This is the continuing story of how my husband and I met and fell in love. To read from the beginning and work your way through, start here:
I honestly don’t remember much about the rest of that day. I think that Josh came home for lunch, and ended up staying with me. I do remember that once it was later in the day, he had to work his second, seasonal job at a calendar stand in the mall. I went with him with the intent of heading to his brother’s house afterward to get myself set up on his couch. He had a 2nd bedroom but hadn’t gotten it ready yet, as he had just moved in recently and hadn’t been expecting a random girl to be staying with him.
We got to the calendar stand and a few hours into Josh’s shift, the phone rang. Thinking it was the bookstore right in front of us that owned the stand, he answered and then made a strange face.
“It’s for you,” he said.
My heart skipped a beat. There was only one person it could be. I picked up the phone and the familiar voice of my (now ex) boyfriend was in my ear. He sounded very calm and wanted me to know that he’d had some time to think, and had made peace with my decision. He wanted to know if we could meet to talk things through, discuss moving out, etcetera. I asked him how in the world he knew I was here. I don’t remember exactly how he did find out, but I think that he had called Josh’s house looking for me, and that his mom had told him Josh was working at the mall, and my ex had tracked down the number knowing Josh worked at the calendar stand. I was relieved that he had called first and not just showed up. I agreed to meet with him with butterflies in my stomach.
I told Josh what was going on, and without having to say a word I knew what he was thinking. He was scared that I was going to go back to my ex. I assured him that my ex was fine, we were just going to talk about how to separate the friendliest and most amicable way possible. He was going to come over and take me to dinner at Outback and we were going to talk.
The minutes dragged on as I kept a nervous watch out for the man who had been my first love. I felt like puking. How was I going to feel when I saw him? Was I going to lose my composure and cry? Would I fall to my knees and beg him to take me back? Above all things, I knew I didn’t want to go back to him but I was terrified that I would be weak and cave in under pressure.
The Moment of Truth came as my ex rounded the corner. He looked calm, collected and when he saw me he smiled and waved. I cast a nervous glance Josh’s way, said goodbye, and left the mall with my ex boyfriend to chat about our futures.
At Outback, we sat down and I think I ordered a salad. One thing I remember vividly from this time in my life was how little I wanted to eat. I think that I lost about 10 pounds because my stomach was constantly in knots and I was in a steady state of stress. I don’t remember exactly what was said during our conversation, but he told me that he had time to think. He had come to the realization that this is what needed to happen; we were both broken people and needed to repair ourselves. He realized that he needed to go back to Christianity at one point; that God had spoken to him and filled him with comfort. I wasn’t quite sure what to make of all of this, as I’m not a Christian and never have been. I was just relieved that he wasn’t angry, and he wasn’t begging me to come back to him. I was also overwhelmed with gratitude that he didn’t hate my guts. S (my ex) requested that I come back to the house that we shared together and spend one last night. I was extremely hesitant and he assured me that he didn’t mean in the same room, he merely wanted to share a space with me one last time. He agreed to sleep on the couch and I could have the bed. I said yes, and got up from the table to call Josh and ask him to bring me my bag of toiletries that was in his truck. I explained everything to him and he told me he’d bring it over when he got off work.
I met Josh outside and as soon as he got out of his truck, I ran over to him and threw my arms around him. I began to cry.
“Everything is going to be okay,” I sobbed. “It’s really going to be okay.”
I looked up into his face, and saw heartbreak and worry.
“Nothing is going to happen,” I assured him though I wasn’t sure exactly why I was assuring him. What did he care if anything happened?
He just nodded, that same look on his face. I hugged him again.
“I’m not going back to him.”
I wished that I could have transferred the conviction those words held in my heart into his, because I knew he didn’t believe me.
Back to Part Four