*rather lengthy, but worth it*
*Taken from The Great Adventure* Prompt/Theme for Friday, January 30, 2009. . . the moment or the circumstances that led to you knowing that you were going to marry the man who became your husband . . .
You see my relationship with Cory had many twists and turns before we ever became an "item." When we first heard about Cory and his family moving to Maryland (from California) I remember sitting with one of my girlfriends (Manda) and talking about how we were sure that him and his brother (JoJo) would have the typical surfer-boy look...just like the boys we see on TV. I was hoping for something like Jeremy Jackson from Baywatch...(yeah I totally watched that show). We talked about who would try and date them first...and we talked about how cool they must be. Bottom line was, we were really excited to meet them.
When they arrived...my opinion of Cory dwindled very fast. He was cocky, arrogant, chauvinistic and a Mommas boy. He totally didn't fit the style or characteristics (that I had hoped for) of the typical California Boy. Needless to say. I did not like him. In fact I distinctively remember playing ping pong with him one day (a few days after they moved here) in the youth chapel and he beat me. He beat me BAD actually. I remember thinking.."What a jerk!" I was used to the guys that I had grown up with, that would never think about beating a girl...they weren't competitive and cocky like he was.
Shortly after they got settled in, and I had more than openly professed my disgust in his personality...he started dating Manda. We also started attending the same High School. Cory picked on me incessantly. About anything and everything. Years went by and we all hung out alot as a big group of friends. At the time I was with my boyfriend (Steven) of almost 3 years.
I didn't realize it then...but Cory and I got closer and closer. He still drove me crazy, but I had learned how to put up with it. I learned how to fight back and I even learned how to get under his skin. Before I knew it a couple of years later, Cory was one of my best friends. He had long since broken up with Manda...and on occasion there was much talk and joking about how Cory had a secret crush on someone. I was oblivious, but all my girlfriends knew. I would come to find out later that it was me.
I graduated High School and started working and going to school. I was still with Steven. We had been together for almost 5 years. I was content in that relationship. I was for sure that I would marry him. Looking back now I am not sure that I felt that way because it's what I wanted or because it was what seemed like the logical next step. My and Steven fought constantly. Not bad fights, just growing pains (as I thought of them then). We both really needed different paths in our lives, but neither one of us was ready to pull the plug officially. I mean we broke up time after time...only to go maybe at most one month before we patched things up and were back together.
All the while, my best friend Cory was there. He let me cry on his shoulder. He talked me through how relationships worked. He explained to me the 'guy' side of things. He was caring and loyal. Something that I never realized he had in him. It was at this time (unbeknownst to me) that his feelings for me were growing everyday. During those times he would talk about me to his Mother, and a time or two he even let her know that he was sure I was the ONE for him.
I never even sensed it. We hung out all the time...especially on the nights when Steven didn't feel like getting together. I was always honest about hanging out with Cory because I never thought anything of it. He was my best friend and we always had a blast. Steven never liked how much we hung out, and time and time again I explained that I absolutely had no feelings for Cory...and I honestly believed that.
The time came for me to end things with Steve and it was one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. He cried. I cried. It was the end of 5 years of my life. He asked if it was because I wanted to be with Cory...and it was literally at that moment that I realized that I wasn't even truly sure how I felt about Cory. All I knew was that I wanted to know him more. I wanted to see where life took us. I was honest with Steven...which I am sure made him feel worse.
I wanted him to know that nothing inappropriate ever happened. Cory was nothing less of a gentlemen and nothing more than a great friend to me. I wanted there to be no ill feelings between the two of them. They were both great guys. I knew that deep down we both knew that "we" were no longer meant to be. That we both had different plans for our lives, different paths to travel, but it didn't make it any easier.
That weekend, I still didn't know where I stood with Cory. I had no idea how he felt about me. I remember not talking to him until Sunday afternoon, he had given me space. I remember feeling awkward around him when he approached me and asked if he could take me on a ride for a few minutes. He said he had some things to discuss with me. I thought it was going to be about what happened and how I was handling it. By now, everyone at church knew. (News like that spreads fast)
We hopped in his car and I remember him taking a right out of the parking lot. I don't remember how it started...but before I knew it, Cory was telling me how he felt about me. How he knew that he loved me. How he knew that we should be together. I know that by the time we got to the 7-11 (about 5-6 minutes) he had to stop and get a drink because he had "cotton-mouth" he said.
I sat in the car alone...for those 2-3 minutes and I was honestly in shock. To this day I don't think people believe me when I say that I had no clue. Ever. Apparently Cory had had feelings like these for a while...at least a year or more. I had no clue. I was dating someone else. He had other girlfriends. I had even recently set him up with someone at church and they were dating during this time. When he came back we talked more. I remember it being easy from that point on. We talked about how he would have to speak with his current girlfriend and end things. We talked about how I was doing after breaking up with Steven. It all seemed so awkward and refreshing at the same time.
Before long we were officially dating. I remember we took it slow, but from the beginning I found myself telling him that I loved him. I had known that I did as a friend, but I could see it growing into a romantic love before my eyes.
It was only a couple of months into our relationship before we knew that we would get married. We were open with our parents about our relationship, we were open with our friends and with each other. I felt different. I felt like an adult who was in love...not just content.
I knew that I was finally with my best friend, my lifelong partner, my soul mate. There was never a defining moment of clarity...it was baby steps that God designed for us to take together that brought us to that point.
Today, I still think my Husband rocks because he was ever the gentlemen...ever the best friend I needed. There were many times where he could have taken advantage of our friendship and crossed lines not meant to be crossed, but I think he grew up too during that time. He was patient and loving, loyal and true. That cocky, arrogant Cali-boy took his time loving me and in the end he got me. I truly felt like a gift for him that he had waited years to receive.
Baby, thanks for being persistent, thanks for loving me, thanks for believing and trusting in God...you ROCK! :)