Thanks for coming back to read the 2nd part!
As I was saying yesterday, I put the letter (I feel really old saying this, but this was just before email became so popular) under the windshield wiper and returned to my hotel room. While my family and I packed up and prepared to head home ourselves, I couldn't help but feel heavy hearted. I remember feeling as if I could tear up at any moment coupled with embarrassment and silliness all at the same time. I only spent a few days with this boy how could I possibly be so smitten? I honestly don't recall, but I'm sure I was a pleasure of attitude to ride home with.
Back at home, I returned to life as I knew it. My parents went to work. I slept as long as I wanted to. When I did get up I talked on the phone, watched MTV, or tanned in the backyard. Oh, and I did manage to unload the dishwasher and pick up a bit.
Wow, I sure had it rough, right?!
One new little routine was added to my day, I just had to check the mail. While I wouldn't allow myself to fully believe a response would happen, a small part of my heart was hoping that among all of those bill, magazines, and ads, there would be a letter from Brent.
Each day that passed without a response caused a me to loose hope a little at a time. In my head I began to question myself: Should I have done that? Does he think I'm just some dumb girl? Did he and his dad make fun of me and get a good laugh at my expense on their trip home? Has he told his friends about me?
Finally, the day came. Unknowingly, I pulled the pile of mail from the box and flipped through it, as usual. There it was, a letter address to me and the return address was from none other than, Brent, my Brent! Oh I was so excited! I could hardly contain myself. Now the trick was to pull myself together and walk in the house and to my bedroom without my parents being aware of the fact that I had received the letter that I had been waiting weeks for.
**On a side note I never specifically told them that I gave Brent our address and that I was hoping to keep up some kind of correspondence with him.
When I finally got to my room I read his wonderful letter. I read it over and over and over again. I didn't care that the first time I read it took a little longer than the rest, because he had sloppy boy writing. It didn't bother me that the paper looked as if he had torn it out of a notebook in a rush with no attention paid to the fact that there were jagged edges hanging all over the place. He wrote back to me. That's all that mattered!!!
After reading his letter I did the only thing that seemed natural, I called Sara! She spent the night that night and we wrote a letter back to Brent, because why would I think that I could write a letter on my own?
School began for both Brent and I in August. We managed to maintain our correspondence. Each time a new letter came in the mail I eagerly brought it to school, shared it with my friends, and yearned to hear from him again. Eventually, pictures and phone numbers were exchanged. I found a special frame for his school picture. Often I looked at it remembering the short time spent together and imagining the good times yet to come. I'm not sure how or when, but at some point it was established that we were exclusively Boyfriend and Girlfriend.
In one of his letters Brent asked if I would be able to meet him in a large city half way in between our hometowns. When I read these words I was so excited and nervous at the same time. This also required me to talk to my parents. I wasn't old enough to drive. I would have to rely on them. Which meant finding a good way and a good time to approach the parental units, to do non other than ask for them to drive 3 hours so that I could meet up with some boy. But in my eyes he wasn't just some boy, he was my Brent. He made me feel important and special.
I must have come up with a great speach because much to my surprise and delight my parents agreed to take me meet him. Sara came with us as well. I had to have my support system. Brent and his friend were going to meet us at Woodfield Mall in Chicago. He picked a time and told us to meet him at the food court.
We ran into a little trouble when we got to the mall and discovered that there was no food court! (Again another moment where I feel old, we didn't have cell phones yet, so I couldn't just pick up the phone and call him) Sara and I came up with the only thing that seemed logical at the time, look for McDonalds. Brent worked at McDonalds so he must have wanted to meet us there, right? There was infact a McDonalds, however, it was closed. Fail. Again. Now what? I just spent 3 hours in the car, which actually felt like an eternity, only to be dissappointed? Are you kidding me?
Then there it was, it seemed as if a spotlight shone down upon it, Burger King that is. Brent and his friend were there waiting for us. After arranging a time and a place to meet my parents finally left us to just do what teenagers did, hold hands and hang out at the mall.
When it was time to leave I was sad, but at ease. I knew this would not be our last interaction. Of course the car ride home was spent reminising and giggling about the day. Life resumed and our writing continued.
January brought a new opportunity for Brent and I to see one another. My school was having a winter formal. After gettting the ok from my parents I invited him to the dance. I was so excited as I wrote to him asking him to come. It seemed as if he took forever to respond.
Then finally, he called. I was sick and had gone to bed early. My mom talked to him and he told her that he would be able to come. My mom came in my room and woke me up to tell me about the phone call. I remember feeling so happy, as if I could just jump out of bed!
That's us in 1997. Oh my gosh look at Brent's baby face!
****Ok this is longer than I anticpated. I'm going to have to continue tomorrow!****
Our Story Part 3 . . . The Dance