Married in College: Starting Our Relationship

6:36 AM

Do you ever wonder how those perfect romances begin? How some people have those movie moments where they look at each other and just know that they’re the ones they’re going to marry?

I still wonder. Although I may have known since the beginning that Clark was going to be the one I was going to marry, it took him a couple of years to catch up with me. Those years were filled with girlfriends on his part and support on my part. He dated one girl for a year and a half, even bought her a promise ring. Yet somehow I knew that he was still going to be mine, I just had to wait it out.

This girl whom he had promised himself to was selfish, promiscuous, and above all took advantage of the sweet, amazing man who was in love with her. It is still hard for me to see what Clark ever saw in her, but when their relationship started they were only 15 and 14, because she was a year below us in school.

I was there for him when she made him cry, was there for him when she cheated on him, and was there for him when they broke up and he needed to tell someone it was really over.

I was there for him. Perhaps that’s why we’re there for each other now.

Clark and I started “hanging out” or “talking” in December of 2006. For Christmas vacation I had a tradition of visiting my best friend, Will, in Florida for a few days. I would visit him and then be home in time for all the Christmas traditions.

This year, however, Clark’s 18th birthday was on the 21st, and he made me promise to be there for the occasion. Badgering Will and his dad, we drove back from Florida on Clark’s birthday to be back in time for the pizza; when I arrived, his supposed ex was there with him.

As I arrived he apologized, and told me that she wanted to leave so he was going with her to watch a movie. I gave him a look, and told him that I drove all the way from Florida; he apologized again. He then asked me if I would get a hold of him after Christmas so we could hang out, just the two of us. Though everything in me was saying that this was the final straw, I said OK.

On the 27th of December (oh, yes, I still remember) I texted Clark and asked him if he wanted to hang out. Not having my number saved in his phone, he texted me back inquiring who it was. When I said, “Emily. 11 all right?” He immediately texted me back and said, “Definitely.”

We spent the day running errands. I met his grandparents, went to his house and re-met his mom; we went looking for a camera for him, and then we went to our mutual friend’s house for a movie.
(Clark and the movie, Boondock Saints , behind him at our friend's house.)
(Don't I look thrilled that he took the camera from me?)

It was the first time it was just the two of us out and about, and I ate up every minute of it. He would ask me questions about relationships, and I would ask him about relationships. Though I had not had any serious boyfriends, I had had my share of heart breaks other than my crush on him.

We were ourselves, and it was amazing to me how quickly we would stay on the same subject and finish each other’s sentences. Although I had no idea of all the hard times that were ahead of us dating wise, I knew it was right.

That night he drove me home and walked me to the door. We stood there, not sure what to do and hoping the other one would make a move. As he started to move closer to me, my little sister (very movie-like) opened the door behind me. I yelled at her, but by then Clark had already said, “Have a good night. I’ll call you later,” and walked to his car.

As I walked in the door my entire family faced me; all of them knowing that I had a thing for Clark since the beginning of high school. I was bombarded with questions. I dismissed them all, and went upstairs to “go to bed.”

That night Clark got online. It was a rarity for him to be on IM, but he got on telling me he knew I was going to be on. We had a conversation about how he thought he “kind of liked me” and thought “he should have kissed me.”

At the time it excited me, later I rolled my eyes, and now I look back and wonder how differently it would have been had he kissed me. “Our Song” by Taylor Swift has always been high on our list, simply because of the line, “The first date, man, I didn’t kiss her and I should have.”

While basically everything else defines the beginning of our relationship in the chorus, that line always sticks out to me because of the conversation we had following our first “date”.

It is never easy to start a relationship. Even after being good friends for four years it wasn’t easy to start a relationship. It was full of ups and downs, arguments and time apart, and love.

While I have not had my fairy-tale ending just yet, I can tell you I am living in my very own movie. While it may not have started as a typical romance, or started as I pictured it, or started as anyone would expect it to. The “I kind of like you” grew in to, “I am so in love with you,” and the, “We could have dated,” grew in to, “Will you marry me?”

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