the story of b&a {part 2}

I left off of {part 1} with when Bry and I started dating in October 2004. Bry was in his senior year, I was a junior. We had so much fun that year, with bonfires, school events, trips to the beach, and banquets aka proms. We had a ball.

Of course, there was an elephant in the room. He's a senior. He's leaving to go to college.

In my mind, thoughts were constantly running wild. What's college going to be like for him? What does he want out of his college experience? Does he want a girlfriend while he's away? Or does he want a new start? Will he find someone else? Yes. I'm a worry-er. And yes, I had these thoughts frequently.

We'd occasionally talk about it, debating on what to do. We ended up agreeing on "We'll stay together. If it works, it works. If not, then it's not meant to be. Whatever happens, we'll both be okay." And that's how we left it.

I guess I'll torture myself and write about the day he actually left for college. I remember the month of August, I had a knot in my stomach and a rock in my throat. Every time we were together, I was always close to crying, for fear of the unknown. I was not a happy camper, but I tried to make the best of the time we had together {I write that like he was dying or something, he was just moving 3 hours away Ali!}.

I showed up to his house the morning before he left for school. His whole family was going up to Massachusetts to drop him off. I showed up and I'm pretty sure I cried the whole hour and a half I was there. I tried to be strong and didn't want to ruin his excitement for going to college, but man was it tough. I remember that final hug, the sobs that accompanied it {from both of us- he was sad to leave me too}, and the final walk away. He went to get in the car with his family and I sat on their front porch and tried to smile but all I could do was bawl my eyes out. After they drove off, I went upstairs and laid on his bed for about an hour and then took every cologne and every shirt that he didn't pack to take to school. And I went and started my senior year of high school.

We were both good about devoting time to the phone and AIM to chat. But I missed him. I REALLY missed him. He'd become my best friend in about a year. I'd never felt this way about anyone- not that I'd dated many guys, but still. I missed him a lot.

I had senior year and college applications and friends to keep me busy, and he did his best to come home and visit as often as he could. Bry was a trooper. He'd catch rides with random people to come home and see me and the fam.

And throughout the fall, I constantly was hoping to make it into the college he was at. My parents didn't like the idea. And I knew I was going to get crap for it. But I applied, and my acceptance letter came on December 23. It was the best Christmas present ever. This acceptance letter made it that much easier to get through the 2nd semester of him being away.

Ya ya, you can tell me I "followed" him and I'm sure many people believe that, and maybe that was part of it. But this school fit my criteria for college. And I'm so happy with my choice.

The second half of senior year flew by and he was having a ball at school. Once May of 2006 rolled around, he was back and we were so psyched. Summer together, and then college in the fall. Woohoo!

Then came college time for Ali, and I won't drag out the whole 3 years of college for us together. It was full of classes, friends, chapels, Late Night {college grill for frappe's and mozzarella sticks} trips to the mall, parties, and formals. We had an absolute blast.

Bry's graduation rolled around and we were looking at long distance again. I was not a happy camper once again. Bry had to move home and I had to be back in the fall for my senior year of college- full of hard classes and my student teaching practica.

This time around, I didn't have as much fun to distract me, just work, work, work. However, we were older and both had cars to make trips back and forth. He came up and visited me probably twice a month and I'd go home for one weekend too, so it was really just the weekdays that sucked.

Both of us were seriously in love during this time. We were more in love than ever before. And we learned to be grateful for the time we had together. Fridays would come around and we'd be so happy, but Sundays would come and we'd get the "Sunday Blues". And every Sunday when we'd say goodbye, I'd be in tears. I learned that I am not good at goodbyes.

I'm not going to lie, marriage was the hot topic. At the small college we attended, it seems like everyone gets married a month after graduation, if not before. I was slightly frustrated because it felt like we'd been together for forever, and all these people were getting married around us, who had been dating 6 months. I'm no expert, but it takes longer than 6 months to get to know someone enough to marry them.  So we talked about marriage. We knew we were headed in that direction. We just needed to have the right timing. We both knew that we wanted to finish school before we got married. College is crazy enough. So we waited and waited. But to be honest, I was getting a little impatient.

My student teaching practica were very challenging. I had a full time "internship" and was still in a college class at night. Teaching is no easy task, and student teaching is even harder because you have to do double the work. I had told Bryan not to propose during student teaching because I wanted to be able to enjoy my engagement time. I knew that if he proposed during student teaching, my work would slack because I'd want to be planning the wedding the whole time.

So he waited. And I waited... And as frustrating as this time was, it was a time where we grew so much in love.

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