Kevin and I met and started “dating” in the 7th grade. We were together throughout the rest of junior high and until the beginning of our sophomore year of high school when he decided he wanted a break - I was devastated. It took me a long time to start feeling like myself again and it was especially difficult (for me, anyway) because we were still at the same school and saw each other all the time.
Flash forward to the last few months of our senior year. I asked one of his good friends to the prom, but he declined, saying that he thought Kevin wanted to ask me. I really just think he was trying to come up with a nice way to say no thank you, but I’ll be forever grateful for the fact that he did say no. Kevin and I started talking again… and hanging out. I was a little hesitant at first, just because of how heart broken I had been and how hard it was for me to put myself back together.
We ended up going to our senior prom together (surprise, surprise) and were back together. We spent every minute together that we possibly could – I didn’t want the summer to end.
Kevin had enlisted in the Navy and left at the end of August, a week before I was heading to school and a week and a half before my birthday. We spent the next two years apart – me in Massachusetts, him in Mississippi - constantly talking on the phone and counting down the days until he would be home on leave again. It was hard, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way.
August 2006 he was done with his active duty in the Navy! I was so excited to have him around again and it was nice to be able to see each other more than once every few months. A few months later he started the fire academy – I was so proud of him, he was finally beginning to live his dream of being on the Boston Fire Department.
July 2007 he graduated from the academy and officially started working. Around December/January there started to be talk of him going over to Iraq with the Navy Reserves. I crossed my fingers and toes that he wouldn’t have to go, but we weren’t that lucky. May 2008 I graduated from college and then the following month he headed back down to Mississippi to begin training before he left for Iraq. Things had been rough between us for a while, and before he went to Mississippi I told him I wanted a break (worst girlfriend award? Probably).
The break wasn’t exactly a “break”. I went down to visit him in Mississippi twice that summer. We had so much fun together and I was NOT looking forward to him going to Iraq in September. But there was nothing either of us could do about it, and a week after my birthday he boarded a plane for the desert. He was there for six long months and finally came home for good in March 2009.
I was glad to have him back home with me, but it was definitely a shock for both of us. We struggled with trying to be back together until October of that year when things finally came to a head. I don’t remember what it was that pushed me over the edge, but I had had enough. I think we had been together for so long that we were “comfortable” and began taking each other for granted. I didn’t want to be treated like that and he didn’t deserve that either so I said I needed some time.
That lasted about a week. A whole seven days. I distinctly remember meeting him for lunch that fall day and having the conversation about what we were going to do. We decided to give it one more try and honestly – things had never been better after that. I think the time apart – while it wasn’t very long – was really good for us. It was like we were a brand new couple.
And now here we are in 2011 - still together, still going strong. We may not live together yet, and we’re not even engaged, but I love him. He’s my other half and even though we’re complete and total opposites I wouldn’t change us for the world.
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