Tuesday

Ted+Kelly, Part 2: Breaking up and getting together.

If you haven't read Part 1 of the Ted+Kelly love story, I'd suggest you start there.  See Part 1 HERE.

*****

March found me in the middle of a busy semester and smack dab in a young  relationship.  Pete and I began dating in the beginning of February. We seemed to have very similar goals and views and in the start things went well, even through my week long trip to Texas for a leadership conference with other members of NAU's student government.  He capitalized on my flirtatious nature and fed off it. I hadn't dated anyone exclusively in a while and it was nice to be back in the pattern of a relationship.  Back to being someone's number one.  Beautiful in someone's eyes.  Important.  Desired.

Desired.  Like the time my boyfriend and I stood in my kitchen, assembling teriyaki burgers.  They were round and juicy and full of flavor.  I had taken the recipe I'd seen over spring break and I had aced it.

In walked Ted, stopping by to pick Karin up on his way to EDU 200.

His eyes lit up.  "Where did you get those burgers?  They look amazing!"

I answered, brusquely.  "I made them."

He laughed it off.  "No, really.  Where did you get them?"

This time Pete jumped right in.  Anything to stick it to Ted.  "She made them.  Just now.  For us to eat."  Us.  That's right.

Ted basically walked off with Karin, drooling.  What's up with this guy and his disbelief that I could make something so tasty looking, I wondered.  Whatever.  It didn't matter.  I was happy in my relationship.  Things were good.  

But then it wasn't right anymore.  With no real rhyme or reason, my feelings changed and I knew I was doing Pete no favors by continuing to date him though I had lost interest.   He was a good guy and this change of heart was not easy for my to justify.  Saturday I went to sleep knowing that I needed to talk with Pete the next day.

Besides, I had recently decided to serve a mission.  I was 22 years old and I was newly fired up for the idea to lose myself in missionary service.  It came to me in a wave and I felt strongly about it.  I felt it was time to prepare.

I woke up Sunday with a feeling of dread.  How was I going to break things off with Pete?  I knew he was going to take this badly.  Despite the fact that I did so irregularly, I felt to call my dad. Pete, two friends, and I had traveled to Mesa earlier in the month and my dad had met Pete.  My dad, as always, cut right to the point.  "What's up, sweetie, " he asked with concern.

"I feel like things have come to an end with Pete.  I just don't feel the same as I used to and I know I have to break things off with him.  I just can't get the guts to do it.  I know it's really going to hurt him."

My dad paused and then dove into what gave me the courage I needed. "I can't believe you're calling me to tell me this.  I had a dream last night.  You were in a church, sitting in the back.  You were crying and I went over to you and put my arm around you. I asked, 'What's wrong sweetie?' You said you broke up with Pete and you were really sad about it.  I just embraced you and told you, 'Kel, he's not the one but he's coming.' "

I was flabbergasted.  I almost couldn't believe what I was hearing.  And yet, I could.  This wasn't the first time my dad had a dream about me or for me.  We are both alike in that we listen to our dreams and have had dreams about the other.

I took this and I made a resolution.  I was going to talk with Pete after church, reaffirm my strong desire to serve a mission, and break things off.  It had to be.  I knew it and I knew the Lord knew it.  He obviously had given my dad this dream knowing it would buoy me up, give me the courage to immediately do what I needed to do.  And it did.

*****

Shortly after spring break the season changed. Spring technically came. So did the snow. Flagstaff, at its 7,000 feet, always has snow in the winter and spring. But the four feet that poured from the sky Friday and Saturday caused church to be cancelled Sunday.


I woke up to an even winter-ier wonderland than I had fell asleep to. Karin, in her bottom bunk, woke with wide eyes as well. We were snowed in. Snowed in our tiny apartment.  

It wasn't long before our neighbor boys, Dave and Ryan, made their way over to shovel us out. They had somehow shoveled our girl neighbors out by clearing their adjoining porch and forcing their way through the front door and snow.  Now they were clearing the landing and coming to rescue us. 

But rescue us for what? It was Sunday. Church was cancelled. There was snow up to our chins. This was a good day to stay inside.

But of course we didn't. Our apartment had been invited to another building and apartment of boys to enjoy some snow cream, if we could make it. The walk that would normally have take two minutes at most, taking us past two other apartment buildings, took us more than 15 minutes to make this day. It was craggy, powdered, and slick. 

I hesitated to join my roommates. While I'd normally jump at a chance to go play and socialize, this outing was to Ted's apartment. We hadn't really repaired any of the "no-date" mojo of days passed. I didn't want it to be awkward, especially since he lived with my friend Ben and my roommates had a special connection to this apartment. 

We had the habit of swiping our guy friends' ties and proudly displaying them on our wall. This apartment of boys had a lot of ties. And a lot of them were Ted's.

"Just come and if it's weird you can go home." My roommate Casey persuaded me to brave the snowy divide.

I was glad I went almost as soon as I got there. I expected it to be awkward when I entered but with my roommates to talk with and Ben it wasn't a bad experience. I even had the chance to talk with Ted. 

"How is it you grew up near Chicago where it snows all the time and you've never had snow cream?" Ted spoke, incredulous in his remarks, amazed I was a snow cream virgin. 

I was surprised Ted was speaking freely with me. Since Pete and I had started dating the only times he spoke to me after the burger incident had been in front of Pete, always looking straight into my eyes, never acknowledging my then boyfriend. This drove Pete mad. Since Pete and I had broken up the Sunday before, I hadn't so much as seen Ted.

"Um, I actually don't think I've ever had sweetened condensed milk before and I certainly have never poured it over snow." This statement bewildered a boy who had grown up primarily in Arkansas where, I imagined, they had some a lot of down-home style baking.  But really, I knew nothing about life where he was from. I noticed, with no facial hair to hide it, the deep cleft in his chin. It was distinguished and striking, two words I wouldn't have previously associated with this guy who had such a goofy exterior.

We continued to chat as layers of nervousness, frustration, and hurt feelings melted off my shoulders like the fresh packed white snow in the bowl when the milk hit it: gradual but certain, and with increasing sweetness. 

While I sat and chatted with friends, Ted spoke with another of my roommates. 

"Arizona, why is Kelly being so nice to me? Isn't that going to annoy her boyfriend?" Ted spoke with loaded words and sarcasm and s light air of disdain. 

Arizona smiled out of the corner of her eye as she frequently did as she gauged someone's reaction. "Naw. Kelly broke up with Pete last week. Didn't you know that?"

I smiled over at Ted from across the crowded room, because he was smiling a strange smile at me. Calculating. Elated. And... handsome. 

1 comment:

Jewel said...

This is awesome! The story about your dad having a dream about you have me chills. Isn't it amazing to look back and see just how much Heavenly Father was guiding us all along?
I can't wait for the rest!!