It’s been really cathartic for me to write this in pieces. There are so many feelings and emotions involved for me, and it feels good to go through on period and then have some time to stop. With that, onto Part 3.
Kyle spent the next two days driving cross-country, Utah to Virginia. He didn’t have a car charger (and had refused to buy one), so he was on limited battery for his entire trip. I remember getting some short texts…things about sleeping in the car at a truck stop, trying to make it home ASAP. Nothing about our kiss, nothing about us, but it definitely felt different between us. I knew once he was able to get to Virginia, things would get sorted.
He got home in record time and we started texting non-stop. We weren’t quite sure if we were actually dating. I mean, who starts dating long-distance? It was too much work, too hard to do, if we weren’t going to be serious about this and each other. But we had only kissed once. And never actually dated.
What. Were. We. Thinking.
But it was also the best. Every time he texted me, I’m pretty sure I got butterflies. He started texting me every morning, rain or shine, with some cute text. “Good morning beautiful” and every sappy thing under the sun. I loved it, so it totally worked.
At the time, one of my best friends Katie was working for Delta. She had the ability to give someone a “Companion Pass,” meaning you can fly standby and just pay a small fee. It. Was. Amazing. I had big plans for the pass, I was going to go to Europe and travel all over. But it was my senior year, I was working full-time and taking as many credits as possible, because apparently I hated my sanity and wanted to kill myself. I had flown back to Arizona too many times to count, which was a huge blessing not to worry about a $300 ticket each time.
I knew that Companion Pass was going to come in handy.
A few weeks after Kyle moved back East, he invited me to come to his house for Christmas, or at least pre-Christmas.
I went to Arizona for Thanksgiving, and when I landed back in Utah, my checked bag was nowhere to be found. My new luggage I had just gotten, with basically everything I truly cared about, was gone. As far as I know, that bag was just stolen off the Carousel, because it was checked in at SLC, and delivered to baggage claim. Not to beat a dead horse, but in it were my favorite brown, beautiful boots, my straightener, my makeup and makeup brushes and almost every outfit I liked at the time.
I knew I was going to see Kyle in a manner of weeks, and everything I would have packed in my bag had just been stolen. To a poor college kid, it was pretty stressful.
Weeks later, with new makeup and clothes in-hand, I boarded my flight to DC. By a happy accident, my stand-by seat landed me in first class! I was treated to dinner and a chatty travel companion, and four hours still felt like eternity. Literally.
I was so, so nervous. My stomach was in complete butterflies and I couldn’t really calm down. I had no idea what this trip would be like. I had only met his brother and sister once, and there would be more siblings there. I was so anxious about his mom liking me, his sisters being ok with me, and everything in-between. Not to mention, my complete and utter anxiety about US and our relationship. What if it was weird? Were we really dating? Texting and talking on the phone was going pretty perfectly, but now, actually being in-person seemed so daunting.
Once the plane landed, I went to the bathroom, refreshed my makeup and actually changed my clothes. HA! So vain. But good thing, because I was so nervous and sweaty.
Kyle picked me up from the airport, and of course we saw each other from across the airport. I remember walking toward him and thinking, “This is like the scene from a movie. Am I supposed to run?!” Haha.
I have no idea what we said when we saw each other. Kyle took my bag and we started walking out. As we were walking, I had a second where I thought, ‘Are we going to hold hands? Are we supposed to?” The second I had that thought, thankfully he grabbed my hand. We both looked at each other with giddy, nervous smiles and it felt perfect.
That night we kissed again (and maybe again), and neither of us were worried about chemistry ever again 🙂 Haha.
I had planned to stay in Virginia for four days. Just long enough to decide what Kyle and I were doing, short enough that if it was bad, I could leave.
It turned out to be an amazing trip. We spent a day in DC, which had always been a dream of mine, which was really our “first date” if you will. I loved sitting in the passenger side of his car, something I hadn’t done often, and listening to music and talking on our drive into the city.
Sidenote, people ask me all the time if it felt weird dating someone I knew so well. Overall, no, but sitting in KYLE ALDOUS’ CAR felt surreal. That’s the only was I know how to describe it. I had seen him drive this car for two years, he loved this car, I loved seeing him in this car, and being in the passenger’s side, holding hands, just felt so surreal.
He bought tickets for the Newseum, a news museum that was the perfect combination of journalism and media and us (remember, we both graduated from the Communications Dept). We walked all around DC hand-in-hand, taking silly pictures and freezing outside.
That winter was something Kyle coined “Snowmageddon.” A terrible snowstorm hit the East coast a day before I was supposed to leave. His parents lived on a couple acres in a tiny town in Virginia, pretty isolated on backroads. It snowed SO hard that the Dulles airport cancelled all their flights and basically closed. We were completely snowed in.
I honestly think God heard our prayers and let me stay a few more days. We needed that time, even if I had been to fearful to acknowledge that when I had booked my flight. We hung out at home, visiting with his family, playing games, watching movies, and realizing
we kinda loved each other.
I could not have been more in love with him, and he clearly felt the same way. We had no idea what would happen, how it was going to happen, but we knew we falling in love.
PART 4 coming…