We went to lunch that afternoon in November. I remember sitting across from Michael at Coral Beach Cantina, eating a burrito and smiling incessantly. My head was all giddy with the thought of actually being with him. As we talked and laughed, thoughts kept racing through my head.
Was he feeling the same way?
Did he LIKE me?
He is so cute.
Do I have cilantro in my teeth?
After lunch, we drove to the beach- a beautiful spot overlooking Malibu called Point Dume. It was BEAUTIFUL outside. We could see up and down the coast forever. We were talking non stop. About MIT, about life at Maria Montessori in San Diego. About God.
He turned and looked at me and just grinned. I grinned back and my stomach flipped over. You know that feeling you get right before you go down a HUGE hill on a roller coaster? Or the first time you ski down a hill? Or the first time you stand at the edge of a huge canyon and look down? THAT kind of feeling.
"Can I do something that I have wanted to do for a long time?"
He kissed me. Sweet and innocent, but a kiss that changed my world. It was at that very moment, I knew that I would marry Michael Markmiller one day.
I could have kissed him forever. We spent the rest of the afternoon holding hands and reveling in the fact that our relationship had just changed. I felt beautiful. I felt loved and protected and desired. I felt no fear, no worry. I felt peace and I felt as though I belonged. Amazing what pure love and a sweet kiss will do for a woman.
That weekend was too short. Too soon Michael traveled back to MIT. We spoke on the phone every day continuing our long distance friendship. I knew, though, that I desired nothing more then to be in the same place as Michael all the time. And he felt the same way. So, I made the choice to go back to school and get my degree. In Boston.
In 1992, I started my college journey at Lesley University while Michael welcomed me with open arms to Boston. It was the start of an amazingly delicious 4 years in an amazing town. Where we fell in love with each other. It was where we spent evenings walking through Harvard Square talking about our dreams. It was afternoons of watching Michael play volleyball. It was parties in Baker House laughing at our drunk friends, and dancing. It was snowfalls. It was walks in the rain where we kissed like fools.
Meals in the North End and Cannoli’s from Mike’s Pastry Shop. Church at Park Street Church, and going to the college group together. Praying together. Making young couple friends, Jack and Tricia- who were a bit ahead of us, getting engaged and married. IT was a sweet, deliciously romantic and dizzyingly secure time. I cannot imagine a better courtship period. It lasted almost 4 years. And by the end of year 3, I was starting to worry and wonder if we would EVER get married.
And then, it happened. That cold March day. Michael and I were hanging out in my dorm room. He was acting strange. Really strange. I was nervous.
"Jen, I need to tell you something."
"OK" I said, looking at this boy whom I loved.
"I am not sure how to say this. I love you."
"I love you too."
He looked at me then.
"I know you do. That makes this hard. I need some time."
Huh? Time for what?
"What?" I asked, genuinely confused.
"I think we need to take a break from each other."
"Huh?" my heart was pounding a so fast. Tears already sprang to my eyes. WHAT?
"You want to break up with me?" I asked
"I think so. Yeah, I do" He said.
To be continued…..