In honor of celebrating 8 YEARS of marriage today, I’m sharing part 2 of our love story!
(catch up on part 1 here)
The point of meeting at the library that morning was to “get familiar with the Islam section” because the philosophy class we were in was called “Classical Islam”. Not only did we practically miss the section altogether because we were so focused on each other, but we also never utilized that part of the library again.
We had many study dates in the library, though not much studying was done on either part. We found any opportunity to talk to each other and spent a lot of time together in our new group of friends. That group ended up being such a core group for us during our time in Greenville. And a few marriages came out of it other than ours!
As the semester rolled on, I knew I would see him on Tuesdays and Thursdays in class. And then again on Thursday night at church. And likely a few times on the weekend. And I think we had at least one study date during the week at the library. Essentially, there was no shortage of time spent with him, or looking for any excuse for it.
Fall break came upon us and I went home to Illinois to visit my family. I had arranged a ride from the Raleigh airport back to Greenville with a friend, but after landing in RDU and calling her phone a million times I discovered that I was stranded at the airport. She wouldn’t answer her phone! I was a little panicked because I was over 2 hours away from my apartment with no ride home.
I called Justin and told him my dilemma. He calmly told me not to worry and that he’d hop in his car and come to pick me up.
I sat outside for awhile and waited for him. He had given me some philosophy papers to browse before I went home, so I pulled those out to look over in anticipation of my 2 hour car ride home with him.
About an hour or so later, I went into the airport to use the bathroom and saw my friend that was originally supposed to pick me up sitting at bag claim! Her phone wasn’t working and she had no way to contact me. So we had both been sitting there waiting, not knowing the other person was doing the same.
I felt immediately grateful to not be alone and stranded, but was also torn between what I should do for my ride home. Should I go with my original plan since my friend was here waiting for me? Should I tell her to go ahead and I’ll just catch a ride home with Justin?
I called him and told him I found her and he said, cheerfully, to just go ahead and ride with her. Later I learned that he was just minutes from the airport and he was pretty bummed that the 2 hours in the car together didn’t work out. And I was too.
Once I was home, I can’t remember if this was the same night or the following morning, but I profusely thanked him for his willingness to drop everything and come to pick me up. I told him I’d take him out to lunch as a thank you. He accepted, but explained that lunchtimes were tough with his job but he’s free in the evenings for dinner.
Dinner? More like a date? Yep sounds good to me too.
I believe it was the following night that he picked me up and we went to Ruby Tuesday’s for dinner. I recapped my trip home and we just enjoyed each other’s company. Near the end of dinner, he mentioned that he needed a haircut. He knew I did hair, though it was just on the side while I was in college, but I offered to give him a haircut back at my apartment.
This next part of the story is very important because it is still a detail that he and I disagree on! Let me say now that my action was completely innocent, but he received it as a signal to ask me out.
I had nearly finished the haircut and I saw a small clipping of hair sitting on top of his ear. In a salon I would have grabbed the blow dryer to blow the hair off his ear, but we were just sitting in my apartment in front of my closet door mirror. So I did what any resourceful person would do, leaned over and blew it off his ear. I then moved on to finish the haircut without a second thought.
Meanwhile, Justin had been mulling over how to ask me out and the “ear blowing incident” was all he needed to pull the trigger. He thought I was being very intentionally flirty while I was just trying to help his ear not to itch later on from little pieces of hair.
The haircut was over, we were chatting in my kitchen, and I offered him a cookie that my mom had sent home with me. They are the best cookies! I practically forced it on him, though, because he was so distracted internally with the decision on whether or not to officially ask me out. The evening was over, and I walked him to the door and said goodbye.
With cookie in hand, he walked down the hallway to the elevator. I was cleaning up inside my apartment when I suddenly heard a knock at the door.
I opened it up and it was him. I remember asking him if the elevator was broken because it often was, and we still laugh about that to this day. He was feeling nervous and vulnerable, about to ask this girl out, and I basically asked him why he hasn’t left yet and if his only way of exiting was broken.
He stepped inside and professed his love. I’m kidding, but that happened only about 2 weeks later.
He stepped into my kitchen and explained that he doesn’t spend time with girls like this if it doesn’t mean anything, and he’d really like to take me out to pizza on an actual date sometime, and would I like to go?
I was feeling excited, flattered, and so happy. And also feeling a great weight of despair because a friend of mine had just told me that she was interested in dating him.
I felt like the right thing to do, despite my seriously strong interest in dating him, was to basically tell him to “hang on” and let me talk to my friend first. So I told him that. I said that my friend was interested in him and I wouldn’t feel right about saying yes to a date unless I spoke with her first.
He let out a sigh and with a smile said, “Well, tell her not to be.” We parted ways with a awkward heaviness hanging over us.
Before the door had even latched shut upon his leaving, I ran across the room to my computer to message my friend.
And the rest of the story will come in Part 3!
(thanks so much for all your sweet comments about Part 1! I’m truly NOT trying to drag this out, there is just so much to say to give context that I’m trying to avoid one huge long post!)