My Love Story Chapter 6 ~ Small Moments

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Looking back, I realize how truly blessed I was to have such an amazing core group of friends in college.  This time in my life truly shaped me, and I was lucky to land in a spot surrounded by people with the same goals as I had. I  couldn’t ask for better roommates.  We all lifted and motivated each other, had regular gospel discussions, had the same goals of marrying good God fearing men, and just laughed and laughed together til wee hours of the morning every night talking about those boys that we hoped to marry one day.

An excerpt from my journal on November 17th 1998 reads:

I talked with my roommates about how Matthew could never love me. I wonder if he ever would. Something inside of me is really startingIf there ever was anything for him, was it ruined when I dated Sam?  I’ve started to get nervous when I’m around him–it’s so strange!

Of course, this is after a nearly year long crush, a summer of casual emailing, dating his brother, then breaking through the awkward barrier to conversational friends.

Matthew and I spent a lot of time together–often with some of our roommates–in a group setting. Another gal joined our apartment #20/#39 group, Alice. I first met her while playing Monopoly with Sam & Chris.  She and I became fast friends.  She liked to stay up til crazy hours with me, and I loved her spunk and energy.

She, Sam, Chris, & I would pal around, that is…until Chris met and got engaged to her roommate after 10 days. Oh yes, they are a success story to this day.

Every once in a while, I’d drop into #20 and Matthew would be alone.  One time, he told me that his sister, Jane (who lived on the other side of campus and often stopped by), told him that she likes me and thinks I was nice.  Wow, so he was talking about me to his sister?  I found it easy to chat with him about anything. He was a great listener, but not only that, showed interest in what I was sharing with him, and would ask follow up questions to what I was blabbing about. It was easy to talk about deep and important things we had learned at church or our religion classes.  I always knew it was very important to me that a major quality in a boy I’d marry was someone who was devoted to the gospel of Jesus Christ as I was. He did not disappoint. It isn’t just a belief, but a way of living, and he showed me daily in how he lived that it was important to him.

Just before Thanksgiving break, Matthew  helped me plan a surprise party for my roommates. I was just looking for an excuse to need his help with  something. He walked to the grocery store with me to buy supplies, and that day I wrote, “I have fun with him, but I realized that as far as it wo uld ever go. He’s still dang cute.”  The roommates and I went out to eat, and Matthew stayed back with Alice and got everything ready for the big surprise. It was fun to be sneaky and execute a plan like this.

Our gang would watch movies together, and we’d coined the phrase, “free love” because we would scratch each others backs or massage each others shoulders, knowing that it didn’t mean anything. We were just family like that.

Alice & I assisted the boys of #20 in our church congregation talent show.  I even leant my sports bra to C.J., so he could stuff it and look more like a girl.  They wrote a parody on BYU dating life, it was hysterical.

It was a fun night. During this time, I kept writing in my journal over and over how grateful I was that Sam and I were still great friends. We still hung out a lot, and though my heart was falling for Matthew (even though he wasn’t showing much interest), I still had lingering feelings for Sam. But I continued to keep those tucked away, and feel happiness in our great friendship, and his continued urging for me to date Matthew.  I felt very wishy-washy.  One day I’d had a major crush on him, the next I didn’t feel so much.  I’m thinking since I felt so unsure about he felt, I just couldn’t figure out where I stood.  The Counting Crows CD played over and over in apartment #20, and the song Sullivan Street became my theme song.  At the very end:

I’m almost drowing in her sea, She’s nearly crawling on her knees, it’s ALMOST everything I need.

Who knows what all of that meant, but the last line of that song really resonated with me.  When I thought about Matthew, I kept thinking….ALMOST everything I need. Something wasn’t fully there…I couldn’t pinpoint it, but I felt flighty. I had (for a long time) had a big fear that I’d never actually fall in love for good. In every past relationship I’d had, I got to the point where I just didn’t feel anything anymore. Then I go and write,

He is perfect. Almost too good to be true. I think it is. I’m just a good friend to him. I don’t even know for sure if this is what I want.

At the beginning of December, I found myself having long talks with him, inviting his roommates over for dinner, giving him back scratches, flip flopping in my feelings, getting the flu, studying for  finals, writing a research paper, getting jealous that Sam was showing attention to my roommate Hali, and just unsettled.  I was really close with my roommate Amy. We had several classes together, and I told her my in and out feelings about everything. We’d known each other a year at that point, and though I was close to all 3 of my roommates, she was probably my closest confidant, who always gave me sound advice. When I spewed my concerns with my wishy washy feelings, she was there to calm me down and help me see the bigger pictures.

On our last night all together before we all parted for Christmas holidays, we had an ice cream party with our boys.

 I still had my last final in the morning, but a bunch of others were done and leaving town. They continued playing and I had to go back to study, despite urges by a few for me to stay. I stayed up late studying, then in the morning before my final, I called down to the boys to borrow something for breakfast, and when I went down to get it, everyone looked at me with a super solemn look on their face.  They were ashen white, something happenend. What happened? Matthew & Sam told me that one of our friends had a terrible accident. They had been in the hospital with them all night with them, and still unsure how things would turn out. I ran out sobbing.  I went to the field next to our complex and fell to my knees crying at the same time as I prayed for comfort and to understand. I still had a final to take. How could I concentrate in the state of mind I was in? Somehow, I felt responsible.  If I didn’t have to leave the group to study that night, maybe something would have been different. (I won’t go into much detail as this isn’t MY story, but it has a lot to do with OUR story).

I bombed my final, but wrote on the back to my teacher everything that had happened that morning, and said my concentration wasn’t there.  To this day, I think that paragraph saved me, because I got a C- in the class (I was already a low B). Our gang was all parting ways for the 2 week Christmas break, and I was sad to leave my friends–they had become my family–my comfort zone.  They knew what I was experiencing because they felt the same way. My brother and his wife picked me up in the afternoon, and we stayed at my grandma’s before our flight out to Texas in the morning.  I felt out of my body, not myself, distant. I was still sad for my friend, but I felt major physical pain in worry and concern for them. Still felt somehow responsible for the accident. I thought that going home for Christmas would help me feel better, but I felt so alone. I didn’t want to talk about what happened with my family, I just kept it all inside.  I cried myself to sleep that first night home. In the morning, I did what I thought would help me feel best, and that was to hop on the computer and send a note to the person that I knew would undestand the same sadness as I was feeling:  Matthew.



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