It took weeks, 6 of them to be exact from the first kiss to the L-bomb. Six weeks of ups and downs. Things were said by others that caused hurt feelings. I was even tempted to break-up with Oswald at one point because I thought, "if this is right, why is it so hard?"
But Oswald was persistent and perfect (for me). He would not let these negative things impact our relationship or the future we may or may not have.
He knew he loved me from early on, but I was dragging my feet. My heart had been hurt numerous times and I was not ready for more hurt. I especially did not want him hurting me. I had fallen for him and fallen hard. I just didn't want him, or anyone for that matter, knowing.
There were several times after dropping him off at his parent's house where we would be talking on the phone and a football analogy would come up.
"I feel like the quarterback is ready to throw the long bomb, but I'm not sure the receiver is ready to make the catch." Oswald would start.
"Why does the quarterback feel as though he's ready for that? That's a long pass?" I would respond. Always, with a huge smile on my face.
"Well, I just think that the long bomb is right and it could lead to a touch down, but if the receiver drops the pass or it slips through her hands or is not ready for the long bomb, it would be hard on the quarterback." Oswald cautiously replied.
"You're right. It would be hard, but what if the receiver is ready and the quarterback can't quite get the ball to her? What then? That would hurt the receiver, BAD." I would reply without giving away any sort of emotion one way or the other. But my heart was fluttering and fluttering, like I knew what would happen at any minute.
But one way or another the football correlation would come to an end and we would talk about what we're going to do the next day. We would always let the conversation die off before it could ever get too serious. (you'd think I'd love football, but then you'd be wrong!)
One weekend the Young Single Adult program for our church had a dance down in Orlando, Florida. A dance I didn't know would shape my future in such an astounding way.
His sister, Suzie, her friend, Oswald and I all traveled to Orlando after work. We picked up Taco Bell on the way down because none of us had eaten anything. Oswald and I were in the back seat, on opposite sides of the car, but holding hands.
I remember what he was wearing. He had on a button down shirt that was red and white striped, vertical not horizontal. He had on khaki cargo pants and brown shoes. Oswald is known to dress up for no reason at all. Casual to him is a polo shirt.
I was in what Suzie and I referred to as my "booty jeans", meaning they made my booty look good! My shirt was black and my shoes were black. (kinda boring, I know)
Cotton-eyed Joe had just finished playing and I had been dancing with another guy who loved to country swing. I was out of breath and completely hot, when Oswald took my hand and led me out the door of the cultural hall and out of the building into the cool, for Florida, February air.
The Stake Center where we were dancing sits on a lot that looks directly at the Orlando Temple. It's a beautiful temple, especially at night, when the lights hit the white stone making the building look as though it's glowing, and the Angel Moroni sits on top in all his glory.
He held my hand as we walked along the sidewalk toward the temple. We stopped at the street that separates the temple from the stake center. I stood their shivering, and he put his arms around me. Nothing was said in those moments. It was one of those moments where you're completely comfortable with the person next to you that nothing needs to be said.
"I gotta go back inside, I'm so cold!" I said. I had been sweating dancing and then to come outside made me chilly.
"Ok." He sounded a little bummed that I didn't want to stay outside just the two of us longer.
We turned and began walking back towards the building hand in hand. When Oswald said something I will never forget, "What am I gonna do with you?"
"I don't know, you're gonna hold me and kiss me and tell me I'm beautiful." was my quick-witted response.
He stopped me from walking and turned me toward him. He put his arms around my waist and said, "Well, of course I'm going to do all of those things, but what if I tell you that I love you?"
I buried my face in his chest, he smelled so good. He put his gentle hands on my cheeks and pulled my face to look up at his and said, "I love you."
"I love you" was my reply.
And the he kissed me. Not one of passion or lust, but one of true love. The kind of kiss that rocks you to your core. The kind of kiss you never forget. The kind of kiss that when you think about it years later, still makes your heart race.
to be continued...