The Rest of the Story: Part III

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This is the continuation of our story… to read how we met, read here.  For Part I of The Rest of the Story, read here, and Part II here

Normal life for these guys

Part III

Valentine’s Day.  I spent the day teaching small children and the school hours dragged on as if nothing important was going to happen when the bell rang.  I tried to calm the butterflies in my stomach and somehow resisted the urge to tell every soul I bumped into that some handsome hiker on the other side of the world was ‘having something delivered’ to me today.
Finally, my little red Honda Civic pointed back towards Metairie and upon pulling into the driveway of the house my roommate and I shared, I spotted a large box resting against the front door.  No one was home.  I got out of the car and tried to make myself walk calmly to the door.  It was a tall box and had “1-800-Flowers” printed on it in green letters.  I squealed and let myself in the door and carried the box to our small kitchen table.

Carefully opening the box I found a dozen red roses and a box of chocolates… and a note, which read: 

“I’m sure you have a lot of offers to pilfer through today, but… would you be my Valentine?

If I remember correctly, I literally jumped up and down in the kitchen.  

One of the many Special Deliveries that followed the First One

It took me a while to settle down and I went for a drive.  That evening I wrote him an email to let him know I had received the flowers and I thanked him, throwing in, “of course I’ll be your Valentine :)”


Within a day he wrote me back.  He was happy I had received my gift.  The first few paragraphs of the email didn’t contain any life-changing news or marriage proposals, or confessions of his undying love for me… just chit chat.  In fact, it seemed a bit generic and the tone of the email confused me at first, until I realized something… the first letter of every line of the email was capitalized – even when it was not the beginning of the sentence.  It was a code, and when read from top to bottom, it said, 
“HEY I LIKE YOU.”

I giggled at his creativity and at once set out to match it.  I responded in like manner with a light little email, making sure to capitalize the last letter of every line.  My message retorted:

“HEY I LIKE YOU TOO.”

In his responding email he was happy I’d found his secret note.  He mentioned that he was about to travel again, and would be ‘out of pocket’ for a few days, but then once arriving in Malaysia, he would call me from his supervisor’s house.  

“Oh, and by the way, your Mom gave me the phone number to your house… I needed it when I ordered the flowers.”

One of the many photos we exchanged during our emailing.

Call me??  He’d been co-horting with my mother?


One evening about a week later, my roommate and were arriving home from eating at her parent’s house around the corner and the telephone was ringing…


{Yes, this was back in the day when people had phones inside – and confined to – their homes.  Most of the time they were ‘cordless’, but sometimes they were even attached to the wall.}


It must have rang several times before we came in the front door, because we soon heard a manly voice on the answering machine…

I sprinted to pick up the phone and caught him before he hung up. Boy, was I happy to hear that voice! I took the phone to my room and sat on the carpeted floor to talk with him.  We chatted for a few minutes about daily life and how his trip to Malaysia was going.  Then the conversation took a turn.


“Okay, I have a question for you,” he said.


“Alright,” I responded, trying to sound like an educated, laid back adult, rather than the giddy little girl I felt like inside.


“If I were there in the States, and asked you on a date, would you go out with me?”


A date?


I could have readily accepted a marriage proposal from this man – on the spot – and he was wondering if I would accompany him on a hypothetical date?  I mean, wasn’t that kind of implied in the “of course I’ll be your Valentine”?  


I wanted to joke with him and say, simmer down, now- you’re moving a bit too fast.  But I refrained, and I my silence must have been too lengthy, because he suddenly asked, “are you still there?”

“Yes!” I said, gathering myself.  


“Yes, of course I’d go on a date with you.”


I’d follow you around the world and back again.


{That last part was just in my head.  Thankfully.}


“Oh good,” he said.  “You were so quiet I thought maybe I had misread you.”  


We talked more and he told me he’d sure like to take me on that date, but alas – I was here and he was there… he told me what a remarkable and Godly woman he thought I was.  I pretty much melted into my lavender carpet.  We decided to try that new-fangled thing: instant messaging.  It wouldn’t always work, depending on where he was and what kind of computer and/or connection he could access, but we were both excited at the prospect of being able to communicate more often in ‘real time.’ 


Before I knew it, the minutes had raced past us, and it was time for the phone call to end.  Oh how I didn’t want to say goodbye to that voice….

My Room… Sending him a photo of my new glasses

From there it snow-balled.  Again.

Over the weeks and months that followed we continued to email back and forth, and chat online as much as possible, sometimes keeping me up late at night, only to have to drag myself out of bed to go teach my students early the next morning.  

More flowers came.  And presents.  A John Piper Book, or two… a Passion CD, or five… a pretty necklace… 

His photos were never boring
By March we had ‘defined the relationship’ as being a couple, and by May we were pretty serious.  All the while, I continued through the application process with the IMB to join the team for two years and be on the ground there in China by September… but I was in for a surprise
(To Be Continued)

3 thoughts on “The Rest of the Story: Part III

  1. Janet Talen

    When are you going to continue the story? I was a follower of your blog when you were in the process of adopting your children. But when I checked it a couple of weeks ago again, I saw some new stories! Encouraging to read about your life. Greetings from Holland

    Reply

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