Friday, February 11, 2011

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Buried Memories

Our freshman year of college flew by faster than I could imagine. I was bursting with anticipation of going home for the summer and had dreams and hopes of it being the summer of my life. After all, it was the first summer with a boyfriend! We truly did have the time of our lives. We immersed ourselves in another weekly Bible study together and fought hard to never lose that common bond that brought us together.

We spent most every evening together after he got off work from mowing. I worked at my Dad’s pharmacy and he often came in to bring me a snow cone and shoot the breeze with Dad. He was always covered in dirt and grass, but no matter how filthy he was, his blue eyes sparkled like lightening bolts. He was near black due to the sun that summer, and his hair and even eye brows were naturally highlighted with a gorgeous golden hue. He was so good lookin’! I think I blushed each night as I opened our front door door to say hello. I was just taken aback at how handsome he was. He always smelled so good because he was fresh out of the shower after mowing and was always eager to eat whatever snacks my Mom threw his way.

We had so many fun dates that summer. He always came up with the craziest things for us to do like dressing up like cowboys and going to see “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” at Discovery Land. I got him back for that one and took him on an “Easter Date” where we had to wear bunny ears and he drew out of a basket full of plastic eggs, choices of where to eat and what movie to see. We had a blast with every moment we shared together. Our relationship was doing nothing but flourishing and it was as if we had taken 10 steps forward that summer compared to the 3 we felt we took the entire school year before. We had a deeper, more real connection than ever. I knew it was going to be torture to say goodbye.

What I remember about that summer is swimming at his parents house, watching The Mole with all five reunited friends at my house, countless dates and good talks, eating a turkey sandwich at 11:00 pm when I got home from those dates because I couldn’t eat around him, star gazing together and many late nights standing on my front porch trying to say goodnight, but prolonging it somehow.

What stands out most vividly about that summer was our time capsule. We thought it would be neat to collect things of that time and that had special meaning to us and bury it. We also wrote letters saying exactly how we felt about each other at that exact moment in time. We made an agreement to be completely honest and hold nothing back and to stick the letters in the box, bury it deep into the earth and never recover it again unless we ended up together – married. If we broke up, we would never know what the other said, and the capsule would remain buried for all eternity. We made an afternoon of it and buried it in a secret location on my parent’s property.

All good things must come to an end, and the summer was no exception. Our sophomore year of College was beckoning us and here we went again.

Another year apart.

Amber decided not to go back to OBU, as well as two other great friends I had made my freshman year. The four of us hung out all the time and now, I was the only one returning. It was a tough year. I had to re-make friends. I missed Darin horribly. I thought about transferring schools. I wanted him to transfer. It was awfully difficult to come from the “summer of my life” to the place where my friends had left and I had to start over….alone. I leaned on God more that year than I ever had in my entire life. I also learned more from Him than I ever had. I poured myself into my Bible and sought answers. I didn’t know why God would give me such intense feelings for a person that I couldn’t even BE with. I didn’t know why we had to be apart. The thought of getting through sophomore year and still having two more years after that to be apart was hard for me to handle.

Darin and I decided that it was still best to go home every two weeks. I wanted to go home every week, but I knew I couldn’t. I had to get out there and meet new people. I remembered a girl from one of my classes that had a fantastic smile. I decided that she was going to be my friend. The next day in class, I planted myself next to her and began talking. Turns out, she lived in my same dorm and near my room. Also, her name was Amber. Perfect. I had another Amber.

We were instant friends and that made me less miserable. She was able to get my mind off of missing Darin and we had so much fun together. I made friends with a few other girls on my floor and things were slowly starting to fall back into place, and OBU was starting to feel right again. I knew I was where God wanted me, and I knew Darin was where God wanted him. I just had to wait this thing out and see where it took us.