Two weeks after we met, I walked home from work, and on my appartment door step was a huge bale of hay. I stumbled over it, and through my front door, where my roomates were waiting. “Why is that hay at our door?” I asked them. One roomate rolled her eyes, another asked if I had noticed the note attached to the hay. I ran out the door. There was a note – it said “E ~ Hay, wanna go to homecoming with me? ~ J” I giggled in excitement, and showed my roomates. Now what was I supposed to do with the bale of hay?
In true Ricks College fashion, I spent a couple days coming up with a response for J's invitation. Finally, I found a stuffed cow, and wrote him a note: “Hay is for horses, and for cows too, but sure, I'd love to go to Homecoming with you!” We were excited for the dance, and I decided to wear my burgandy formal from high school – hopefully, it would still fit after all the college cafeteria food. I'd been a high school junior when I went with my mom to pick out the fabrics at a warehouse in Seoul. I'd picked a deep burgandy raw silk, and a matching velvet embossed fabric for the bodice. Our seamstress had come over, measured and sewed the dress perfectly for me. I kept my fingers crossed that it would somehow still fit.
Homecoming day arrived, and the dorms were filled with the chaos of giggling girls. I pulled my curls up in a ponytail, and put on a little makeup. Then I put my dress on. It fit perfectly! I grabbed my 4” heels (quite the change from my usual grass-stained tennis shoes!), and balanced as I put them on. When I walked out to where J was waiting, I realized that even with those extra four inches, I still had to stand on my toes to hug his broad shoulders. I also realized that he smelled so good and manly, and that he gave the best hugs … he was like a six foot four inch teddy bear. I loved teddy bears, and I thought to myself how much this man was beginning to mean to me, and I sighed.
We had dinner with his roomates. J was stressed – one of his roomates had a tendancy to steal other guy's dates, and he was worried. I didn't understand why he seemed stressed, and worried endlessly. By the time we made it to the dance, we were both exhausted! We had our picture taken, then I slid my heels off, and we danced. The evening ended, and J walked me home. He left me with a kiss, and a feeling of confusion.
The next day, I checked my mailbox. My weekly missionary letter had come. His letters were getting longer. This particular letter was 12 pages … with the front and the back filled. He told me about his experiences in Brazil, about people he was teaching. He told me he loved me, and that he'd received revelation that I would be his wife. That we'd be amazing together. Just one year left, then he'd be home. He told me that when the days were hard, he would get home to his appartment, and he'd get out my picture, and have faith again. Because we were right for each other.
I was so confused. I thought I was in love with the missionary. He knew he was going to marry me. I didn't know that, but if he had received revelation, then it must be true. I called J, and he came over. We sat outside on the grass, and talked. I said I wanted to be friends. He said that he wanted me to be happy. He was so easy to talk to, so calm, and he listened so well. I felt like I could tell him anything. I talked to him about my missionary, my confusion, and my life. I talked for several hours, and it got dark. We layed on our backs in the grass, staring up at the star-filled sky. Our conversation turned deeper, about the stars and eternity and God. The night ended with a comforting hug and a soft kiss on my forehead. Somehow, I knew everthing would turn out okay.
A week later, I was preparing for Stake Conference. I was singing in the choir, and leading the music. It was intimidating, but J sat in the audience, smiling at me with reasurance. I stood to lead the music. A few bars into the chorus, the painist stumbled. Her tempo slowed down, and I struggled to lead the congregation with the music. Somehow we made it through the song. I sat down, relieved the opening song was over, but anxious for the choir's music, and the closing song. The Choir director stood. He was wearing a purple suit with a matching tie. He led the choir with infectious enthusiasm. The choir number went well, and I relaxed. The closing song was a repete of the opening song. The pianist stumbled over the notes, but I stayed calm, smiling sweetly at the poor nervous pianist. It was finally over, but my anxiety wouldn't leave.
That evening, I was agitated. It had been a long day, and I was emotionally spent. J was laughing about stake conference, and the poor music, but I was becoming more and more irritated. He was always joking a lot. Did this man have a joke for everything? Did he think it was okay to make fun of people? The more I thought about it, the more I began to fume. Then came the final straw. “The choir director looked like a grape up there in that purple suit” J laughed. I turned to him, and told him that he was so rude, and we were over. I didn't want to be with him anymore. I glared at him, noticing that he looked shocked, as though I'd just reached over and slapped him for no reason. I gathered my anger, gave him one last glare, and stomped away to my apartment.
I shut the door to my apartment, and burst into sobs. I shook as I cried, the pain in my heart confusing me. I wasn't supposed to be with this guy. I had my missionary, and he'd come home, and we'd live happily ever after. But why did I feel like my heart was broken? My roomates tried to comfort me. They went and got my summer roomate – one of my dearest friends – hoping she could reach me through my tears. No one could console me. Finally they just let me cry. I sobbed all night, until finally I had cried myself to sleep.
To Be Continued ...
Part 5 HERE
Part 5 HERE