It was the summer of 2012. We were both working at a summer camp in Pennsylvania. He was just the maintenance guy who could sing like an angel, and I was just the girl who worked in the kitchen. (It’s cliché, I know, but I’m not kidding!) Our paths never really crossed, other then the few times he came through the kitchen to grab some water in between his work projects. I definitely went unnoticed. I’m not saying I had some creepy crush on him or anything, but he was for sure popular among the camp staff. Every girl, from the little campers, to the counselors thought he was cute, which is understandable because who wouldn’t think the way his dimples appeared when he smiled his goofy smile was adorable? And it wasn’t a bad sight seeing him working and sweating around camp in the hot summer sun, or listening to him play his guitar and sing in the staff lounge at night when the staff hung out there. But like I said, I didn’t have a crush on James, I promise.
Well ok, maybe there was a little attraction going on from my side, but he was busy doing his thing, so I stayed under the radar. We maybe only had a few conversations that summer, and by conversations I mean glances, or a quick hello, or both of us laughing at something that happened.
It was now March of 2013, two months away from high-school graduation and many months since the summer at camp in Pennsylvania, and even longer since the thought of James came to mind. I was hanging out back home in Florida with my friends from high-school when my phone lit up.
It was James, wishing me a happy birthday on Facebook. Long story short, I responded which turned into him giving me his number and us talking for months until June came along and it was time for me to go to work at camp again. This summer, James and I were working in the kitchen together, needless to say, we were both excited.
He was exactly how I remembered him looking last summer, but this time more personable, and not as sarcastic. His smile still covered his face, and his deep brown eyes were so caring. His short dirty blonde hair looked like it was kissed by summertime, and his muscular arms were just as big, if not bigger than how I remembered them from the summer before. Just looking at him made my heart skip a beat, I am only human. It seemed as if we had been best friends for a while, not just polite talking, getting to know each other kind of friends.
Over the course of the five-week long period that I worked at camp, we became very close.
The first time we hung out together, I woke up early and fought my way out of my army green sleeping bag and sat up in my bunk, putting my feet on the dirty wooden floor of the cabin. It was my job to sweep it before the campers came. I needed to make cute name tags and signs too in order to make the dingy cabin more inviting. I rolled the flap of the window up, so I could have some light in the dark and cold cabin. Not too much early morning sunlight could creep through the thick forest that was surrounding the cabin. I tried to look as normal as I could for being in the wilderness. I wore my coral shorts and a dark grey V-neck shirt.
I met up with James. He was parked in his jeep (black jeeps are pretty hot) on the side of the hill. So, I walked over to him and got in the car. We drove to the farmer’s market that they had in town on Saturday mornings, and walked around. I remember that there was never a moment of silence. We hit things off and decided we wanted to continue hanging out, so every time that I had off from work, we would do something together. We got ice-cream in town, hung out on hammocks, laid under the stars, went for walks, talked all day in the kitchen, watched movies at his house, which was where he first kissed me (a whole book could be written on our various summer camp adventures, that was the extreme cliff note version). The whole summer we had to keep whatever was going on between us a secret because it was against camp rules to start a relationship while working at camp. We had a few close calls. So the day I left to go home was the day that he officially asked me out- July 13, 2013.
Since then, things have been more than I ever could have hoped for, but he lives in Pittsburgh and I go to school in Boston during the year and am from Florida. So, we have been dating long distance for three years this July (2016). This has not been easy, but it has given us so many adventures with each other and given us the chance to make our relationship very real. I will be sharing most of our adventures (the short versions) on my blog, but I am working on writing a series of books which will go through all of the ups and downs and everything in between. Hope you enjoy reading about how our long distance love story unfolds!
(The pictures above are all from where we first met, so that you can picture the story better. Two of the pictures I took on the first day we hung out.)