Do you remember we were sitting there by the water?
You put your arm around me for the first time
You made a rebel of a (careful) man's careful daughter
You are the best thing that's ever been mine
Taylor Swift - 'Mine'
Those lines describe perfectly my first meeting with Spud and our first fairy tale kiss under the stars, and I think it's finally time I shared the whole story.
It all began a long time ago. Well, sometimes it feels like a long time ago, and other days only yesterday. About four and a half years ago I received an online message from a boy who found my MySpace profile and wanted to get to know me. Raised by loving but somewhat over protective parents, my upbringing had been a sheltered one, and I knew all too well that they'd disapprove if I took the initiative and replied to that message, letting a stranger into my life. But I took my life into my own hands and said yes. I think I knew then that my life was about to change.
After two months of emailing each other daily, and scheduled chats on instant messenger, I knew I was falling for him, and we began to discuss the possibility of meeting up. Pretty crazy considering he knew his parents would be against this as much as mine. We formed a plan: next summer at Bible camp. And then there was the long, long wait, during which I spilled the beans to my parents, unable to keep them in the dark any longer.
Their reaction was predictable: they were pretty worried. No. They were horrified. The situation was the cause of our first and last rows. It's not that my parents stood in my way, but they were pretty reluctant to let the meeting take place, even under the most secure of circumstances. With all the tension, those ten months until August dragged. There were also one or two heart-stopping moments when I feared Spud was beginning to lose interest. But our relationship developed through our daily correspondence, and August did arrive at long last.
I felt sick that day. I was so sure Spud was the one (even my parents were by then), but the 300 mile journey gave my nerves time to grow. My parents pulled up beside the marquee, and I watched Spud approach, looking about as shy as I felt. He introduced himself while we unloaded my things from the car. I then said goodbye to my parents for the week, realising that everything was going to be alright.
This assurance increased throughout the afternoon and evening, and when the evening session ended, Spud led me to the bottom of the field, a few yards from the cliff edge. I could hear the waves and see ships (mere lights) upon the water. The sky was dotted with stars, so bright and clear. We lay on our backs, side by side, and watched the shooting stars. Spud pointed out the milky way.
Just after eleven he asked me out and when I said yes, he told me he loved me and put his arm around me. I don't know how long we lay there, his arm crushed beneath me, but I could barely look at him. I knew we were going to kiss and I was so nervous. At some point, though, I turned to face him and moved closer, my lips brushing lightly against his.
We parted company shortly after that, heading to our own separate tents. When I woke the next morning the previous night felt like a dream, but when he took my hand on the mini bus, later that day, I knew it wasn't a dream at all. It was the most real I had ever felt.