Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Our Love Story: Part 15 | When I Knew

"Here's the thing about this love story of ours. It's long. And drawn out. And mushy-gushy. And even a bit cheesy. But it's true. And I've decided to take my time writing it, capturing all the special details of those moments I never want to forget. So if mushy-gushy, cheesy love stories aren't your thing, I totally get that. Just know that I'm writing this as a gift - to my family, and my children, and their future children - and also, for [Parker] and me - so that on those days when the kids are screaming, the laundry is overflowing and the bills are rolling in...on those days when it all just seems so hard, we'll have this to remind us of those first moments when we fell in love. And if sappy, detail ridden love stories are your thing, well then you've come to the right place." -Ashley Stock

To read the beginning of Our Love Story, click here.

Parker and I Skyped and texted and Facebook messaged some more before we both went back to BYU. It was a long month of uncertainty and confusion but I knew that when we got back to school, we owed it to each other to figure out what we wanted.

I was a ball of nerves before we met up for the first time in person after Parker's mission. My mom and Matlin had driven me down to Provo to help me get settled into my apartment and we were staying at my aunt and uncle's house for the time being. Parker came over and texted me to let me know that he was there. I went outside and we chatted for a while. I honestly don't remember much of our conversation because I was so nervous. All I know was that I was a little bit awkward and I really didn't know what was going to happen from that point on and I was still really scared. I also later found out that my mom, my aunt, and Matlin had opened the window and listened to the entire conversation. They confirmed that I was super awkward so that was helpful [insert eye roll emoji here].

The next day, Parker came over to help us unload my belongings into my new apartment. Every time he went outside to get another load of things, my mom and sister would say things like, "How can you not like him?" and "He's so cute! I can't believe you would consider letting him go!" Can you understand maybe a little bit why I felt so much pressure?!

My family left and school started. Parker and I talked and saw each other every day. He asked me out for the first Friday of school (which would have been this week 5 years ago!) and I said yes. Cue the most dramatic week ever!

Friday: We went to an Orem Owls game and Parker's sister happened to be there on a date as well so I knew we were being observed the entire time. After the owls game, we drove up the canyon a little way and did a little "hike" in the dark which was part way up the side of a shale covered mountain. We sat up there and tried to hash out the details of what we wanted and how we felt. A true DTR, ya know? I remember tearing up a few times because I was so confused. I truly didn't know what I wanted.

After we had come down from this mountainside, we were sitting in the grass near the parking lot and Parker decided that he better just kiss me and get that out of the way. It was a good kiss but it was kind of awkward, and I think that was my fault because I was scared that we were moving too quickly.

Saturday: We went to a BYU football game with a bunch of friends. Parker was acting like we were back together as a couple because you know, we'd gone on a date and kissed and stuff. I was still trying to figure out my feelings.

Sunday: Parker came over and I told him I wanted to slow things down a bit. Naturally, that hurt his feelings but he respected my wishes.

Monday: We were still acting pretty "coupley" with cuddling and handholding and I was getting worried that I was giving him the wrong idea and that we were moving too fast so I asked if we could just be friends for a little while. He wasn't happy about this... understandably so because he still had strong feelings for me. I wasn't ready to let Parker out of my life completely, but I also wasn't ready to jump back into the way things were before he left on his mission. But he didn't think he could simply be friends with me when he still had feelings for me, which made sense.

Tuesday: We had made plans to hang out on Tuesday before I asked if we could be friends the day before so I just went with it and acted like it was ok. Really, I did want to see him and hang out but when I showed up at his apartment to watch So You Think You Can Dance like we'd planned, he acted like I didn't exist. It was super awkward and everyone there knew that things were weird between us. Then this dance happened (and this was the first time this song came out and started to get popular). I can't listen to this song or watch this dance without getting choked up now because it takes me back to this week and those feelings. It's all so bittersweet!

Anyway, you know in the movies or in books when people say stuff like, "And we kissed and it felt like we were the only two people in the room"? Ya, well when this dance came on, I don't know if all of our friends that were there felt it, too, but it seemed like everyone got quiet and only Parker and I existed. You could have cut the tension with a knife.

Wednesday: We were still talking and I could tell that Parker was frustrated with me. I invited him over and he basically said that he couldn't be friends with me because he needed time to get over me, which made me really sad. I didn't want that!

Thursday: Parker and my cousin, Jon, were on the same intramural flag football team. I was trying hard to give Parker his space so I hadn't talked to him all day and I wasn't planning on going to their game that night but Jon insisted that I come and watch. He told me I didn't even have to talk to Parker if I didn't want to, I could simply come to support my cousin so I agreed.

Well throughout the day, the more time I had to refrain from reaching out to Parker, the more I wanted to talk to him. I missed him! We ended up seeing each other at the intramural game and only spoke a few words to each other. He did notice, however, that I had put my Guatemala CTR ring on that day (that's where he served his mission if you didn't remember that).

Friday: We went on dates with other people. I went on a date with a guy from my freshman ward and he was super nice but the entire time, I kept wishing it was Parker that I was on the date with. When I got home, I found out that he was on a date with another girl and I lost it. Absolutely lost my cool! I started sobbing right then and there thinking that I had messed this all up. Parker's sister, Rylie, came over to get her laundry that she had done at our place and noticed that I had been crying so she asked me what was up and I remember telling her that I thought I had ruined my chance with Parker. She ended up chatting with him after she left so he knew that I was freaking out. I wanted to reach out to him so bad but I wasn't sure if that was the right thing to do because he had asked me to give him space and I really didn't want to disrespect that. I remember putting my phone down on my desk, going into the bathroom of all places and kneeling down to pray and I asked God if I should contact Parker. I walked back into my room afterward and guess who I had a missed call from! Parker :). That was all I needed. I called him back and he came to pick me up. This time I was wearing his hoodie that he left with me while on his mission so he really knew I meant business. We ended up talking and kissing and it was oh so good [insert blushing emoji here] lol. We've been together ever since!
This photo was taken a week after we were back together. 

That week was pure emotional insanity. Going from seeing each other for the first time in over two years, to going on a date, to kind of dating, to friends, to not talking, to going on dates with other people, to knowing that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Parker was crazy. I needed those two days of him cutting off contact in order for me to know what I wanted. And once I knew, I never turned back.

Part 16

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