“Go ahead, say it.
-You don’t deserve her.
-I don’t, I know that; but I need her, and I don’t need anything.”
(SABRINA, Kyle’s favorite movie and the first movie we watched together)
After six short (or long?) weeks, Kyle and his then-fiance called off their summer wedding. That summer they dated and tried to build a foundation for their relationship.
Kyle and I…continued our lunches.
My semester at BYU started again and I was taking a Photojournalism course. We were supposed to choose a semester-long project, something that would tell a story with our photography. I still remember sitting in class, writing in my notebook about Kyle as a project. I wrote down a list of all the different shots I could take (breakdancing, competitions, teaching, etc.) and the story I thought I would be able to tell. And honestly, I couldn’t wait to tell Kyle about my project.
At this time, Kyle’s life was slowly unraveling. He was working for a start-up company and had had some huge successes, but the company itself was losing funding. He was graduated with no career path, no fiance and living with his grandparents.
One of our all-time favorite lunches was at campus, when I brought picnic food to the steps of the Maeser building. We ate outside in the Utah fall sun under those gigantic pillars, and Kyle told me he had decided to move back East. I was devastated, but I didn’t fight him on it. I knew it was right for him, and just tried not to think about life without him around.
That fall, I truly began to fall in love with Kyle.
One night, neither of us could sleep and we ended up walking miles around my apartment in Provo. It was a frigid night, and it was like 1 a.m., and I had spent half the night listening to this new kid Justin Bieber and his new song “One Time.” (I’M SO OLD). I have no clue what we talked about for hours on those late-night walks. We walked around with our hands in our pockets sharing earbuds and listening to Owl City. Actually, here is a screenshot of one of my blog posts. (I just love our cute little comments to each other. Haha)
I loved my photo project because I was able to spend more time with Kyle and see him in all different scenarios. I went to his last class he taught at Center Stage before moving, and I loved seeing him work with those kids. Kyle is an excellent teacher, even if he won’t tell you that, and of course, watching him dance and teach only made me love him more. I hung out with him and some of the crew, getting photos + audio, and in the glow of their FIFA game, I could tell staying here in Utah wasn’t going to help him progress. It was just a confirmation to me that he needed to move, even if I was heartbroken.
During this time, I was a constant, CONFUSED ball of stress. I was pretty sure Kyle was the love of my life, but all signs pointed to something else. Kyle had never made a move (THE MAN OF MOVES!) and was even still “casually dating” his ex-fiance.
But he truly treated me like his very best friend. He talked to me so openly about everything and I was SO CONFUSED why he didn’t seem to see the obvious. I started to think Kyle needed to move because if he didn’t see a future with us as a couple, I desperately needed to move on. I alternated each day between feeling so happy and so heartbroken.
The day before Kyle was set to drive across the country was a Sunday. I came over after church to get the last bit of interview and photos I needed for my project, and also to say goodbye. If you’re wondering why my hair looks perfect and why I’m still in church clothes, it’s because I was saying goodbye, possibly forever, and I needed to look really good, ok? That’s when we took this picture:
The audio from that interview will always be super special to me. My photojournalism project had evolved from documenting the life of a BBoy, to following Kyle’s journey as he figures out his life.
As I got ready to go, I prepped myself to say goodbye to Kyle.
Me – “Ok, so this is goodbye…”
Kyle – “Uh no, we’re not saying goodbye right now! You’re coming back, right?”
Me (completely relieved and also confused) – “Really?”
Kyle – “Yeah, this can’t be goodbye. I’m going to say goodbye to the crew and everyone tonight, but then you can come back here after.”
Can you understand why I spent the last two months SO CONFUSED?
That night, after Kyle said goodbye to everyone else in his life, I came back again. His car was completely packed, ready for the cross-country trip early in the morning. We laid on his bed in his grandma’s freezing (literally) cold basement and tried to talk. We were both so sad, I know we didn’t really talk that much. As we laid there, I was trying not to freak out and read into everything.
Does he want to be closer to me? Why isn’t he facing me?
But I’m stubborn, and as much as I wanted something to happen between us, I was never, ever, ever, never, ever going to be the first person to make the move. And plus, I was 98% percent sure Kyle knew exactly what was going on, and if he wasn’t making something happen, it’s because he didn’t want something to happen. Right?
We both fell asleep for awhile, and eventually we decided the final goodbye was in order. I was, again, heartbroken. Kyle had hours to tell me or do something…and, nothing. He must actually not like me, because he had a million chances.
Kyle started to walk me outside and it was absolutely freezing cold. His grandparents live at the base of Provo Canyon, so the wind was howling around us. We stood there hugging, dangerously close, exhausted and so, so sad. I kept saying “Don’t go.” Which wasn’t helping the situation.
Me – “Don’t go. Don’t go. Don’t go.”
Kyle (whispered) – “You know I love you.”
We had said we loved each other before. But it was in a best-friend type of way, not love-of-my-life way. This was different.
Me – “I love you, too. Don’t go.”
and then he kissed me.
It was the most magical kiss of my life, that kiss on a freezing November night. It was light and unexpected, and both of us were crying. The only way I have ever been able to describe it is as an “I love you kiss.” It had no ulterior motive, no hidden agenda. It said I LOVE YOU so strongly and quietly that I still think about it.
He kissed me just once and then we said goodbye. The next morning (just a few hours later, really), he got in his car to drive cross-country to Virginia.
Here is the video for my class. I’m cringing at the photography, but this was like 8 years ago, people. Forgive me.
Stay tuned for Part 3
Yes, there really is a Part 3. I told you this was kinda a long story!