12-06-08 is when the love story officially began.
You would have thought that this man had asked me to marry him. It was that time of year. The Marine Corps Birthday, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving. All that means is, Rob is about to have a lot of time off. Not to mention Christmas is right around the corner, and New Year’s. Things were really looking up! I was looking forward to all the time that Rob was about to have off. Little did I know, he had something else up his sleeve though. He asked me to go to the Ball with him. I was so happy. Life was hectic at that time. There was a lot going on, as usual. And I finally had something to look forward too. Of course he asked me at the last minute, kinda sorta. Trust me, that’s normal. *Chuckles* But! I. Did. Not. Care. I did not ! I was already thinking of the look I was going for in my head soon after he asked me. Wait, wait, wait! Let me back it up so you can get the full effect. So, Rob and me had just started back “talking” in September. He had just got back from Afghanistan. This was he second time there. Much different than the first tour he went on. I’m speaking for myself, that is. We were no longer together when he went overseas the second time. We had actually been broken up for awhile. My sister in law is actually the one who told me that is where he was at. I missed him of course. Duh, I even worried about him. But he was no longer my responsibility. I left that up to God, all of it. I always prayed for him, and is honestly. But I had washed my hands of it all.
And if you’re wondering, yes, he got back in contact with me! What you thought. Hahaha. I’ve always known it was something about me. We had been through a lot, but I know I always had a real special place in his heart, and he in mines.
After a whole year of no contact, that man called me from Afghanistan! More like a year, and three, four months. Put it like this. That’s the longest we’ve EVER went without talking! Ever! That man still remembered my phone number. I had that 919 number back then. (Wow.) Isn’t it crazy how time flies? I remember one of my friends and I decided to take a little mini get away to visit my cousin in Maryland. We got there at 5 o’clock in the morning. She was so mad. We were so loud. Everyone else in the house was sleep, or probably trying to go back to sleep after all the noise we made. You talking about fun though! Oh my gosh! We had a ball. I met all her friends who are more like family! I also got to see my Aunt Debbie, Uncle Tony, and my cousin Bo. It was one of the best little get aways I’ve taken, hands down. Good people. Lots of love! (I love you Tyler.) We started to head out later that morning. It was super early. I remember the traffic being pretty bad even before we got out of Maryland. It was cool though. We chit chatted, and just enjoyed the ride. Ya know listen to a little music or whatever. Car par-tay! Our little vacation wasn’t over with yet. So, we’re just coasting with the traffic and then my phone rings. I didn’t recognize the number. And I do not know why, but I answered it. Usually I don’t. I promise! I really don’t. I always say, if they want something for real, for real, they will leave a voice message. Or, heck, just text me, right?! Depending on who it is. But you get what I’m saying. So, yeah, I answered the phone, and he was like, “What you doing?” And I’m like, “Who is this?” And he’s like, “What you doing?” I’m like, “WHO IS THIS?” I’m yelling at this point right! So then he says, “Oh, so it’s been that long, that you don’t even recognize my voice?”
I hung the phone. I remember saying, “I ain’t got time for that.” And I really did not recognize Robs voice. I didn’t. Which is kind of surprising. I don’t know I just tried to keep him as far back in my head. I just felt like I needed to get over him. But as you can see, I guess we couldn’t get over each other. Glad it didn’t happen any other way. Okay so, he called right back. And I was like, “Who is this? You can tell in my voice that I was irritated. He was like, It’s Rob, April.”
Chile! A little birdie could have come and just picked me up, and flew me away. Right on the dog on highway! “Rob?” When I tell you that was so out of the blue. It was out of the blue! We talked the entire way home. My home girl just set there and did her thing. She listened to music and to our entire conversation. Didn’t matter though. Because I was gonna tell her everything anyways when I got off the phone. We talked for over three hours. It was some hangs ups a few times, there’s no telling why. I mean, he was overseas. But he called right back. I’m glad my girl didn’t trip though. Because I was not getting off the phone. I played it real cool while I talked to him. But I was happy as heck that he had reached out to me. I missed him. A lot. I couldn’t see us going on forever without talking, but that call was just so out of the blue. I was also flattered that he asked about me a few times through his cousin, which is now my cousin, and she’s ALWAYS been an amazing friend. When I made the decision to step away from Rob, it was one of the hardest things I had to do. No one has ever made me feel what he has made me feel. We went through a lot, and we did a lot to each other. But after it was all said and done, he want to be friends. And ya girl is not the girl that is down with the whole ‘friends’ thing. Rob and I have been friends already. We had a pure friendship. But once we fell in love and had sex, we were no longer friends anymore. Not in that kind of way. It’s not the same. The open honesty that we once had wouldn’t be on the same level after having sex. I know so much about Rob, and he about me, because when I met him I met him as a friend. Not as a guy that I had my eyes on. So, I shared with him like he was my homegirl, and I his homeboy. Of course if it happened any other way, we wouldn’t have been that open with one another. But as friends we had no expectations from each other, and we became each other’s diary. Then through getting to know each other on another level. We fell in love with each other. We talked a lot. Just like now, of course, he’s always been my everyday. So, to me, it’s just not the same. The whole ‘friends’ thing that is. That’s just me. So, that was that. I deleted my Facebook (still don’t have it. And still don’t want it.) And I went on my marry way, promising to never call him again. That is, unless he called me first. And what do you know.
