discomfort while he is away will be worth it when he is home.