After I left camp in July of 2013, our relationship continued to grow. We became really close, despite the distance and learned something new about each other almost everyday. I started my freshman year of college in Boston in August, and I was nervous because I knew I liked James a lot, but what if I met someone else at school? I had no idea what would happen and I wanted to keep myself open to the potential. It didn’t take long until James and I planned a time for him to come and visit. He would be coming in October, and this would be the first time we would hang out outside of camp. That week was important for both of us because we would see if we still clicked as well as we remembered and would find out if we were going to totally commit to the distance long term.
I was waiting for him in the airport, he was going to stay for five days. When I was younger, I would see girls run up to guys in the airport and give them a big hug, I always wanted that, well here I was, about to take off and jump into his arms the second I saw him turn the corner.
It is very blurry, but this is a picture my friend took of when I first saw James at the airport.
The week he was in Boston, we truly solidified our feelings. He told me that he loved me, and I told him that I felt the same way. We didn’t miss a step, we picked right back up where we left off. I remember being shocked about how normal everything was. We spent most nights on the beach, went out to cafés for breakfast, and explored all the nearby towns. Having him with me really showed me how much I wanted that every single day. Once he left, I really missed him. We had 65 days until we would see each other next.
We were now dating for five months. This is when I truly knew how much he meant to me. We talked everyday, and planned lots of FaceTime dates, and really learned what it meant to care for someone, even though he was ten hours away. The next time we saw each other was over Christmas break. My family and I went to stay at my grandparent’s lake house in upstate New York, which was about three hours from James. He drove up on a Sunday morning to meet us there, where we would stay for a few days. I walked outside to meet him and went running into his arms, just like the last time.
This was the first time he met my mom, which was weird because we had been together for almost six months. He had already met my dad when my dad picked me up from camp over the summer. I introduced James to him and that is when James asked him if he had his permission to date me. (I know…how cute is that?)
In New York, we exchanged the Christmas presents that we got for each other. One of the gifts he gave me was an Adventure Book, where we could keep track of all the things we do together. He had already added a few pages with our summer together and the Boston trip.
We went skiing one day with my family, ice-skating, and sledding down all the big hills around the house. After a few days, we all drove back to Pittsburgh where we were celebrating New Year’s Eve, the time when everyone comes up with crazy resolutions that they really only intend on keeping for about a solid week, girls stress about finding cute outfits, and who they are going to have set up to kiss at the strike of the new year. This year, I finally had my kiss all lined up. This has never been the case for me. New Year’s, while had always been fun, has just had a history of being lame for me.
James and I planned to go into the city of Pittsburgh for the night with my family. There were concerts and things like that all lined up and down the busy streets that were packed with people wearing crazy hats that had “2014” spelled out in glitter. The concerts weren’t any great performers, but we made the most of them and had fun dancing and laughing at some of the drunk people who couldn’t even hold themselves up. After making ourselves look like fools at the concert, we walked down the street to see what else was going on. There were coffee shops that were crowded because of how cold it was, and fires along the side of the roads. After being in the city for a few hours, it was finally time for the countdown, so we made out way to the center where they had a countdown on a big screen.
“Happy New Year baby!” I said, as I wrapped my hands around the back of his neck and kissed him again.
We stood there and watched the fireworks and the bright lights flashing “2014” on the buildings. This was by far the best New Years I have had yet, and it is all because I was with James. He made everything so much fun and there is nowhere that I would rather be than where I was right then; standing right by his side, his hand in mine, kissing him with the sky flashing behind us and fireworks exploding above us. I had everything I had ever wanted all standing next to me.