My Love Story Chapter 4 ~ The Brother

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Oh my, I’ve intended to post this earlier, but it takes SO much out of me to write and scan pics for these posts…plus this one is a most sensitive post because it involves others excluding my husband and I.  But I couldn’t leave it out, as it is such an integral part of the story. Not only are names with held, but some faces to protect the innocent;)

{If you missed chapters 1-3, you can read them here}

I spent the summer apart from the boy of my dreams, emailing a handful of times, with high hopes for fireworks to fly upon our reunion. I had to try to suppress my excitement, and be sorta casual with my enfatuation-so as not to scare the boy off. We lived in the same apartments as we had the previous semester–I was in #39 on the third floor, and he was in #20 on the second floor. I could see into his kitchen from my kitchen window.  Naturally, when I saw he was home that first day I was unpacking things, I grabbed my roommate to go with me for a visit. I remember seeing a roomful of boys in his apartment and trying to pretend like I cared to see all of them before scanning the room and seeing him in the kitchen near the fridge. We smiled and walked to each other, and reached for a big warm bear hug. I wanted to linger there forever, but remember…I had to be casual. I just recall that being the most wonderful embrace, and he seemed genuinely happy to greet me as well.

I had forgotten that he told me his little brother, Sam,  was going to be his roommate that semester. He had just returned home from his missionary service for our church in Italy. We were briefly introduced, and the other boys in the apartment I already knew, and they all knew my roommates. This was going to be a fun year, indeed.

I somehow mustered up the courage to snap these two shots of him the first week back:


I don’t clearly remember exactly what happened that first week of school (and for some reason, that is my ONE missing journal) but I got the strong impression that Matthew was not interested in me the way I was in him. I chalked it up to another “nice guy” that was being friendly towards me, another to add to the “good friend” list. I played a little of “the game” to see if he’d come up to visit me, but he didn’t. He didn’t ask me out on a date as I had hoped, and just didn’t give me the attention that I expected from our “connection” over the summer. It was a bummer. I felt insecure all over again.

One night, I was down at his apartment with my roommates—there was a group of us hanging out, and around 10:30pm Matthew said good night and ducked into the back of the apartment to go to bed. Clearly…if he were at all interested in me, he would have stayed until that midnight clock struck when the girls would have been kicked out. But, no.

That night, when the girls DID get kicked out, a few of the boys came outside on the porch to finish chatting with my roommates and I. Soon, I found that everyone had retired to bed except Sam and I. Sam, the brother of the boy who didn’t seem to care for me like I did for him. Sam just kept telling all sorts of random stories; about his third grade teacher, his mission to Italy, and his freshman year at BYU and all the crazy pranks he pulled. For the first time in a very long time, I didn’t have to lead the conversation with a boy. It was so easy, so relaxed, so enjoyable. It was a breath of fresh air to hear story after story, because I love the little details of life.

The next evening, Sam came upto my apartment to see if I wanted to walk to 7-11 for a slurpee, then the next night he asked if I wanted to join him and a few of his guy friends for a mountain drive. We stayed up all night laughing and telling stories. They asked me all sorts of questions about girls, and I delighted in clueing them in. I did after all educate my 3 brothers on the complexity of a girls mind, and I was happy to oblige these boys as well. It didn’t take long before I started to get butterflies in my stomach for Sam. When I told my roommates, they were beside themselves, “What about Matthew?!?, it would ruin everything.” To which I responded, “Matthew is simply not interested in me that way.”   I always knew it, it was just recently confirmed to me. Sam was someone I could relate to, and I didn’t have to try too hard when talking to him, it felt so natural, and just what I needed.  Pretty soon, he fit in just right with my roommates.

 That first week, we talked for hours and hours and hours about nothing in particular, to the complexities of the world. Just one week after our first late night chat, I went against all of my personal time frame rules, and we kissed. It was the fastest moving relationship I had ever had, but when you calculate the hours spent talking, it was like a month in real life time. I was never keen on the public display of affection bit, so our friends never really knew what was going on at first. My roommates knew how much I was originally pining for Matthew, and though they liked Sam, they were sad that I closed that chapter in the book. It really wasn’t a worry for me. As far as I was concerned, that “connection” was all built up in my mind.

The second week with Sam was filled with more stories, more laughter, and often hanging out with friends. If we weren’t in my apartment with all of my roommates, we were on outings with his best friend, Chris. The 3 of us became a little trio, and often times I’d have chats with Chris about his desire to settle down and find the girl of his dreams.

