There were knots in my stomach as we drove away from Logan’s house to spend a few days in Island Park with his family. It had been a few months of dating and I knew I was in love with him, but there hadn’t even been a tiny hint about the “l bomb.” And now we were going on a trip not only with his immediate family, but some extended family too. Maybe he was waiting to see how I handled being around all of his family or maybe he wasn’t sure about me yet. Whatever the reason, I was getting anxious.
Meeting everyone at the cabin went well, really well. We played games, laughed together, and talked about the next few days schedule. The next day we would be going to The Playmill Theater in West Yellowstone and the following day we would spend driving around Yellowstone Park to see the sights. As everyone continued to make plans, Logan grabbed me by the hand and asked me to go for a walk. Instead of sticking to a clear path, he ducked into the thick of trees, pulling me right along with him, until we stopped at some trees. Earlier, I had casually mentioned that I’d never carved my initials into a tree with a boyfriend. And then he pulled out a pocket knife and asked if I wanted to carve my initials. My initials were carved and then Logan added the plus sign followed by his initials. My heart was content, he’d listened to my silly, cliche hope and made it happen. There was a fallen tree that looked like the perfect place to sit and talk away from listening ears… And then I was sure… “This is it. He’s going to tell me he loves me…” Until big ants started to make their way up our legs. The moment was gone. We ran back to the cabin and settled back in with everyone else. After that night, I scolded myself for getting my hopes up. Maybe he just needed more time…
On our all day trip to Yellowstone Park, we walked slowly along the sidewalks, hand in hand. Our pace didn’t match the rest of our group, but we enjoyed the moments of finding what caught the others attention. When we stopped at Old Faithful, Logan started leading me one way for a better spot, until his dad hollered at us to be over by the group. It was my second time there watching Old Faithful go off, timed almost to perfection and I was mesmerized. I hardly even noticed that he almost missed the whole thing while he was watching me.
Back at the cabin talking with the family, I was whisked away into one of the bedrooms and Logan’s sisters and mom were looking for answers. They claimed that Logan wasn’t sharing any details with them and they wanted to know if he had said those words I was anxiously waiting to hear. My head shook, and then I looked up at them and said, “But I love him.” My eyes filled with tears that threatened to spill over until someone was banging at the door. Logan. It was time for him to take me home. His sisters closed the door and wrapped their arms around me to give me a big hug. They were sure he must love me too, but he was taking his time. As we walked out of the cabin, I clung to that. “He must love me too..”
The drive home seemed too quick. Every time I blinked, miles and miles had passed. I had been looking forward to this trip for weeks. How was it already over?! Holding his hand in the car, singing along to whatever was on the radio, and taking funny pictures, just felt normal. Everything was getting serious for me and all I could do was wait to know if it was getting serious for him too. As we got off the exit ramp, tears trailed down my cheeks. My heart was so full of love for him and I couldn’t say it to him yet. I had to wait. He held my hand tighter, like he knew my heart was going burst. The car turned onto the familiar street, slowly stopped and was turned off. Getting out of the car, I turned to take his free hand, holding on for just a few more moments until I had to leave. Logan’s arms wrapped around me and I felt the lump in my throat that I fought hard to swallow. I reminded him of what time he needed to be at my parents house to go to Lagoon the next morning and went in for one last hug. As we pulled apart, he looked me straight in the eyes, “I especially love you when the stars are above you.” I responded, “So you only love me at night?!” Followed by the words I’d been dying to say, “I love you too.”
July 29, 2012
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