Levi and I married each other in June of 2012 after only six months of head-over-heels, foolish-about-each-other love. Our story, like every love story, has its own unique and sweet moments and timings. We continue to marvel at the way God orchestrated our lives to bring us together, and though it included pain and trials for both of us before we met, we wouldn't change anything about it.
Everything that happened and every way that we grew led us to this moment.
Levi and I had now written 30 letters to each other (for a grand total of about 28,000 words as well) and spoken on the phone for over 7 hours. The weekend was fast approaching, as was a great deal of excitement to fill it with conversation with Levi. Who knew just how much conversation we'd have...
Chapter 13: The Weekend
I came home from school on Friday in a tired sort of haze. It was partly because I'd spent it all at an inservice, and I was completely unused to working on Fridays, let alone two Fridays in a row. It was also because Levi and I had talked for five hours the night before. I wasn't quite sure how long it actually ended up being because we were both so tired by the end that all we could do was slip into sleep after hanging up. Somehow we simply couldn't stop talking to each other. There seemed to be so much to say and so little time to say it.
Levi and I had decided not to talk on Friday because I had another basketball game to go to, so I quickly ripped off my work clothes and yanked on my jeans and a Bluejays sweater. As I was hopping around on one foot trying to shove the other into my jeans I was simultaneously signing into my eHarmony account. Nothing yet. Not that I expected it. It was only 4:30 in the afternoon after all.
The games seemed to stretch on forever, and where a month ago I might have been engrossed in the play-by-play action I found myself daydreaming and wondering how many more minutes I had to wait until I could get home and read Levi's letter. I was getting pretty caught up in getting to know him. It was even tougher because I was there with Ann, and she kept trying to engage me in conversation and I kept losing our train of thought. Oops.
When I finally pulled into the driveway, I got out of the car and into my house as fast as I could. There on my e-mail was a letter waiting for me from Levi. He had started the letter to me on Thursday afternoon, but after a marathon talking session on Thursday night he hadn't finished it. He'd gone to work Friday morning and then to dinner with some people from church that evening, so he was dead tired and dragging his feet, but he still managed to write me a page to finish the e-mail. I went to bed that night tired and smiling.
I was ready to talk to him again, and I thought I'd have to take a long drive the next night (getting a friend somewhere she needed to be), but it turned out I was off the hook for it. I spent the afternoon writing a long letter to Levi and getting ready to talk to him. We'd decided that 5:00 was a good time to start our conversation since we had weekend minutes and plenty of time in case another 5 hour conversation took place....
In our letters we'd begun to discuss the difference between love/infatuation and happiness/joy. By this point things kept teetering on some pretty deep things, mostly about our different pasts and what brought us to where we were. The balance was beginning to become difficult for both of us. Levi had even said in his most recent letter, "Agh! I keep thinking of things to write and then I think I want to ask you about them on the phone. I guess it won't hurt to talk about them both times. :)"
Saturday evening finally rolled around, and Levi called. We began to talk, relaxed and smiling. We ventured onto the topic of movies, and I mentioned that I had over 250 (at that point, at least). He wanted to know what I had, so I hopped up and ran to my bookcase, stuck my finger onto the movies and began to scroll through. I was going to skip some of the sillier ones, but I wanted to mention the ones I thought that hip, young people like ourselves would enjoy.
"Ok," I said, my finger poised, "I'm going to go through my movies in order because they're alphabetized, so you'll get the ones with numbers in the titles first."
He chuckled at me and said, "Ok, well as long as you don't have one movie, we'll be fine."
Oh no, I thought, certain that I'd have it. "What is it?" I asked.
"500 Days of Summer."
"Oh no!" I cried. "I knew you were going to say that! I do have it. Why don't you like it?!"
"It's just so overly kitschy. And don't get me started on Zooey Deschenel."
I decided to avoid that landmine for the time being, so I just said, "Oh man. I really did like that movie."
"It's OK," he said, a smile in his voice. "I'll forgive you your terrible taste in movies."
I started laughing and began to name off more movies. It seemed like each movie I named was met with a cringe in his voice, bland acceptance, or fervent dislike. By the end of the list it was almost a game. I'd name a movie and Levi would find a new way to trash it.
And here's the thing, in case you were wondering. I have pretty darn good taste in movies, OK? I not only own the pretentious stuff like Citizen Kane and Dr. Strangelove, but I also really like it! Foreign stuff! Snooty stuff that people who say they like "film" instead of "movies" enjoy. Fun stuff, too! Over the years I'd built up quite a bit of pride in my cultural awareness and affinity for good film. I was so stuffed full of elitist pride, and here was this guy from Texas maligning my impeccable taste (and, p.s. in the long run Levi's been good to encourage me not to be so snobbish and prideful).
"Well," I said, sniffing haughtily, "it's clear to me that you simply need a bit a culture. Thank goodness you've got me."
We continued to laugh about that for a few minutes, then Levi quieted down considerably. Giving him some time to collect his thoughts I wondered what he was gearing up to say. Butterflies began to flutter.
"You know," he began slowly, "I think it would be good for us to start getting into deep things. I want to tell you my history and the hard things from my past."
"I'm ready for that, too," I said calmly. This is what was going through my head though: Oh man, oh man, oh man, oh man, here it comes, oh man, we're getting deep, here it comes, oh man, I really like him.
"Ok," he said, taking a deep breath. "I'm going to write it out to you in a long e-mail and you can read over it tomorrow before we talk."
"That sounds like a good idea," I said, simultaneously excited and nervous and trying to sound collected.
Our conversation wound down for the evening, hitting the 5 hour mark yet again. I fell into bed knowing that Levi's next letter to me would finally move our friendship into a much deeper level. And if I was willing to be honest with myself, this was already a lot more than a simple friendship to me....
The next letter from Levi was coming, and I knew that this letter, more than any letter to date, would be the most important one he'd ever sent me. Better read it right away.
Next Chapter (Chapter 14: History, Part I) Previous Chapter (Chapter 12: The Weekend)