I don't think I've actually ever written down the story of how Kent and I met and eventually fell in love. So, with a week until Valentine's Day I think I will take on the challenge and type it all out.
It all started with a hamster named Nosy. Mine and my brother's hamster actually. One evening Kent's aunt came over to visit my momma (they were best friends growing up) and she brought with her her nephew, Kent. He was 6, I was 4. I wasn't too sure of him. He was wanting to play with Nosy and I wasn't up for sharing, but before the night was over I warmed up to him and even let him brush Nosy's fur.
Fast forward 3 years. My family and I started attending a different church. Kent's family were already members of this church. The first time I remember Kent during this time was when I went to a baby shower with my momma. I wasn't your typical girly, girl who liked looking at baby clothes and baby things and oohing and ahhing over babies. I had much rather run and play and kick a ball around. Kent was also at this shower but he had escaped in our church's gym. I quickly came to my senses and joined him. I remember running and playing and just having the best time. We had found some sort of rolling thing and were pushing each other on it. Sadly, Kent's grandmother (who I would later lovely know as Granny) came to pick him up. I can remember watching him leave and feeling sad. Like my friend was leaving way too soon.
Probably a year or so went by when I started noticing Kent more as a potential boyfriend than just friend. Yes, I was only 9 or 10 by this point. But you know how girls get those type of crushes on boys. Thankfully, he was starting to feel the same way. A friend of mine ending up calling him and asking him if he liked me (so embarrassing now, but it's the way it happened) and he said yes. So we were "boyfriend and girlfriend". During that summer Kent cut grass and would later spend some of that money to buy me two necklaces. One was a cross that had a verse on it and another was a sand dollar necklace that he got while at the beach. The sand dollar necklace got broken (my brother sat on it) and the cross necklace I kept for many years. Kent even asked me out to the movies, but my parents vetoed that idea very quickly. Instead, we went to a football game together. Kent ate a pickle (why I remember that I haven't a clue). At this point I was keeping a diary of things going on in my life. I wrote in my diary that someday I would marry Kent. Sadly, a month or so later Kent and I broke up. He gave some lame excuse to his friend who relayed the message to me. I was pretty heartbroken.
Over the next 5 years we didn't talk much, although I tried to flirt with him but he seemed too "mature" for me. He had other girlfriends, I had other boyfriends. But for me, I always held on hope that one day we would get back together.
Once, while I had another boyfriend, my daddy stopped me in the hall way and looked me dead in the eye and told me that one day Kent and I would get married. I blew him off because at that point Kent and I had several "false starts". "I like you, you like me..." but nothing came together. I was tired of being strung along. Plus, I was 14 at this time.
Eventually, my boyfriend and I broke up and again Kent had caught my eye. But this time I wasn't going to go after him. If he wanted to be my boyfriend he would have to let me know.
One day while IM'ing with a friend of mine he told me that Kent was over at another friend's house and that they were planning on talking to me, but would try to lead me to believe that Kent wasn't there. Sure enough another IM pops up and this guy friend starts asking questions like:
GF(guy friend): Do you like Kent?
Me: I don't know.
GF: Well, if you thought he liked you would you like him?
Me: I don't know. Maybe. But we have already been down that road and he never follows through.
GF: Maybe he will this time. But only if he knows if you like him.
Me: Well, he will have to let me know that on his own.
The whole time they are thinking they had out smarted me. It was quite comical on my end.
A few weeks go by and Kent starts hinting that he does like me. So we had a "serious" conversation outside McDonald's one night. He said he really did like me, but wanted to make sure he was ready for a relationship. (In my mind I was thinking here we go again.. another false start). I told him I understood and he could let me know. Another few weeks go by and a group of us went out to eat. When the bill came to the table Kent paid for both of our meals. The next night Kent asked me to be his girlfriend. Literally, he asked "Will you be my friend." Very sweet and cute. I still smile when I think about it to this day.
A few weeks later I knew I loved him. I was 15 and yet it was very real to me.
A month later we had our first kiss.
A day before my junior year of high school Kent and I were "separated by our parents". I am sure you can figure out why on your own. (It's not a proud time in my life. A time that I do regret now, but it's still part of our story.) It was a sad day for me. I went to school the next day with red, puffy eyes. Over the next almost year we tried to "talk, sneak notes, get friends to give each other messages" what have you, but it was really hard. Everyone around us was telling us to move on. If it's meant to be then it will be. But my heart was breaking every time I saw him and couldn't talk to him. Kent got into a wreck that was pretty bad. Thankfully he only sprained his arm, but I couldn't even talk to him about that. Again, it was just really hard.
May 13, 2000, (my 17th birthday) my parents surprised me at Ruby Tuesdays with allowing Kent and I to see each other again. I was thrilled, excited, nervous and happy. I had the best senior year. I got to go to prom with Kent, enjoy senior activities with Kent, have him at my graduation, all of it. It was a really good year.
On June 9th, 2001, Kent asked me to marry him. You can go to that link and read all about it. It was a pretty remarkable proposal.
Finally, after meeting almost 15 years earlier.. going through many ups and downs, changes, growing up, letting go, coming back together, etc. We were finally married on March 16th, 2002.
But our love story doesn't end there and won't end until death do us part.
Until then, our love story will keep getting written...
I'm looking forward to every jot and tiddle.