This story begins here and links can be followed at the bottom of each part.
Greg finished his translation gig with the Polish TV crew and was back home for my last week in Provo. We spent every waking minute together. It was bittersweet to feel so close, while anticipating the Great Separation.
I had been teased a tiny bit here and there that maybe Greg would pop the question before I could leave for my nannying job, but I laughed it off. The day before I left, there was a ward party at the bishop's house. I remember Greg was off talking to someone and I was sitting on the grass with a bunch of his roommates. One of them (the one who was going to ask me out and then asked my roommate out instead, who also, incidentally, asked me out while Greg was translating in SLC. Hello?) told me that he was willing to bet that Greg would ask me to marry him before I left (this 10 days after having asked me out to a movie behind Greg's back. I suppose he was thinking it couldn't hurt to try before it was too late*?).
I was a little a-flutter. What if? Could it be? No, probably not. It just didn't seem very likely. But he didn't seem too sad that I'd be leaving. He seemed as cheerful as ever. We had about 24 hours. Hmmmm.
The next day went far too quickly. Nothing happened. In the late afternoon a bunch of friends got together for a little farewell party. We got a few pictures with everyone and some of just me and Greg.
Then I said good bye and drove off. I was heading to California to spend a day or two at home, and would fly out to Maryland from there. While in California Greg and I spent a lot of time IMing each other. It was so nice. Still, it felt kind of strange to just go straight from dating to not dating, when we still talked to each other like we were dating.
I arrived in Maryland and met the ADORABLE little almost-two-year old and her parents. She was super cute and smart. Her parents were very nice and accommodating. I had the basement level to myself. Everything was perfect. I cried and cried anyway, and wondered what I had done. Here I was, far from the people I loved in this big empty house with people I didn't know. I had been promised that I would have email access, but there wasn't any. Instead I would just pay for my own phone calls.
I talked to Greg on the phone a couple of times in the first week. His accent was significantly more romantic over the phone. Plus he spoke all softly and I had to be sitting down because it sort of made my knees wobbly. I had assured the people I was living with that Greg and I were just friends. I was trying to assure myself, too.
At the end of the second phone call, Greg asked when we would talk again. I suggested maybe in one week? I didn't want to sound too eager, but I certainly didn't want to wait a whole week, either. He quickly agreed. DANGIT!
After a week of focusing on that darling girl and my new responsibilities, I called him on the appointed night. From the outset he seemed low. I tried to be cheerful and get him to act normal. I was hoping that it wasn't that he didn't want to talk to me. After much wheedling and prying he said, in a very quiet voice, "Obviously you don't like me as much as I like you." HA!! Right. Here I was trying to ensure that he didn't sense how smitten I was with him, and he was claiming I didn't really like him? I asked him how in the world he could know that. He said, "Because you didn't want to talk to me for a whole week and I've been wishing I could talk to you every day!" HA again!! We cleared that misunderstanding right up and decided that we would talk on the phone for ten minutes every night, instead of for an hour once a week. I was happy. I was very happy.
In one of our early conversations I asked what he had done on the weekend. He told me he'd been on a date. With some girl his roommate set him up with. "And?" I asked. "I just kept thinking, this would be so much more fun if she was Lisa." I tried to talk some sense into him and told him that he couldn't expect to have as much fun with someone he didn't know as with someone he knew very well. It would take some time. He knew all that, but told me that after two dates (with two different girls) he wasn't all that excited about dating.
I was getting involved in my singles ward. I was 20 years old and most of the other members were more like 25-40. I still enjoyed it. During the days I was busy going to story time at Borders and Gymboree and libraries and playgrounds, and cooking dinners. Weekends I often drove out to visit my sister and her husband where I could do email. I also had lots of church activities and meetings. There was even one guy in the ward (seriously, one guy) that seemed like prime dating material and I wanted to keep my options open. Still, every day I lived for that ten minute conversation with Greg.
I planned a trip to Utah in October for General Conference weekend. It was wonderful to be back "home." Greg and I were obviously "dating." I wondered what was going to happen to us. Apparently, while he'd been enjoying our last days together, he'd also been looking forward to his freedom. Once I was gone, he quickly realized that freedom was not what he wanted. It took me moving away for him to realize what he did want. And he realized it very soon after I left. Why, oh why didn't I move away 8 months earlier!
On Halloween he called. He cut right to the chase. "Lisa, I'm on one knee. -- (to roommate) Brad, am I on one knee? ('Yes! He's on one knee!') Will you marry me?" To which I replied, "BOO!" No, just kidding. I said "YES!!!"
He hadn't meant to ask me on Halloween, but he had been unable to contact my dad until then to ask for my hand. My dad had gotten a little sentimental and asked, "Are you going to take her far away from us?" The answer was yes, but really? I was already all the way across the country and Europe wasn't all that much farther.
Romantic, huh? Over the phone on Halloween! I'm SO not sappy-romantic and I LOVE that this is my story. This is how all my anxiety and jealousy and stress and insecurity came to a full and complete stop. He was MINE!! Mine forever. Or he would be soon, anyway!
Next post will be about how we planned a wedding from opposite sides of the country with the remaining nine months of my nannying contract to go. (I'm sure you're dying to read that one).
*Of course I said no (and probably hit him). I really liked this guy, but found it pretty creepy that he was asking me out behind his roommate's back.