Depending on whose point of view you’re referring to – either today’s Dave and mine 6 year anniversary of being together, or yesterday was our 6 year anniversary of being together. We don’t have any photographs or anything to really document that day. No romantic date. No big kiss. Just our memories. And I will never forget that day.
See when Dave and I made that decision – to be boyfriend and girlfriend – I was here in Minnesota. Dave was 12 hours away in Kuwait, just days of being among the first to invade Iraq.
March 15 was the first time I spoke with him after he left for the Middle East just over two weeks earlier. There were some things I left unsaid before he left. He knew I liked him (I’m pretty sure). I definitely knew he liked me. But I didn’t want to make his deployment any harder for him than it had to be…so I didn’t elaborate on my feelings. Plus, I was scared about those feelings. How could I like someone so much who I’d only met in person twice!?
All I remember of getting off the phone that last time before he deployed was that I felt my walls crash. All the emotion and fear and love just erupted out of me and I cried. And I cried. My little sister even came into see if I was ok. I was the person in my family who never cried. But I cried. I felt like I lost Dave forever. I was certain that he wouldn’t call me once he deployed. After all, why would he call a friend? He has lots of friends. I figured he’d call his mom, who would then be able to send out an update to all his family and friends.
He definitely wouldn’t call the girl who said, “No.”
I figured that when he returned home from Iraq, his feelings about me wouldn’t be the same. Too much time and distance. He’d be hurt that I had continued to tell him the timing wasn’t right for us to be together. He’d be ready to move on. So I spent those two weeks mourning over the lost opportunity of Dave and what we could have been. And I was dreadfully worried about his safety and his life. I was a wreck and hardly slept.
So imagine my surprise when he called me the afternoon of March 15! At work. At a number he didn’t have. When it was past midnight his time. He actually had called my cell phone, and then tried me at my apartment where my sister Rachel answered. After Dave told her, “I just really want to hear her voice,” Rachel called my mom and they thought I was at work and she gave him that number.
When I heard his voice I started shaking and crying. My heart was pounding so hard, I thought it was going to explode. I was nervous. I was excited. I was joyful. I told him that I saw him on TV. With a big rifle. I knew I was getting something that I never thought I’d get – a second chance. A chance to say those things I wanted to say the last time we talked:
“Can I still be your girlfriend?”
And though there have been ups and downs along the way, we’ve been together ever since. Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about this moment in time when we got the second chance for our fairy tale. And I thank God Dave just wanted to hear my voice.