One night, Sam nervously told me he had to tell me about something, he wouldn’t feel right if he didn’t.  Uh oh…what’s up, I said. He pulled out his wallet and inside was a film negative. One cut negative from off of a film strip.

He held it up to the sun outside and said, “This is Jessica. She and I dated my freshman year. She’s on a mission, and we said that we would date other people while we were apart, and if we were supposed to be together, it would work outwhen we both get back.”

I jokingly tried to snatch the negative away, and when I finally grabbed it, I couldn’t really see anything.  It didn’t bother me, though, that was a typical thing in the Mormon dating world, but it did make me wonder what she really looked like, and curious about her.

I often fed both Sam and Chris dinner, and the days that Sam was at a late class, Chris would walk into my apartment, and say just one word, “FOOD!”  I’d get a good laugh, and he’d get a twinkle in his eye, and I happily whipped him up something to eat.  We became pretty close, he is a very deep individual, and I talked to him a lot about my personally struggles, and he often reminded me of the importance of daily prayer and scripture study.  He was crazy fun, and uber serious & spiritual, and it was great to have him in my life.

I remember one night Chris and I went to the grocery story just the two of us, and he had a heart to heart with me, “Man, you and Sam are pretty serious…” he said.

“Are we?” I thought…and eventually said aloud, “But it’s only been a bit over a week, why do you say that?”

Chris replied, “Because you just spend a lot of time together…you both are so relaxed around each other”

It was then that I had to ask about Jessica.  “She’s pretty awesome,”  he said.  He continued, “most of our freshman year, it was Jessica, Sam, and me…kinda like the 3 of us now.”

“Excellent, so I’m just a filler? No, I can tell you two really like each other. I can see you and Sam getting married.” Chris finished

“WHAT?!?! But we’ve only known each other 2 weeks, only dated for 1…how can you say that?” I blurted out

It left me perplexed. I went home that night with what should have been an elated feeling after hearing those words from the best friend of the boy I was liking, but all of a sudden, hearing those words shook me, and left me feeling uneasy. It didn’t make sense. All of a sudden…nothing made sense.

I went home and cried. I laid my face in my pillow and sobbed for what seemed like all night. It was waaay too early to be thinking anything long term, but Chris brought it all to the surface, and all of a sudden, I realized, I just couldn’t see Sam and I long term. For the next week, I pushed away all the thoughts and confusion, and tried to carry on as normal, but it was no longer normal. I still really really liked Sam, but things started to change inside of me. At some point, Sam and I discussed Chris’proclamation, and he just laughed it off. I knew he could tell it was bothering me.

My best friend Natalie got married in all of this haze going on. As much as I was happy for her, I was in turmoil, and I couldn’t really talk to her about it because she clearly had so much going on.

I had planned to bring Sam with me to the wedding, but he suggested I go alone. Maybe he thought it was too big of a deal to bring a date to your best friends wedding, maybe he thought I’d enjoy it more without him, but I was sad to be there alone…with all of that looming over my head.

After a few days, I was pretty sure Sam was starting to feel the same way I was. So when I approached him to break things off, he seemed to be right in line….or just being agreeable…not sure.  Not something that I wanted to do, but it just felt right. A 3 week whirlwind that changed me. I told him that our frienship meant too much for us to not be friends anymore. He told me that he’d never seen it happen where people dated, then stayed friends, but seemed willing to give it a try. I was bound and determined to make it happen. His friendship meant too much to me.

It was mid-week–the breakup, and we had already had plans to attend BYU’s homecoming dance that weekend. I was really excited to go–it was at the State Capital, and we were double dating with my brother and his wife–no less.  We’d talked about not going…but then decided to just go ahead and go since we’d already paid for the tickets….and that we weren’t going to let a silly break up affect our friendship. Friends go to dances all the time…

We had a really fun night of dancing and chatting, despite the potentially awkward circumstances.  I was so glad that SO FAR (after just a few days) it looked like things were going to be ok with us. I remember having so much fun that night…that I started to second guess myself…and wishing for more than the kiss on the cheek I got at the end of the dance. But I was again reminded of the feeling…something with us, just wasn’t quite right. We were meant to be just friends.

It didn’t make sense, and looking back I can see…that it was all part of a delicately crafted master plan…unbeknownst to me.

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