Friday, March 11, 2011

Day 3 of 30 Day Challenge: My First Love

My first love was Mr. I. Sure I liked guys, but I was never in a relationship with someone. That’s right everybody I never had a boyfriend before I was with Mr. I! I know, I’m some kind of freak but that’s alright I ended with Mr. I, so if I have to be some kind of freak to end up with Mr. I than I don’t want to be normal :)

Mr. I and I “met” when we were 15 years old. We met online that is. We were both into writing poetry and short stories and met by posting on the same website. There was a chat room on this site and one night we started talking and eventually we moved the conversation to instant messages. We would talk almost every day and this went on for about a year. Eventually “real life” got in the way and we stopped talking and lost contact with each other.

Fast forward three years later, I was 19 and Mr. I was 18 (I’m 6 months older :)). At the time I was working in two coffee shops/internet cafes. One day while at work I was checking my email and came across a new message saying I had a new message on the site that Mr. I and I met on. I thought that was weird since I hadn’t been there in about three years. I clicked and checked the message…it was Mr. I! He had forgotten my email address, so he figured the best way to get a hold of me would be on the site.

Well it worked! We wrote emails back and forth for about a week and then I gave him my phone number. We literally talked for six hours straight during our first phone conversation. We began talking everyday and eventually I ran up a $1200 phone bill. I’m not kidding. Twelve. Hundred. Dollars.

Anyway, that was around the same time Mr. I told me he was thinking of joining the Army. My reaction? DON’T DO IT!!! And that’s exactly what I told him. He was jobless, living with a friend and had already signed up at the local college but he wasn’t happy with the way his life was going. By that point we had gotten really close and I told him to move to California and to come live with me! He said he wanted to be the best man he could, be able to provide for his family and he wanted to serve his country, so against my wishes he joined. I wasn’t mad but I was concerned, I mean it is dangerous! A few weeks later, he left for basic training. It was difficult for both of us, but we made it through and we came out the other side stronger.

Mr. I promised me he’d come visit me in San Diego after he graduated. He kept his promise and in December 2005, he flew out to San Diego. We made a promise to each other that no matter what when we first met face to face we’d kiss each other. So, when I walked into the airport I was so nervous my knees were shaking! I knew his flight had just landed and I was searching all over for this 6’5” soldier. I swear it was like a movie, the crowd parted and there he was…ACUs, huge green bag and all. He walked up to me, I smiled (I think I might have said hi), and he pulled me close and kissed me. In that moment the world just melted away and it was just him and I. I had never felt anything like that before. I knew I loved this man, but actually seeing him there and feeling his lips against mine, I knew this was more than words could explain. Everything just felt right.

We spent the next four days and nights laughing, joking and me showing him around San Diego. I had to work the next morning (6am-12pm) because, well, I needed to in order to pay rent. So, I went to work and came back and there was a sign on my apartment door. It said, “When you get home knock before entering.” What the hell? So, I knocked. He said, “Hold on…” all frantic. I heard things moving around and his feet running across the floor. I began giggling to myself. He unlocks and opens the door with a big grin on his face. Candles are lit, a huge round table was in the middle of my apartment (I lived in a studio…I didn’t own a kitchen table! There was no room for one) with a dozen long stem roses, romantic music was playing in the background, the lights were dimmed and the aroma of food cooking was enticing. I was shocked! It was amazing :) He made me a wonderful meal and while we were talking and eating I noticed something was sticking out of the roses. It was a dark green stick and I poked it.

Mr. I said “don’t do that” I laughed, “why not?” I poked it again.

“Because we need to have dessert!” he said standing up and rushing to the kitchen.

“Oooookay,” I said thinking he was crazy but we had dessert and I thanked him for such a fabulous meal.

He said it wasn’t over yet and stood up. At this point I was stuffed and couldn’t eat anything else if I had wanted. He reached into the flowers and that stick I poked moved out of the flowers. It was a rose shaped ring box. He got down on one knee, and asked me to marry him (I know he said other stuff before the actual question but I don’t remember any of it because I was so shocked). I said yes!

About an hour later, I had a sense of fear rush over me when things started settling in. I am 19 years old! I just met this guy in person for the first time 4 days ago! I love him but what do I know about love?! This is too much too soon! He could sense something was wrong and I wanted to express everything I was worried about but instead I told him I couldn’t marry him and actually broke up with him. Looking back I don’t know why I broke up with him I just blame it on fear! He was heartbroken and left the apartment. He was gone for hours! I was worried sick because he didn’t know the area that well. He finally came back and pretty much didn’t talk to me for the rest of the night. It was awkward to say the least. The next day we kind of made amends but things were still off. I was questioning my reaction but I figured I shouldn’t press the issue.

The next day he left and reported to AIT. I went back to my apartment and found the rose ring box sitting on my desk. Inside was a note that said, “Jessica, Keep this. I’ll always be around. My letters will never stop. And I won’t quit loving you. Mr. I”*I immediately knew I had made the wrong choice. I wanted him back and I wanted to be engaged to this man. How did I manage to ruin this whole thing?!

I called him and left messages but Mr. I didn’t pick up for the first week or two. I don’t blame him but eventually he did and I apologized over and over again. Quickly, our relationship went back to where it was before the fiasco. I went to visit him in Kansas when he had to do his hometown recruiting. And after that trip was done, he reported to his first duty station in Hawaii.

A couple months after arriving at his duty station Mr. I was told he would be deploying to Iraq. I had to see him before he left, so we agreed to meet in Kansas, so he could also see his family at the same time. We had been in Kansas for a few days and Fourth of July was here. The fireworks are shot off over the river, so Mr. I headed down to the river where the whole city is basically there. As soon as the fireworks started Mr. I leaned over and asked, “Will you marry me?” I had the biggest smile on my face and shrieked “YES!!!!”

Mr. I left for Iraq less than a month later. We agreed to get married during R&R and I planned a wedding in less than six months. Everything was perfect and he showed up on time! Thank you Army! We got married 1/4/2007. Our wedding was perfect. We had about 50 people and we got married in a chapel at a resort in San Diego. We had a penthouse reception (just our style) with light hor d’oeuvres and lots of champagne ;) Our cake was beautiful, my dress was beautiful, and everything was just perfect I wouldn’t change a thing :) We never had a honeymoon because there was no time. He left a couple days after our wedding and I did not see him again for another nine months (he was extended three months before he was supposed to come home for a total of a 15 month deployment). I moved to Hawaii the day before he came home and the rest is history.

*This note was dated 1/1/06. Mr. I left 1/1/2011 from R&R. I went to double check the note to ensure I got the exact words. I started balling when I noticed it was dated on the first. Also, the note said “Good Morning Sunshine!” across the top of the paper. To this day Mr. I still says, “Good Morning Sunshine” to me. I immediately broke into tears when I read the note. I also kept the ring box :)

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