After a wonderful birthday came the dreaded realization that Kyle would be heading off to college. Fortunately he was attending a college that was only a forty minute drive. Still, the small town of Ellensburg seemed forever away.
How would this work? Obviously after saying, “I love you,” we weren’t exactly in the mood to break up because he was starting his freshman year. I started bringing up my anxiety about the upcoming change in our relationship. He would always just smile and reassure me that everything would work out. We could talk on the phone every night and see each other on the weekends. Plus he wanted me to focus on school too. It would be perfect for us to really do well in our classes.
I smiled because I knew school would be a piece of cake for me. I excelled in school mainly because I was really good at following directions and rules. Teachers usually appreciated that which helped a great deal. But I worried about Kyle. He wasn’t exactly going to an Ivy League school which furthered my initial impression that while he was smart in general, he probably wasn’t as smart as me.
But college wasn’t the only upcoming change on the horizon. Kyle had mentioned about serving a mission after his first year of school and slowly he began to speak about it with more frequency.
One warm September night we decided to go for a walk around the neighborhood. We started talking about his mission and he explained some of the finer details. He would be gone for two years, could only write letters to me, could only call his family on Christmas and Mother’s Day and he didn’t even know where he was going. He didn’t even get to decide that! For a moment it was too much for my seventeen-year-old mind to handle. I became very somber and stopped walking. I sat down on the curb and studied the fallen pine needles that had gathered beneath my feet. They were dusty clay red and intertwined in every possible way. I picked on up and began to break small pieces off, bit by bit they snapped falling back to hard pavement.
“I’ll wait for you.”
The words came out of my mouth before I even realized what I had said. What did that even mean? All I knew was that this boy had changed me from the inside and I couldn’t let go to the magic that I felt when I was with him. I would be stupid if I did.
“Do you even know what that means?” He asked, “I can’t call you, I can’t see you, you can’t come visit me or anything. Two years is a long time.”
He made it sound hard but I had never met another guy remotely close to being as wonderful as him. I wasn’t about to just let a wonderful future slip away.
School started for me soon after that and slowly our relationship took shape in the form of long distance. Kyle packed up his belongings and moved into the dorms with his best friend Mike. I was happy for him because I knew he would have a lot of fun, still I wished he was closer to me.
True to his word we talked every night. I often would wake up in the middle of the night with a hot phone pressed against my ear. We would fall asleep talking often at night. It was amazing we still had so many things to talk about. For being as similar as we are our minds work very differently and they often come to different conclusions. Plus with his religious background we always had something to talk or debate about.
Weekends were hit or miss. Since Kyle didn’t have a car, it was usually up to me if we wanted to see each other. Sometimes I would drive out to pick him up and bring him back. My parents would let him sleep on the couch in our home so I wouldn’t always have to drive him all the way out to his house. Sometimes his parent’s wouldn’t even know he had come back to town.
We watched movies and played games and he would charm all of my high school friends. I was the girl with a college boyfriend but it didn’t really seem like it. He was just Kyle to me.
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