My Love Story Chapter Ten ~ First Kiss

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{If you haven’t read the first 9 chapters of my love story, CLICK HERE to start from the beginning. For those that have waited patiently for this chapter–thank you!  It’s well overdue…}

After my 3 day weekend away to California, and with Matthew’s recent declaration of love via a 4 page handwritten letter, I was sure things would progress quickly. I mean–it was “out there” now, and should be much easier to follow the next steps of hand holding, our first kiss, etc. One of the things that I always loved about Matthew since I first met him was his more reserved nature. Mellow, even keeled, at one point, I’d define it as “shy.” I know better now that those “reserved” personalities don’t like to be labeled as “shy.” I always felt I’d end up marrying someone with that type of personality because I felt it evened out my exuberance in nature, that at times needed help toning down. However, this mellow personality trait didn’t mesh well with my anxiousness at this stage in our lives. Little did he know, I had BIG plans for us in the coming months, and he didn’t seem to be in as much of a hurry! We’d hang out with our roommates, run errands, and everything seemed as it did before my big trip–fun, but with a BIG elephant in the room. We knew how each other felt–but nothing monumental was happening.

{My roommates liked to make fun of my anxious face:  touching the temples of my forehead with my fingertips.}

I met up with my newly married BFF, Natalie, to tell her everything that had transpired in the past week. It was pouring rain, and as we huddled under a shared umbrella and walked to her home (that she shared with a BOY) I told her all about my frustrations, my concerns, my happiness, my peace. She talked me through it all, as only a best friend/sister can. Matthew and I had what I deemed to be our first official date that night. We went to a Jazz concert on campus. I’ll admit, that isn’t anywhere near my favorite type of music to listen to, but I could tell he enjoyed it, and I was happy to be with him. As we walked home, I slipped my arm through his, and he very gentlemen-ly pointed out tree stumps in my way, and opened doors–just sweetly watching out for me.

I had a night class with my friend Chris and my sister in law, Alayna. I told them the story about how Matthew and I are getting closer. I even talked to my dad on the phone back in Texas and told him that I am “dating someone.” Just before all of this, I had plans–I would turn 21 that next summer, and I really wanted to serve as a full time missionary for my church. It had always been my desire, but I had to wait until that age. Now that things with Matthew were getting more interesting, I wondered if that would be my life’s path after all–to serve a mission. I was also on a waiting list to study abroad overseas that summer.  I didn’t want to go over seas, if things were shaping up as I’d hoped they would.

He would give me wake up calls, put his arm around me in the car and tap to the beat of the music, have lingering hugs, and eventually held hands discreetly. He opened up to me about things he said he’d never told anyone before. I felt trusted. I got to the point that I didn’t want to giddily tell my roommates what was going on, I wanted to keep it all to myself. Maybe I was worried it wouldn’t last–for him, or for me. When I eventually confided in my roommate, Amy, she reminded me of something I had said 6 months before that I didn’t remember: “If I don’t go on a mission, it will be because of Matthew Duke.”

On January 24th, I got the crazy idea to sing a duet at church with my best friend, Natalie. She was married and in a different congregation, but she came to mine for the song. I sat in between Natalie and Matthew before the song, and as I nervously shook my leg, Matthew leaned over and showed me a scripture: “I am going like a lamb to the slaughter, but I am as calm as a summers day. D&C 135:4 He was trying to help calm my nerves by making a joke about going to do something scary.

A few days later, my roommate Amy and I were studying in a building on campus one day when we unexpectedly ran into Matthew. I went up from behind and put my hands over his eyes, but he said he knew it was me the whole time–he had a blushing red face while saying it. Since it was very important study time, Amy and I went across the crowded room, but I still had Matthew in my line of vision. I decided to write a little note, to which Amy delivered. It said:

Will you be my Valentine: Check YES or NO or MAYBE with boxes next to each.

He checked yes (how very awkward if he didn’t) and I was so excited!  It was silly fun, but made me all giddy inside. We had gone several days with plans to “have a chat” but things just kept getting in the way, and it didn’t happen. We planned to go out on Thursday, January 28th, and when we did, we just found a quiet room on campus tucked away.

After a bit of small talk, he told me that he often has battles between his head and his heart. We talked about how scary it is often to “take a risk” in a relationship, we eventually expressed our mutual desire to be considered by ourselves as well as others as “dating.” He told me that when he is with me– he wants to be better. I told him that when I am with him–I feel at peace.

At 11 pm, we were kicked out of the cozy spot in the building we had been for a while. It was January–in Utah–and cold! But we weren’t done chatting yet, and no cold weather was going to stop me.  As we stood hugging, fingers intertwined, I decided that tonight was the night that I’d been waiting for an entire year. Our faces were inches away, and I figured he needed a little nudge, so I helped out this “reserved” boy a little and met slightly over half way to his lips. Our first kiss. At this point, every extention of my body was cold and frozen–including my lips. It was a short kiss, and I rested my head on his chest as he stroked my face, and told me I have soft skin.


{Sadly, I didn’t have someone creepin’ on us for our first kiss, but found this lovely cold kiss image HERE}

As we walked back to our apartment, I felt happy, but wondered if maybe he didn’t want me to meet him just over half way….

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