Goodbyes suck. I had just spent a week with the most amazing man ever, and now I had to say goodbye. We had a blast together. We spent time with his friends and family. Stayed up way to late. Went to the science center. Went to the movies. Sat for hours on end at Starbucks. Tried sushi for the first time. Went and looked at houses. He told me how he wanted to take care of me and wanted us to have the best. I sat at the terminal in the airport smiling thinking about the week I just had, crying because it was over. At the end of that week we both knew we would be together forever. We had said we should think about getting married in December… just 5 months away. While everyone else thought it was going too fast, I thought time couldn’t pass fast enough. We weren’t technically engaged, but I had already bought a dress. We talked about marriage all the time. Soon enough we were saying maybe we should get married in October instead. I didn’t really feel like I could talk to too many people about it, thinking that they would look down on us for “rushing into things,” besides… We still weren’t even engaged. I wasn’t going to even get to see him again until the beginning of August. The whole month of July was hard. Family issues, being so far away from Chris and working a lot I was just so worn out. Sometimes I got discouraged. I didn’t know how it was going to work out between us. Sometimes the distance got to me. Going through that month was hard, but we came out stronger because of it. August rolls around and Chris was supposed to come in the night of the 8th. My parents still hadn’t met him. They insisted on going to the airport to pick him up without me. I was livid. I threw a fit. He told me to calm down, said it would be ok. Of course I believed him. They brought him over to my grandpa’s house where he met the rest of the family. We all went out to dinner. I was in heaven. Everyone was well behaved (which, if you know my family, is amazing). I was going to take Chris down to the beach to show him where I wanted to get married. We got down to the beach and he pulled something out of his pocket, got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. All I could say was “YOU LIAR” because he told me he couldn’t afford a ring. Of course, eventually I said yes. Right there on Clearwater Beach. Where I had spent so many hours dreaming about finding the man of my dreams. Where I went when I had my heart broken. Where I grew up and started to find myself. That is were I became the soon to be Mrs. And I couldn’t have been happier. We left the next day to start the drive out to Texas to go to the HA graduation and pick up the rest of my things I left in the dorm when I moved back home. I would venture to say that trip took our love to an even deeper level. There is something about the honesty of traveling together that lets you see the one you love in a new way. We didn’t travel in high style… an old green mini van without a radio. We talked and laughed and flirted our way to east texas. We overcame plenty of hurdles, including the van breaking down, not having a place to sleep and somewhat un-approving glances from people who couldn’t believe I left two months earlier single and came back engaged. Obviously I was living in sin. Ha. We left earlier than we planned and spent some time in New Orleans. I think that part of the trip was the best. Walking through the French square hand in hand with my FIANCE! We set the date, December 29. We got back to Florida, eventually. But that meant it was time to say goodbye again. He was heading back to St Louis and I was staying there. While some would think this goodbye should be easier because now we were engaged and had the promise of forever, that wasn’t the case. It was like a scene out of a movie. I was crying, he was holding me close. He had to go. He looked at me and said I’m going to count to three, then I’m going to turn around and walk away. I knew he had to go. One. I squeezed him tighter. Two. This was too hard. Three. He stepped back, tear stains on his shirt from where my head was buried. He turned around and walked away… and right as that happened Snow Patrol’s Chasing Cars started to play in the airport. That was one of our songs. I stood there silently sobbing as he disappeared into the crowd going through security. We were going to be together forever, but I didn’t want to wait for forever to start.