love story: then came summer [part two]

during the crazy that is wedding week, i thought i'd share the story of how Ben and i met and fell in love. our love story, if you will.
these are scheduled posts because i'm not crazy enough to try to blog and get married at the same time.
don't you worry.
if you'd like to follow along with wedding week in real life time, as it happens, i'll be  the bride tweeting and instagram-ing away at @wildchild_jack.
[you can find the beginning parts of our love story here].
happy reading!

so we ended freshmen year as friends, and nothing more. but then came summer.

Ben got a landscaping job on campus and stayed there for the summer, planting flowers and watering bushes. i moved back home for the summer, laying in the sun and working part time at a pizza place. the thing was, though, that Ben wasn't from Rochester and neither were most of our friends. he was bored and lonely, and i was bored and only 20 minutes away, so we quickly realized that it only made sense to hang out. mostly, we colored. over crayons, usually some pizza, and the occasional trip to the laundromat, we stayed good friends.

and then one day, only about a week into summer, it was our friend, Miranda's, birthday and we decided it was time for a road trip. Molly, the friend that Ben used to have a thing with, was supposed to come too, but at the last minute, she couldn't get off of work, so it was just Ben and i, alone in a car for 2 hours. i remember that car ride as being so much fun. we played jokes on the cars around us, stopped at a rest stop with a glass overpass bridge and messed around on that for a while, sang along with Disney songs on my iPod, and were just weird friends [which is perfect foreshadowing, now that i think about it]. we got to Miranda's and hung out for an hour or two, watched some videos on YouTube, and then turned around and headed back. there was nothing special about the road trip, really, but that was the night everything changed.

we didn't admit it to each other, or even out loud to anyone else, but i came away from that night thinking that maybe there was something about Ben that i had missed before. and then the next night, i got a drunken text from him, admitting that he had wanted to kiss me that whole night prior. there was something about that night that changed things between us.

the first time we saw each other after that road trip was on a Thursday night, when we decided to go out with some of our friends that were still around. i showed up sheepishly to his room, not really knowing where the night was going to lead, not knowing if we were going to pretend the text conversation had never happened, or if we were going to be adults about the whole thing. having a crush is tricky business when you're in college! but it turned out to be totally natural. we jumped right back into being comfortable with each other, with a few added long glances and flirty jokes. our friends knew something was up, and even a homeless man that stopped us in a parking lot in the city knew too: he asked Ben if we were together, and when Ben said no, the man told him what a catch i seemed to be and that he should snatch me up before another guy does. as the night went on, Ben gained more [liquid] courage, and as we were walking from one place to another, he grabbed my hand. as i drove us and some other friends home, he sat up front and told me he wanted to go for a walk when we got back [never mind that it was already 2:30 in the morning]

so, on a walk we went. we strolled around campus until we found a bench to sit on and we talked. we talked about how much fun the road trip was, we talked about his escapade the night after that and the text conversation that we had, we talked about how my stepmom [who is the secretary in the Buildings & Grounds dept. on campus] had told me how funny Ben was and that i should date him. we talked about the fact that we liked each other. Ben made it a point, though, to say that he didn't want anything serious: maybe just some summer fun and then we'd see how we felt once school started up again. i agreed, with the sneaking suspicion that it'd be more than that, and we sat there for a while, holding hands, with my head on his shoulder. he asked if he could kiss me, and i said no. i told him that i'd had enough of just kissing boys for fun [cause Lord knows i had], and that the next time i kissed somebody, it had to mean something. i told him that i didn't want to kiss him until we were officially dating, but that he had better not ask me right now, in the state that he was in. i knew what i deserved and i was sick of not getting it from the boys i'd been with before. i made sure that this one was going to treat me right.

so a few weeks went by, but they were the best kind of weeks. i drew him a map of Rochester so he could understand where i lived compared to where school was, making sure to add in the places i thought he should take me on dates. we went to a lame concert at the beach that a bunch of our friends had won tickets to, but ended up stuck outside, so we got some ice cream and walked on the pier. we went grocery shopping on a college budget, which resulted in so many nights eating boxed shells and cheese, playing Grand Theft Auto in his dorm. we went out to dinner with my mom, and then split off to watch the new Star Trek in the theater and snuck around the closed mall afterwards. i gave in and let him kiss me for the first time during the ending credits of Back to the Future in his dorm room, and then one night, after a long day of church, Bill Gray's, and going to the air show at the beach, he asked me to be his girlfriend. 

it was such a summer romance. those summer days and nights were spent staying up late, going for walks around campus barefoot, him riding his bike down to the pizza place where i worked and surprising me on my break, making picnic lunches, spending the day at the beach, and learning everything we could about each other. we fell fast for each other and we fell hard. one night, about 6 weeks into the whole thing, we admitted that we were falling for each other, and then just a week later, over the phone while i was away at camp with my family, he told me that he loved me. 

that summer was the start of everything. after a year of being friends at school, it all changed in one night, and though we didn't know it at the time, our whole lives changed in that one summer.

this junky flip phone picture is the only one we have from that summer.
it isn't the best, but boy, were we happy.


Anonymous said...

awwwwwww this is so sweet! i giggled at the part where he asked you if he could kiss you and you said no. such a romantic story. love love love.


Kristin said...

What a beautiful love story! I look forward to reading more! Thanks for sharing it with'll be glad you have it all written down to remember every detail years down the road. I hope your wedding week is turning out spectacularly so far. Such an exciting time in life, isn't it?!

Benlovesting said... sweet you two!

Anonymous said...

This is the cutest little story! I'm such a sucker for romance- haha :)
love your blog! found it today and am glad I did so.

xo, samantha

Alana said...

Aw, I love this! All the little details...the coloring (adorable) and the homeless man. So good.

And when you stayed strong when he asked to kiss you I was thinking YES! Amen! Not that I made Mike wait for our first kiss (ok I was begging for it by the end of the night) but it's so nice to see a girl demanding what she deserves!

Amy - Book Monster said...

I love that the homeless man called it. And summer romances are the best. That's how Aaron and I started!

Niken said...

oh...i can make a movie scene from that 2 hours car riding