The Story of Us, Part 5

(Scroll down to read the story from the beginning.)

That time it was me who broke it off.   I really had no good reason except it felt like he was way more serious about us than I wanted to be.  I was a senior in high school and just wanted to have fun and date and be with my friends and not be worried about my long distance boyfriend.  We were still together in the weeks before Christmas, but I was already pulling away and thinking of how to break up with him.  Confrontation had never been easy for me, and I wasn’t sure how to tell him, especially since it wasn’t like he had done something that deserved a break up.  Twelve days before Christmas, he started giving me gifts.   Each gift he gave me was thoughtful and loving, and I made the decision to wait until after I finished getting presents to break up with him.  That season was definitely not one of my better times, but I was selfish and simply didn’t care.  I finally broke it off after Christmas.  It was my choice, but it still felt awful.

The weeks passed, and even though I had hurt him, we still talked a lot.  He was still one of my best friends, and in my heart I always figured we would eventually get back together.   He came home to take me out for my 18th birthday.  We went to a fair and rode the ferris wheel together.  I wanted so badly to kiss him when we were sitting at the top, but he flat out rejected me.  He wasn’t going to play those games with me.  We would either be together or we wouldn’t.  He wasn’t going to be my kissing friend.

The months went by, and we still talked and remained friends.  I went out on a few dates, and he…well, he had girls who liked him, but he really didn’t go out with anyone.  He gave me the space that I wanted, but he wasn’t ready to give up on us.  Finally, just after spring break of 1998, I came to my senses.  Was I really willing to throw everything away?  He was my best friend and I loved him, so why wasn’t I with him?  I knew we had something special, something that didn’t come along every day.  That time it wasn’t so easy getting back to that good, comfortable place.  He wasn’t sure if I was just lonely and wanted him to be my boyfriend out of convenience, or if it was for real.  By this time, Derek was about to start his senior year of college, and he was done with the break-up/get back together game.   It took awhile for him to really trust me and let me back in, but eventually he did.  By the time I left for college in August 1998, things were really great between us.  I wasn’t sure about how he felt, but I knew that I wanted to marry him someday.

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