I know. I’m a couple days late. I said Monday. Thanks to an anonymous commenter (LOL), I got a kick in the bum and here you have part iii of how we met! Enjoy. (I sure enjoyed writing it.) So many good memories :)
If you need to catch up.
- part i, boy says “what’s up? what’s up?” to girl in a bar
- part ii, girl skips her flight home + boy stays in the city
Where were we? Oh, the train… the summer… saying goodbye.
We stood outside the car at the train station, hugged and said goodbye. For the hundredth time I hopelessly said, “come to Maryland to visit me.” And that was it. The weekend ended, we both went our separate ways, and I wasn’t sure I’d see him again.
Once I was back in the passenger seat and Mel began to pull away I started to cry. I can’t explain why, but I did. It still embarrasses me.
This same day I also left Chicago. Once I landed in Baltimore I turned on my phone to a frenzy of excitement. Ring— Ring.Texts! Ring— Ring.Texts! Texts! During my flight, Mel left nothing to fate. She planned just how we’d meet again. In two weeks would be the PGA tour in Kiawah Island, South Carolina. Mel secured Brad and I both jobs working there. Her and her parents even offered us a place to stay at the family beach house (in different rooms, of course). All we needed were flights. Plus, I needed a man crazy enough to say yes.
A couple days and a bit of deliberating later, we booked our flights. Brad would first come to Maryland to meet my parents. Then we’d fly to Kiawah Island to meet up with Mel.
The two weeks between Chicago and his visit felt like forever. Time is funny like that. There was a pretty big buildup to his arrival. We talked everyday… for hours. Anyone who’d listen knew I met the man of my dreams, my future husband. They brushed me off like I was crazy. (I was crazy, but I wasn’t wrong.)
The day eventually came. After knowing some girl for a few days, Bradley red-eyed from California to Maryland to meet his in-laws. (Shoot! You don’t know that yet. I mean..) I’ll never forget seeing his tired face for the first time. He walked out of the airport and was as handsome as I remembered. Right there in the Departures lane he gave me this big lift-you-off-the-ground kinda hug.
My jitters calmed a bit. I breathed and realized I’d held my breath for two weeks and now I could finally just breathe. Relax. (Nervous much?)
The first place we went together was St. Mary’s Church, the same place we’d be married 2 years and 2 weeks later. We made a visit in the church and then walked outside to the water to pray a rosary.
We spent the rest of the week hanging around, running, kayaking, jumping off waterfalls, and just getting to know each other. We had so many long silences. We’d take forty minute drives. Neither of us would say anything, the radio would be off, and it was never uncomfortable at all. It was just comfortable and peaceful.
On one of these drives, I eventually told Brad, “I don’t want to date anyone else.” This simple confession would lead him to ask me out a week later in Kiawah Island.
To be honest, I don’t remember enough from that trip and that summer. I don’t remember as many details as I’d like. Still, I can’t forget how it felt. I remember that feeling of being twenty-one, fearless, with dreams full of nothing but positive possibilities.
It wasn’t all romantic and fun. Eventually that summer did end. He went back to California and we both went back to school. We dated for one year long distance. (It sucked.) We threw money at airline tickets as if we had it to spare. (Something we are paying for now, but something we don’t regret.) After one year, I secured a job working in a Catholic school in San Francisco’s Mission District. I moved out for Bradley’s senior year at Berkeley. That February we got engaged. That August we got married. Nine month’s later Evelyn was born. Here we are living out the rest of it today.
(Stage-5 clinger alert.)
We stood at the train station and said goodbye. You were already crying, by the way.
Mel called me before I was even back to South Bend to ask about going to the PGA championship. I like golf, so I decided I’d be cool. (Just kidding.) We’d hadn’t talked yet so I didn’t even know if you wanted me there. I thought, “this girl is crazy.” Crazy and all, as soon as I got off the train I called my parents to ask them about the job and the trip. They gave me the green light and I bought my flight the next day. I was nervous and excited. You were the first good girl that I’d met so I was really worried about missing the opportunity.
A week later I left South Bend and went back home to California. We talked everyday while I was home until I took that red eye to Maryland. As I walked out of the airport I was nervous to see you again. You showed up in this long yellow dress (I believe?) and seeing you put me at ease a bit.
Meeting your family wasn’t bad at all. (Though it was a bit nerve-racking to meet your Dad.) I met them all at Jake’s football practice. Your dad told me you’d been a “ball of energy since you last saw me,” or maybe it was a “ball of excitement.” It was a ball of something. (It was funny and got you all embarrassed.)
In Maryland, i remember we sat in silence in the car forever. In Kiawah, I remember you were a huge baby in the ocean. You shoved a bunch of sand on me. (I thought that was really annoying.) I remember going for that run with you. We ran three miles along the shore from the beach house to daily mass. (It was so humid.) We got to stop by the water; there was no one else around, and we just sat there. I remember we sat on the beach house patio one afternoon, and I got in trouble for not have a t-shirt on.
Everything about hanging out with you was awesome.
I wished the trip was longer but eventually I had to leave to go play rugby for the All-American tournament in Colorado. Our next year of long distance was rough. When it came time for you to actually move I was terrified. It was a lot of pressure; you didn’t know anyone. What if it didn’t work out? Well, it worked out. My favorite parts of that year in Berkeley were lazy Sundays- kicking it and watching football all day.That, and going to Barclay’s, an old Irish bar on College Ave. in Berkeley. You’d get off BART and I’d take the scooter over. We’d meet up for darts, drafts, and just hang out after work.
I think everyone knows what happens next. We get married and now we’re parents.
There you have it, more or less!
I haven’t seen Brad in almost three weeks, and tomorrow night I get to meet him in… guess where… Chicago. Well, South Bend really. I might cry when him and Evelyn are reunited. This time I won’t be embarrassed at all :)