The Story // Chapter One

Our love story was the story of choice.  Although to be fair, I think this should be a how we met and fell in love story, because I truly believe that our love story is only just beginning and will continue to be written the rest of our lives.

Now where to start?

It was late August in 2011.  Less than two weeks prior I had moved back to the States after spending a year in Jamaica working at a children's home.  I wasn't exactly sure what life would have in store for me, but I was checking out a few colleges and exploring my options for a fill-in job in the mean time.  The transition to life back in the States wasn't as easy as I thought it would be.  I suppose I had assumed that everything would be just as it was before I left, but things had changed.  A few of my closest friends had started dating or were engaged, finding a job didn't happen as quickly as I would have liked, learning how to drive on the right side of the road again was a challenge, and be honest, is it really ever easy to move back in with your parents after being gone that long?  I felt like a stranger in my own neighborhood; the ache in my heart for the children I had left behind in Jamaica was intense.

But it was a Saturday night, and some of my friends were getting together to play volleyball and grab pizza afterward.  Even though it had been over a year since I had played, I decided to join them.  It was a good chance to catch up on friendships if nothing else.  Towards the end of the second game someone I didn't recognize had walked into the gym - he must be the guy my friends kept talking about, the guy who was in process of buying a house and moving up from Pennsylvania.  By now the game was finished.  Don't ask me if my team won, I don't remember, all I know is that guy came up and started a conversation with the girl I had just been talking with.  He didn't say hello to me.  I, of course, took matters into my hands and introduced myself.  He and I ended up sitting across from each other at the pizzeria.  He was really good looking, with grey-blue eyes, and so easy going, and really good looking.  We chatted for a while.

The following afternoon I attended a friends wedding.  He was also invited.  Fate would have it that, er, somehow he was seated directly across from me during the reception.  We hit it off, there was an obvious connection.  I won't lie, I was intrigued.  I even had a 'he's the man I'm going to marry' moment.  Although I knew if that was going to happen it would require a lot of prayer because he asked my age and was shocked when he found out I was eleven years his junior.

A few months passed.  He was still living in Pennsylvania.  The company he was planning to work for when he moved to New York was in need of a fill-in until he arrived.  I was hired as that fill-in.  During this time we really didn't have contact with each other.

In late October I attended a youth weekend retreat in southern Pennsylvania.  My heart skipped a beat as I walked into the service on Friday night and noticed that Herm was there!  He found me as soon as the worship service had ended; we talked for at least 30 minutes.  He asked my age again. I think he was secretly hoping that I had gained about 5-8 years in those two months, but I was still just 19.

I continued to pray.  My feelings for him were growing stronger and stronger.

Then one snowy Sunday in December he started to chat with me on Facebook.  That conversation consumed most of the afternoon.  I was blown away by his character, his passion, and his insight.  I knew he was the one.

New Years Eve was spent with friends from church.  Herm had moved to New York just after Christmas, and had also attended the party.  I was delighted.

In the weeks that followed hardly a day went by without seeing him.  By now I had been hired full time, and would continue working for that company.  Herm's desk was catty corner with mine - life couldn't have been more perfect.  We worked together, went to the same church, met at Lloyd's every Wednesday night for 25 cent wings, and weekends were always spent doing things together ... like hiking, going to the movies, and snowboarding.

And speaking of snowboarding...

The Story // To be continued


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