Anyways, anyways, cause I will start telling you stories, over top of stories. Okay, so, I remember it was cold outside, and I was about to get off at Apple Bee’s. It was the holiday season, and I was pretty happy that Rob and me were back in contact with one another. A lot had changed. He was just getting back in the states. He had moved up a rank. I had moved into my own place. I had a career starting at the veterans hospital, and I was even in school. Things were so different for the two of us. It amazing how many things you can miss out on in a year. The saying, a difference a day can make is true right? Out of all the new things we caught up on, I was more than happy to know that he was ony three and a half hours from me. I was so happy about that. He was so far for so long at point. It was a strain. But we stuck it out.
I started my car to defrost my windows. I was freezing! I called Rob while I waited for the car to warm up. He answered, and I got all giggly on the inside. Something about his voice. We chit chatted for awhile, pretty much about everything. Love, life, us, the past, we even snuck a few future things in there. Every once and awhile. I made it home, safe and sound. I got relaxed for a moment, trying to wind down before showering, and calling it a night. I remember standing in the kitchen, looking for something to eat, and that’s when he asked me. I think, if I’m not mistaking. I was about to heat up some fried potatoes and onions. I had no business eating that, at that time of night. But, whatever right? It was funny though. Because after he asked me, I didnt even eat! Gots to get in a dress!
Honestly, I can’t remember what he said word for word. I do remember however, remember asking him, “What made you ask me?” I don’t know, we had just got back in contact after a year and some change, and going to the Ball was like, profound to me. It meant something. And I knew he knows me well enough to know that. But, then again, I didn’t want to make it a big deal about it either. I do remember him saying, “You deserve it. You deserve it.” What he said made me happy, but it was how he said it that made me smile. Hahah. Is this corny? I was hype about it though. I called everyone I loved close to me the next day. I’m sure I hit up a few people that night to be honest. I didn’t know if I would find a dress in time or not. I think I had like three weeks, if that. I know he asked me before Halloween.
I found me a dress. Way easier than I thought I was! So, that was a weight lifted off my shoulders. I pretty much was squared away. I got some Jessica Simpson pumps, which happens to be one of my favorite pair of pumps. I wear them with skinny jeans too. I remember it like it was yesterday, the Ball was on a Wednesday. Rob drove three and a half hours to come get me from work, so that I wouldn’t have to drive down to Carolina, by myself, for the first time, late at night. I was cool with it. I liked how he was thinking. It was late Tuesday night when he got to my job. I was wrapping everything up to head out! I was going to enjoy the car ride down to the base he was stationed at, at the time. I was excited for the week ahead. I wasn’t going back to Virginia until that Sunday night. So, I was really looking forward to spending a decent amount of time with him. The first time we would be around each other that much in over a year! Chile! Let me tell ya!
The ride was super chill. We went 95 South, for a decent amount of time, and then it was a lot of smaller highways, I guess you can say. It reminded me of 58 West back home, but the speed limit was faster. We listened to music, and I sang. Most likely I was DJ-ing. I always did that. My mini vacation was starting out good. We arrived at like three something in the morning. It was really late. And he still had to be up at the crack of dawn to be at work, and later get ready for the Ball. I was so exhausted, but excited at the same time. The next day I slept in until about 10 o’clock. Rob and his friend had came home for a few, and Rob woke me up. I met Robs friend wife, and their baby. Everything was perfect. Basically that whole day everyone was preparing for the Ball that was going be later on evening. Rob and some of his friends were suppose to be at the hotel at 6 o’clock. All of us were late. Went spent all our time taking pictures. It was so cold though. Heck, it’s cold every year, (Haha.) that’s nothing new to me now.
Everyone was cool that I met. The food was pretty good too. I remember Rob asking me what I wanted to eat, steak, chicken, and I think he said a veggie dinner. Either way, I picked chicken. I’ve never been too big on ordering steak just anywhere. I love steak, and I want it cooked right. But that’s neither here nor there, because I don’t eat beef or pork anymore. It’s been eight years. So my dinner was good. I remember we had salad and bread before our entrees got there. I had, two drinks at later that night. I was fun. I really enjoyed myself. It seemed like everyone was having a good time Some people looked like they were having too much fun. Marines can par-tay!
The ride home was about 30 minutes. Robs friend drove while we set in the back like he was our Uber driver. His wife had just had their baby, so she stayed at home. We went to Robs other friend house, took pictures, like I said, and then we all left together. My first Marine Corps Ball was pretty amazing. I really enjoyed myself. So, yeah, that’s pretty much it. We’ll that’s pretty much all I’m going to tell you. Haha.
For the rest of that week, we hung out, ate good. He took me on base and showed me around. We drove out to Jacksonville, yeah, Jacksonville, to go to a few restaurants and stuff. Havelock is really a chill place. It’s small just like home. Country. To do anything you had to drive about forty-five minutes. And there is a beach about twenty minutes. I’ve been out there a couple of times. I hung out with Rob and his friends. And after that, I pretty much was on base every weekend. Rob would come home too, but I preferred going to him. It was my little get away. The ride was relaxing, it was far enough, but not too far. And then it felt good to breath some different air.
So, yeah, I just thought I would share that story with you. One of the many moments of Rob and me. Who’d ever thought we would be here. Deep down I always knew it.
I love you Baby.